Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Effective Corporate Travel Management

Even in the age of video conferencing and remote meetings, corporate travel is still a real need. Getting face time with customers has become increasingly important as is being physically present to represent your company. Therefore, a company often has to send its employees abroad or out of town for business purposes. Usually these trips can be pre-planned. Sometimes, they are last-minute.  Regardless, the trips are a costly affair and account for a huge amount in company’s annual expenses. To cut down their soaring travelling expenses and manage the trips of their employees in a better way, many companies effective travel management is very important.
Here are important elements of company travel management:

Design a clear travel policy and process: The corporate travel of an employee has to be approved by many departments in an organization. It often takes a lot of time and may delay the trip. To overcome this hindrance, a company can frame a travel policy which prevents any confusion in the approval process of the business trip, booking tickets and the billing process. The request formats for passengers should also be readily available. There should be a pre-defined and well documented process from handling corporate travel requests to actual travel to expense management.

Hire the right Travel Management Company: Evaluate whether it makes sense to hire a professional corporate management company. Typically if you have significant amount of business travel across your company, finding the right partner is important. Compare the expenses with the amount of time spent by your employees in researching and booking Business travel. Also, compare it against the potential savings you could have with the right travel advice. If you have very high travel volume, it may make sense to have a travel desk within your office.

Explore corporate account with airlines: In case your employees have special preferences when travelling or your organization has high travel volume with a particular airline, you could set up a corporate account with that airline to save cost and get other benefits like no cancellation charges, free meals etc. It is very important to periodically review your volume with air line and across sectors. Your travel management company can help you identify such opportunities and strike the best deal with the airline by negotiating the terms and conditions of the deal with the airlines.

Management Information System (MIS) Reporting: Most of the companies do not pay required attention to their business travel operations and their travel operations do not get attention from top management, despite being a major expense in the company’s Profit and Loss Account. Timely review of MIS report help to analyze travel cost, identify trends and devise strategies to reduce cost and or increase cost effectiveness is important for a company with significant travel volume. There are many insights to be drawn from your company’s travel MIS. For example, if your organization has been shelling out high cancellation or rescheduling amount, you may analyze the reason behind it and accordingly revise your company’s travel policies.

Increasing the credit period: If you are looking for increased credit periods, you may consider tie-ups with credit card companies. This may benefit not only you but your travel provider. In addition to increased credit period, you may also get other benefits through the credit card company.  You may contact the credit card companies to maximize credit facility as well as extend the payment period. Some companies also offer special offers and benefits that are specifically designed for company travelers and for organizations that have high travel volume.

Through effective corporate travel management, you could literally make your rupee travel farther!

Article originally posted on: articlebase

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