Implementing a pre-trip approvals process can bring many benefits to your organisation but it’s important that you get it right, so following the advice of your expert TMC is essential.
Generally speaking, nowadays approvals should be used to control behaviour, as opposed to costs. An effective Dynamic Policy which restricts bookers to booking only the cheapest options with a percentage tolerance should be the only tool you need to limit your travel costs.
Meanwhile, approvals can be used to control undesired behaviours such as the booking of out of policy options, as bookers are encouraged to only select items which require approval when really necessary.
So what do you need to look for in an approvals process?
Firstly, any approvals process worth its salt will be sophisticated, completely integrated and cover all travel types. After all, what’s the use in having controls in place to ensure any out of policy bookings don’t slip through the net, if your approvals process doesn’t cover certain travel types or suppliers, such as low cost airlines?
Secondly, the success of an approvals process comes down to how it is used. Implementing approvals for all travel or travel over a certain amount will be a headache for your approvers. Implementing approvals only for out of policy bookings will ensure that approvals are only asked for where absolutely necessary and aren’t overused, causing an administrative burden on approvers.
Finally, in order for approvals to be successful, it must be a straightforward process for all involved as the aim is to reduce complexity to the booking process. A simple message in the basket to notify the booker that approval is needed, pre-assigned approvers attached to travellers to save time, followed by a message instantly delivered to the approver’s inbox on their computer/mobile device with the option to view the booking and then approve/decline with a single click makes the process run smoothly.
Automatic booking of the items in the basket with confirmation then being sent to the booker also saves them having to log in and go through the checkout process again.
So, there you have it. Implementing an approvals process can be very worthwhile if it’s there for the right reasons, covers all travel types and is an easy-to-follow process for both booker and approver.
If you’re in the market to curb your booker behaviour, pre-trip approvals may well be for you.