You’ve put it off for as long as possible, but the finance team are on your tail. You just can’t avoid it any more.
While sorting through that spreadsheet of travel data might not be the highlight of your week, it is crucial to discover how well travel is working within your organisation and if there are any areas of inefficiency. So let us take your hand and get to grips with your travel data. We promise it won’t hurt…
Let’s start with the basics. If you don’t know exactly how much is being spent by your employees on travel each year, you need to get hold of this figure. Whether your spend is channelled neatly through one supplier or an unruly inbox of booking confirmations and expense claim requests, you need to tot it all up and get an idea of the value of your travel requirements each year. Once you have this, you can look at your options to see if you can reduce that spend.
Travel split & locations
Now we can start to break it down; how your organisation is travelling, when and where to. The split of how your spend is broken down across travel types can help inform your decision on travel supplier.
In terms of location, if you have particular subsidiaries or customers you travel to often, you’ll know certain routes and locations are booked by your organisation regularly. It’s worth looking at the individual bookings made by your employees though to discover any other regular bookings you might not be aware of. It’s here you could be missing out on corporate rates or savings with loyalty schemes.
Now it’s time to look at your travel policy and how it’s performing. Your policy compliance is a good indication of both how well your policy is received and how lenient it is.
If your policy compliance is low, you need to look at how you can help your bookers be more compliant; is there a better supplier they could use to find prices that are more in line with your policy? Or is the policy in fact too stringent, meaning travellers must either face less than appealing business travel journeys or make the decision to book out of policy?
If your policy compliance is too high, it may suggest your policy is too lax. If this is the case, there may be cost-saving opportunities that are being missed by your organisation. With this in mind, it’s worth noting you are not necessarily aiming for 100% policy compliance.
We all know you can’t always avoid booking last minute and being hit with hiked up fares, but how good are your bookers about getting that cheaper, advance price when they can? A deep dive into your average lead times on each travel type can reveal where your bookers are needlessly costing you more money by booking last minute. If you can curb your booker behaviour, this can be a great place to start in making significant savings.
Now we’re really getting to the nitty-gritty. It’s time to look at the details of your bookings and what trends you can spot in your booker behaviour, as this can really guide cost savings going forward. Are your bookers partial to an anytime return train ticket for example? Or have they been known to favour a 5-star hotel?
While guidance on ticket type and class of travel may be laid out in your travel policy, the proof is in the pudding when you look at the individual bookings themselves and wider booker behaviour. This is where you’ll see whether you bookers need educating on cost-saving areas, or whether they’re pretty savvy as they are.