At a time when business travel is taking a back seat, why is it the perfect time to consider a new travel management software solution?
While the post-coronavirus world may not look quite the same, the business (and human) need to interact in ways not possible through a Zoom meeting will ultimately persevere and our companies’ road warriors will once again hit the skies.
While waiting for the all clear, there are tangible steps your organization can take to ensure its travel program and travelers are ready to go when the time comes. One of the first steps is to implement an effective travel management solution.
Why focus on travel now? Think maple syrup
The current crisis has led many companies to put new initiatives on hold. Consider using this time to focus on the things that often take a back seat during busy times—like improving your corporate travel practices.
In her new book, The Experimental Leader, executive coach Melanie Parish calls this practice “finding the maple syrup in your business.” The analogy refers to the common farming practice of finding productive (and even profitable) activities to do when the harvest season winds down.
Improving operational efficiencies, like those surrounding corporate travel, can be your maple syrup during this off season.
Business travel pays for its own ticket
In an April 2020 survey of 1,000 business travelers by the research firm Magid, 59% of respondents expect to begin planning business travel within the next six months. Another survey of corporate members by the Global Business Travel Association found that 62% expect domestic travel to resume in the next two to three months.
When it does rebound, organizations will be making a strong push to get back in front of their customers and prospective clients. Why? Because business travel delivers a strong return on investment.
Research shows that every dollar spent on business travel results in $12.50 in incremental revenue, and prospective clients are 50% more likely to sign a contract after an in-person meeting. With many companies losing revenue during this time, it will be imperative to be out in front when it’s safer to travel.
Put the reservations aside and take flight
A travel management solution is an ideal way to efficiently administer a cost-effective and compliant corporate travel program.
For employees, a travel management solution eliminates paperwork and simplifies business travel by allowing employees to easily shop for travel from their mobile devices, seek approvals, book travel according to corporate policies and limits, and then effortlessly transfer the trip data into their expense reports.
For employers, a travel management solution provides full visibility into travel activities, full control of booking parameters, and actionable insight into corporate travel spending, supporting guided, data-based corporate travel decisions.
What to look for when considering a travel management solution
Do you have travel management software, or a travel management agency currently? If so, this can be a great time to run a cost/benefit analysis to determine if you’re paying for functionality you aren’t using and do not need, or if your solution is lacking critical functionality your organization can benefit from, or if it’s too complex and unwieldy to get used.
You’re looking for the sweet spot—a solution that meets your current and future needs, is engaging and easy to use, and fits your budget. Here are 11 capabilities we recommend you look for in your next travel management solution.
- Access to real-time itinerary data—to determine where geographically every traveler is in case of emergencies
- Complete visibility into employee travel histories, including details like flight numbers and hotel locations
- Ability to quickly turn trip receipts into expense reports and route for approval
- Rapid, accurate employee reimbursement
- Mobile travel booking and approval capabilities for offsite productivity
- Effective enforcement of travel policies, with variations for individual travelers
- Integration with expense, project tracking, and ERP applications
- Ability to generate comprehensive travel-related reports from a single hub
- Detailed insight and analysis into travel-related expenses to help refine corporate policies
- Cost-effective solution that can begin generating a return on investment right away
A first-class option
In the current climate, it’s more important than ever for companies to strategically plan, approve, book, and account for every cost, including corporate travel costs. Looking forward, as corporate travel returns to more normal levels, companies need to be ready with solutions that facilitate compliant and cost-effective travel and expense planning.
PairSoft is a new travel management solution for midmarket and enterprise organization that combines extensive functionality and ease of use, at a competitive price point. We’ll be taking you on a guided tour of the solution’s functionality in upcoming posts, highlighting the ways in which we can help your organization pilot a successful corporate travel policy.