Corporate travel can be challenging, where you can either run into trouble or manage everything smoothly. And the key to achieving the latter lies in developing efficient corporate travel programs.
Receiving timely information and lack of support were the leading concerns of business travelers in 2022. On the other hand, the most significant issues for travel managers were delivering information about policy changes and accessing travelers’ locations. (The State of Corporate Travel and Expense, 2023)
A robust corporate travel program can help you resolve these issues and more. Let us explore the benefits of a travel program and how it can be a game-changer for your company.
Top 9 Benefits of Corporate Travel Programs
Here are the top 9 benefits of implementing corporate travel programs in your organization.
Round the Clock Support
Business trips, especially to remote or international regions, can be challenging for travel managers and employees. With different time zones, cultures, and uncertainties, it can be difficult to provide continuous support. In fact, 21.8% of business travelers lack support during their business trips.
A robust travel program accounts for all these uncertainties and provides round-the-clock support to your travelers. Whether in different time zones or a remote location, they can immediately consult an expert to determine their next course of action, make changes to the itinerary, and get emergency assistance.
With the rising uncertainty worldwide, your employees need security while traveling. A well-planned travel program can help them feel more secure as they’ll interact with vendors thoroughly vetted by the company.
Employees can use secure travel booking solutions to book their trips. Whether it is their accommodation or transportation, they can be rest assured that they are in safe hands.
In case of any issues or emergencies, travelers can immediately contact the support team. The support team is equipped to quickly deal with problems as they are familiar with the vendors and have more resources.
Providing updates regarding safety protocol, policy changes, and travel restrictions to your employees is essential during travel. However, it can take hours to find and communicate reliable information.
Well-developed corporate travel programs ensure your travelers are always kept in the loop. They can receive real-time updates about their travel itineraries, flight delays, and potential risks simply by using your travel management software.
Another benefit of a travel program is that only the most accurate and reliable information reaches your traveler.
Saving costs and quality go hand in hand. And corporate travel programs help you do both. They involve partnering with airlines, hotels, and car rental companies. This lets you negotiate rates and discounts and get the best possible offers.
You can also track and control travel expenses more effectively. Instead of outside travel booking solutions, your employees will book through the ones in your program. This will also reduce the chances of policy violation.
A travel management company can further help you reduce costs. TMCs have better connections and more customers. So, for example, if a vendor offers a 10% discount, they are likely to offer an even higher discount to TMC as they have more customers who will utilize the vendor’s services.
A travel program that is properly drafted and followed can do more than just reduce costs. It can significantly improve your efficiency. Your managers can focus on achieving their business goals instead of working out the logistics of their business trip.
Similarly, your employees can also spend more time on their primary responsibilities. They do not have to spend hours on end looking for a comfortable stay and travel options while ensuring they meet company policy.
With a centralized booking system, employees can quickly access pre-negotiated rates and book their trips. Your work becomes more manageable with the program’s automated expense tracking and reporting system.
Duty of Care
Duty of care is an integral part of corporate travel programs. According to this, you have the moral and legal responsibility of caring for your employees. Travel programs often include tools and resources that help monitor and ensure your employees’ safety.
These tools include live traveler tracking, risk assessment, and mitigation, and providing round-the-clock assistance. In emergencies, employees can immediately access support services provided by the program.
Better Policy Compliance
Travel policy violation is highly common. 35.4% of managers say less than 75% of their employees comply with travel policies. Some of the reasons behind these violations include frequent policy changes, inefficient communication, and complicated guidelines.
A travel program helps reduce these policy violations by communicating them in real-time in easy-to-understand language. You can set detailed guidelines to ensure clarity among the employees.
Most travel management software allows you only to show vendors who comply with your travel policies. This further improves compliance and efficiency as your employees do not have to spend too much time booking their trips.
Data and Analytics
One of the most crucial aspects of successful corporate travel programs is the ability to provide reports that allow you to make informed decisions. Many TMCs today offer tools with robust reporting ability. They deliver real-time insights and customizable travel analytics dashboards.
You can view all the data related to different business trips in a centralized location. This can help you review travel expenses employee-wise and department-wise, identify the most booked vendors, and much more.
Some tools also provide virtual travel consultants who share actionable insights based on this data. This helps in budgeting for future travel and making data-backed decisions.
Travel programs also account for risk mitigation to ensure the travelers’ safety during business trips. It does this by improving policy compliance and establishing crisis management procedures.
It lays down clear guidelines for employees to follow during emergencies or crises. It also includes thorough crisis management procedures to tackle unexpected events like political disturbance, terrorist activity, or natural disasters.
With the infinite benefits of corporate travel programs, it is clear that they aren’t just a choice; they are a necessity for organizations. From improved efficiency that streamlines travel processes to round-the-clock support that ensures your travelers’ comfort, these programs can make or break your travel.
Implementing a travel program can help you reduce costs, ensure better security, provide regular updates, and ultimately protect your greatest assets – your employees.