The simple act of telling travellers to pick the lowest logical price is not enough. To maximize your travel budget for business, It is essential to consider how you can leverage your travel program to the fullest extent it is worth. Here are some of the aspects to consider when making plans or reviewing your travel plans.
1. Travel policy
A well-written and widely distributed travel policy is at the heart of any effective travel plan. I am always shocked that so many companies have outdated and poorly designed policies on travel or even have one in the first place. It’s not hard to find a well-written policy. It can be found on the internet quite easily. It is only a matter of time before it’s edited to reflect the corporate culture and distributed within the company to ensure that everyone is aware of and is willing to adhere to the rules. This is why it is beneficial to ask everyone to sign an official copy of the policy on travel to ensure that it’s read, comprehended and embraced by all company employees. They may change jobs within the company and be forced to travel. I recommend that everyone within the organization signs an official copy of the policy for travel, no matter if you travel with or without. The travel policy should not be lengthy or complicated. Some of the most effective travel policies I’ve observed were just two pages long.
2. Centralized travel both internally as well as externally
Many businesses do not centralize their travel programs and pay for them through cost reduction possibilities and internal efficiency. Many companies that don’t centralize their travel programs are afraid of having travellers take on a task they might not like to do, with the notion that centralizing travel would require hiring an individual who is a Travel Manager. Both are legitimate concerns, but they don’t need to be the case in all cases. Suppose you require travellers to book through central booking but not make them lose the flexibility they require. It is possible to centralize travel but still allow travellers to book their own with an agency you choose or via an agency you’ve worked with and trusted. If you assign someone to manage travel, you will have one person to contact internal and externally regarding travel-related concerns. If your business spends more than one million dollars on flights, you don’t need an entire-time travel manager. In these instances, it is possible to have travel oversight assigned to the finance or human resources department and an executive assistant. This article will highlight the benefits that can be derived when centralizing travel oversight.
Combining travel services with one agency gains you in numerous crucial ways. You’ll have one contact point for any issues when travelling out and about and one place to turn to for all your travel requirements. This solves the issue of combining a travel report from multiple sources. Combining travel information will benefit in terms of the economies of scale. If you can measure travel between different areas or divisions and locations, you will benefit from a better value from travel companies. This allows you to benefit more from soft dollar programs offered by airlines. In turn, you will receive more tickets for free and upgrades, a more significant percentage discount on our preferred airline, and better rates from hotels and car leases. The cost of fulfilment will be reduced, too, since your travel agent will typically lower their fees to accommodate an increased travel volume.
3. Mix of booking online as well as personal services
When you offer travellers the option to book online, you give them an element of control that will increase their morale and increase the likelihood of a higher acceptance rate. This is an addition to the last element that calls for centralizing travel to one agency for travel. It is essential, however, to do so, it is not necessary to require users to use an online booking platform, and you don’t have to insist that travellers contact an agency on their own. You’re achieving several objectives in offering travellers the choice of either option. It will lower your fulfilment costs since the online booking process is less costly as a service cost. Thirdly, you are leaving open the possibility of making use of your online booking engine to book more detailed itineraries, as well as giving regular travellers, senior executives, and those with more complicated itineraries booked directly through a travel agent who can provide a better standard of service as well as a more significant overall travel experience in areas where it is needed.
4. Check beneath every stone
Although the majority of travel plans revolve around budgets for travel, however, there are other places one could look to discover savings opportunities. There are more obvious places to search for, like negotiated rates for hotels at your favourite hotels and a car rental discount from a trusted supplier. Most travel agencies will already offer discounted rates via consortium affiliations or contract car rentals with agencies. Other lesser-known areas need to be looked into. For instance, if ground transportation is an issue, many suppliers offer reduced rates and direct billing. Direct billing agreements with car rental and hotel companies are also a great option to boost efficiency and make the work for the accountant less difficult.
5. Leverage soft and complex dollar contracts
Major airlines nowadays offer discounts in hard dollars and soft dollar rewards to reward companies’ loyalty to their products. If your travel plans are more significant than $1 million in airfare spending, you could get discounts on the cheapest fares offered by the airline of your choice in exchange for the commitment to the share market. For other carriers, or if the volume of your business is not in line with the minimum requirement of your airline company, then you can join soft dollar programs to receive complimentary tickets and upgrades, in addition to the upgrade of your status as a traveller as well as airport passes. These programs need little to do with volume. However, they’re not widely advertised, so you’ll need to find them or contact Baker Travel or your current agency to guide you in the appropriate direction.
6. Do not neglect hotel volume
Hotel volumes are often ignored; however, they shouldn’t be. The best rates are negotiated by contacting your travel agent and directly from the hotel establishments you like. Individual hotels near corporate locations offer discounted rates to customers with a minimum night/room commitment. When you use a travel agent, you can get discounts of up to 50% on a variety of hotels across the world.
7. You must have at the very least one rental car contract
Car rental contracts are simple to sign up for and require very little commitment from the company. Select a company with airports and a good reputation for providing excellent customer service. You can save between 5 and 10 per cent quickly and get frequent renter memberships for all employees. This will help them become more efficient and increase morale. Additionally, you can sign direct billing agreements simultaneously, making the work of your accounting and travel personnel much less demanding.
8. Know the group and meeting contract
Hotels and airlines will offer discounts on your rates and fares when you travel with groups or meet at one destination that has multiple locations of starting points. These contracts for meetings can offer you discounts on airfare of up to 2-10%, and If you can get enough people with a single airline, you could be able to offer free tickets that will be given out at the time of contract conclusion. The minimum requirement for meeting contracts is typically 10 people travelling to the exact location simultaneously. Certain carriers have greater minimums, so inquire before the contract is signed. Hotels offer discounts similarly and require at least 10 nights in a room. Discounts can vary from 10% to an even higher rate based on occupancy and seasonal variations.
9. Utilize reporting to continuously increase the quality of metrics
Effectively managed travel programs require regular monitoring and financial controls to ensure they are correctly used. Get timely and customized reports that can be created to give you the information that you require the most. Suppose you are regularly informed about the conduct of your travellers and the provider contract performance. In that case, you’ll be better positioned to meet the contract’s obligations, meet goals for cost reduction and identify the areas where future savings might be.
10. Utilize all means to improve comfort for travellers and efficiency
There are numerous ways to honour travellers for the challenging and exhausting task of travelling. Additionally, any well-run travel program should take the comfort and efficiency of their passengers. When people are at ease and relaxed, they can concentrate on their primary goals, which help drive your business ahead. If they are content, they can perform better. Ask your travel agency if they can improve the status of travellers to the preferred airline. Consider buying airport club block passes to be utilized strategically during lengthy and complicated travel plans. These types of rewards create feelings of loyalty and improved effectiveness and productivity.
If you’d like to know what your organization can leverage its travel programs to improve your bottom line as well as you’re satisfied with your executives level, please go through the most recent update in Blog Mags. We’ll be delighted to direct you in the proper direction.
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