Planning for the best possible use of your programme is essential if you want to get the most out of your corporate travel budget. Simply telling travellers to choose the cheapest reasonable flight is insufficient. The following factors should be taken into account while creating or assessing your travel programme.
The cornerstone of any successful travel programme is a well-written and well communicated travel policy, therefore it always astounds me how many businesses, if they even have one at all, have an antiquated and poorly thought-out travel policy. It is simple to locate a well-written policy. One is pretty simple to find online. The only thing left to do is update it to represent corporate culture and spread it throughout the organisation so that everyone is aware of it and agrees to follow it. To ensure that the travel policy is read, understood, and owned by all firm employees, it is a good idea to have everyone sign a copy of it. Regardless of whether they travel or not, I recommend that everyone in the company sign a copy of the travel policy. Later on, they might switch jobs within the organisation and travel might be necessary. A travel policy does not have to be lengthy or complicated. Only a few pages lengthy, some of the best travel policies I’ve ever seen.
- centralised travel both inside and beyond the country
Many businesses that don’t consolidate their travel programmes end up losing out on possibilities to cut costs and improve internal operations. Many businesses who do not centralise travel do so out of concern about forcing passengers to do things they may not want to do and because they believe that doing so will necessitate hiring a travel manager. These two issues could both be valid worries, but they typically are not. You are not necessarily making tourists lose flexibility by making them book centrally. You can centralise travel while still enabling independent booking by travellers, either through an internet provider you have partnered with or through a travel agency of your choice. You can get a single point of contact for all travel-related concerns both internally and outside by giving someone the duty of managing travel. You generally don’t need a full-time travel manager if your firm spends less than $1 million on air travel. In these circumstances, the finance division, human resources, or even an executive level assistant, can be given responsibility for overseeing travel. Take a look at the benefits of centralising travel below.
With the help of a single agency, you can centralise travel and benefit in a variety of significant ways. You will have one place to go for all of your travel needs and one point of contact for issues that arise while travellers are on the road. This solves the issue of compiling a travel report from many sources. You will greatly benefit from economies of scale by combining travel. You can obtain more for your money from travel suppliers if you can calculate the total journey between various departments or locations. This will enable you to benefit more from airline soft dollar programmes, which will result in more free tickets and upgrades, as well as receive a larger percentage discount from our preferred airline and better negotiated rates from your hotel and rental car agreements. Due to the fact that your travel agency frequently offers discounts on its rates in exchange for a bigger total volume of travel, your fulfilment costs will also drop.
- Combining personal service and online booking
This is a supplement to the prior clause, which calls for consolidating travel through a single travel agency. This is crucial, but you don’t have to insist that visitors utilise an online booking platform or give the agency a call in order to do it. You achieve numerous objectives by giving tourists the choice to do either. Due to the lower service fees associated with online booking, you will lower your fulfilment costs. Giving travellers the choice gives them a sense of control, which boosts morale and increases the likelihood of a high adoption rate. Thirdly, you leave open a best practise of letting senior executives, frequent travellers, and complex itineraries be booked directly with a travel agent who can provide a higher level of service and a better overall travel experience where it is most warranted instead of using your online booking engine for less complicated itineraries.
- Check behind every stone.
While the majority of travel budgets are focused on the cost of flying, there are a number of other areas that can be looked into to uncover chances for savings. There are a few more obvious places to explore, such discounted hotel prices at your favourite hotels or rental vehicle specials from a trusted vendor. Frequently, your travel agency will already have negotiated rates thanks to membership in consortia and agency vehicle agreements. There are other less popular regions as well that need to be looked into. For instance, most providers may provide lower prices and a direct invoicing alternative if ground transportation is a concern. Direct billing agreements with hotels and vehicle rental companies are another excellent option to boost productivity and simplify the work of the accounting department.
- Use contracts for both hard and soft currency as leverage
The majority of the big airlines now reward customer loyalty to their product with both hard and soft dollar discounts. You can obtain a discount off the lowest fares of your preferred carrier in exchange for a promise to market share if your travel programme involves an air expenditure of more than $1 million. You can enrol in soft dollar programmes for free tickets and free upgrades, as well as traveller status upgrades or airport club passes, for your alternative carriers or if your volume is less than the minimum required by the airline. Since some programmes don’t require a lot of volume, you might have to look for them yourself or ask Baker Travel or your current agency to send you in the correct path.
- Pay attention to hotel volume
Sometimes hotel volume is disregarded, although this should not happen. Through your travel agent or directly with the hotel properties of your choice, you can negotiate pricing. If you commit to a minimum number of rooms/nights, specific hotels close to corporate offices will negotiate reduced rates for you. You may probably get savings of 5% to 50% on thousands of hotels throughout the world by using a travel agency.
- Possess at least one rental-car agreement.
Rental automobile agreements can be signed quickly and with little commitment from the company. Pick a partner with airport locations and a solid track record of providing top-notch customer service. You may easily arrange regular renter memberships for all of your staff and save 5–10%. They will become more effective as a result, and morale will rise. You can also sign direct billing arrangements at the same time, which will make your passengers’ and your accounting staff’s tasks much less demanding.
- Recognize group and meeting agreements
When you have groups travelling together or meeting at a common destination from many points of origin, airlines and hotels will reduce your costs and rates. If you book enough travellers on a single airline, you might be able to bargain for free tickets to be given away at contract completion. These meeting contracts can get you flight discounts of 2-10%. Usually, 10 travellers must be travelling to the same destination at the same time. Before generating a contract, make sure to inquire as to which airlines have greater minimums. Similar price breaks are offered by hotels with a minimum of 10 room stays. Depending on the occupancy rate and seasonal variations, these discounts can be anywhere from 10% to a significantly greater discount.
- Make use of reporting to continuously raise metrics
In order to be properly leveraged, well-managed travel programmes need ongoing oversight and financial controls. Demand accurate, personalised reports that are created to provide you with the data you require most. You will be in a better position to fulfil contract requirements, meet cost reduction targets, and identify potential areas for future savings if you receive regular information on traveller behaviour and provider contract performance.
- Take every possible step to improve traveller efficiency and comfort
Last but not least, the convenience and effectiveness of the passengers will be considered by any well-run travel programme. When visitors are at ease, they can concentrate on their top priorities, which will advance your company. Travelers perform better when they are happy. Find out if your travel agent can increase your status as a passenger on a preferred airline. Consider buying bulk airport club passes so they can be utilised wisely throughout lengthy and complicated travels. Travelers can be rewarded in a variety of ways for the challenging and frequently arduous task of travelling. These kind of incentives encourage loyalty and lead to higher levels of productivity and efficiency.
Please feel free to get in touch with me if you’d want to know more about how your business may make the most of its travel programme to increase revenue and boost executive happiness. I’m happy to direct you on the appropriate path. Read More about bride tribe