A lot of work has been done; you’ve partnered with a TMC, worked with them to define a travel policy, negotiated preferred rates with suppliers and provided all of the tools and services that your travellers will ever need to get their business travel booked quickly and efficiently. Now,  it’s time to start cutting that spend.

One of the best ways to see consistent, long term savings is by educating your travellers in travel booking best practice and your travel management company (TMC) is the ideal partner to help you with this; whether that’s by creating bespoke communications and educational material, conducting training sessions and road shows or even working with your internal communications team to support them with the creation of blogs, marketing campaigns and bespoke educational videos.

We’re no stranger to this process at Click, so we’ve pulled together some best practice advice on how to cut your travel spend by educating your business travellers:

Boosting online adoption

Everyone knows that making a high percentage of online bookings brings with it the additional benefit of seeing a reduction in offline booking fees, but making this a reality is a challenge as your business travellers simply may not realise the cost implications of booking offline.

By being transparent regarding the cost to your organisation and by educating your business travellers of the benefits of booking online, (in terms of simplicity and time savings, as well as cost), this will ensure that your business travellers are more inclined to want to book online.

Booking further in advance

The cost savings that can be achieved by increasing lead times are best illustrated with an example. Let’s take air fares; these are typically up to 24% cheaper when booked 13 to 20 days in advance, although this is not something that travellers always consider. Therefore, educating business travellers that rates and fares are usually lower the further in advance they book will deliver significant saving results.

Your TMC will have vast experience of assisting their customers with strategies to improve lead times and can work in partnership with you to identify suitable ways to ensure booking within a set lead time is discouraged and costs savings are achieved.

Booking fixed outbound UK rail tickets

It’s widely known that the most expensive train ticket you can purchase is a fully flexible, Anytime return ticket; in fact at Click we know that on average these type of tickets are typically 38% more expensive than a fixed ticket. However many business travellers still do decide to book this type of ticket, mainly due to concerns over the restrictions on fixed tickets and also requiring a degree of flexibility to be able to catch a different train if their meeting finishes early or late.

The high cost of Anytime return tickets is highlighted further where we have analysed a route from Manchester to London Euston. We know that on this route an Anytime return is currently priced £338. On this route, by simply fixing the outbound journey to an advanced single, and then allowing flexibility on the return with an Anytime Single, the total return cost reduces to £281 providing an immediate saving of £57.00 – all by changing the outbound ticket type.

Avoid travelling at Peak Times

When trying to understanding why your business travellers book a high proportion of peak time journeys , it may transpire that training courses or meetings often start at 9am, meaning all travel would be classed as peak. Organisations can achieve substantial savings by simply moving the times of their training courses or meetings by an hour, to enable off peak travel to be utilised.

Combating leakage

Most often, we find that the reasons behind any leakage to a travel programme will come down to choice, cost and convenience. By partnering with the right TMC and educating your business travellers of the adverse affects of their actions, you will achieve considerable process efficiencies with employees being able to focus on their key tasks as well as removing the hidden time/opportunity costs associated with searching multiple travel booking sites.

In addition, business travellers also may not appreciate the affect that booking outside of the TMC has on the ability to track travellers in times of crisis, as well as the ability to achieve better rates on corporate hotel rates or airline route deals by consolidating spend. Therefore education is key to not only achieving significant savings but also enables you as an organisation to have a 360 degree view of both your employees and your travel spend with guaranteed accuracy.

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About the Author:

Gemma is Click's Head of Bids and has been with Click since the very beginning. There’s no part of the procurement process that she’s not familiar with and as a result, Gemma is able to offer in-depth, practical advice about how to find the best travel management supplier for your organisation.