Business travel is a funny thing in the sense that no one really pays much attention to it until it starts giving you jip – a bit like a dysfunctional toaster or your dodgy knee.
In other words, business travel usually just ticks along nicely, being booked and rebooked, until you receive an unexpected amount of expense receipts that sink your budget or you have no idea where your team are actually staying when they’re away for business.
If you’re the person that these issues are directed at, complete with expectant looks from your team as they wait for you to fix it, then business travel can be a real source of frustration. That’s why we’ve pulled together this short list of the most common business travel problems faced by most organisations, as well as the best fixes for them:
– “I’ve found a better deal…”
If you’ve ever tried to get all of your team booking using the same sites and suppliers then you’ll know it’s on par with trying to get a litter of excitable puppies to sit in a straight line – only much less cute. There are always a handful of team members who scamper off to look elsewhere for elusive ‘great deals’ – they think they’re doing the right thing by putting in a bit of extra effort to stay well within budget but they’re actually just making it harder to track how that budget is being spent. Not to mention the wasted time they’ve spent hopping from booking site to booking site and the hidden add-on fees that actually push that great rate or fare into the red…
So, with that in mind, it’s worth looking out for a booking site that aggregates content from across the internet, collecting it in one place and presenting it to users in a clear and concise way. Getting your team on board with something like this is a win-win; the right booking site will give your team greater choice, something that will keep all of their bookings in one, easy to check and track place.
– “I didn’t know I was supposed to do it that way…”
Whether you have a very officially worded travel policy or just a rough set of guidelines that suggest how business travel should be booked (if you don’t then it really is advisable that you get one – read this first though), you’re probably aware that at least one of your team ignores ‘the rules’; they repeatedly book a bit over budget or reach for an expensive, first class anytime train ticket as a matter of default, despite knowing that doing so is not really ‘on’.
Most standard booking sites won’t help you when it comes to enforcing your travel policy, however there are a few that will allow you to integrate your policy so that it displays any search results in a way that shows your team which options are in and out of bounds. Prioritise finding a booking site that enables dynamic policy options; a dynamic business travel policy’s controls will adapt depending on the options available at the time of booking. For example, instead of stating that a rail ticket must be in standard class, a dynamic travel policy would say that the ticket must be within X% of the cheapest option available. This approach affords your team with a certain amount of choice, but concurrently controls costs.
– “How often do we travel? Where do we travel to? How much is it costing?”
Analysing the data that sit behind your team’s business travel comings and goings isn’t the sexiest part of business travel (…that’s the free cookie you sometimes get when you check into a hotel, right?) but it is one of the most significant steps you can take in terms of making savings on your travel spend.
Only by getting hands on with data that details what you’re spending, what you’re spending it on, and who is spending it will you be able to gain real control of your business travel but a lot of traditional booking sites lack the ability to keep track of how your business is travelling. This leaves you with two options – someone can collate expenses records and email confirmations into spreadsheets that keep track of spend or you can search for a booking site that does this for you, allowing you to download regular reports.
To start using a booking site that’s easy to use, full of all the content that you’d find anywhere else and can provide you with clear, concise reporting on your travel spend then sign up toClick Traveltoday