Reviewing your business travel is a little like a trip to the dentist. It’s something that you can put off for a couple of months, isn’t necessarily a thrilling experience and, if you delay it for too long, you’ll be left with a big black hole…
…in which your business travel budget will get sucked right into.
The reality is that keeping your organisation’s business travel in check with regular reviews can mean the difference between saving significant sums and benefitting from an in-the-know, contented workforce and an unhappy, frustrated staff, booking out of policy and costing your organisation thousands.
Reviewing your business travel provides you with the chance to honestly evaluate whether you’re getting the best from your travel programme, and consequently your travel management company (TMC), and so can be a hugely valuable pursuit. That said, where do you begin?
Check out the following 5 crucial pieces of information you will need to effectively review your business travel.
1. A list of key stakeholders within the business
It’s key to compile this list early on, as the involvement of key stakeholders and their input/ideas will aid with any changes that need to be made as a result of the review meeting; enforcing travel policy, for example. This also helps later on down the line when decisions have been made and changes are needed; these key stakeholders can then be briefed to help implement the amendments internally.
2. Your organisation’s travel objectives
Defining your organisation’s travel management objectives and goals is the best way to identify priorities right from the start of the review meeting. Are you looking to reduce leakage, people booking using various methods, or perhaps your CSR policy means you need to improve your traveller tracking ability to get to grips with where your staff are travelling to? Being clear on your key focus areas early on will pay dividends later on. Crucially, this needs senior management authorisation to assist with tackling objections from people resistant to change.
3. A full, detailed breakdown of travel spend
This might sound obvious but you’d be surprised at how many organisations struggle to pin down what they’re spending on travel. Segment your entire travel spend by each product and department; this will highlight any big spenders and possible ineffective behaviours and provoke internal discussion as to why it happens and what can changes be made to tackle any issues effectively.
4. How are you going to succeed in implementing any changes?
After initial ideas as to what changes are required and how you are going to achieve your organisation’s objectives have been laid down, you should always discuss this with your TMC to ensure that they are aligned with your goals and can deliver actions that will help you to achieve them. They should assist you on drawing up a framework of system settings and practical steps that can be implemented by all departments involved.
5 . Establish how you will measure the effectiveness of any changes
If you’re going to implement changes, then you need to have a clear strategy in place to review how effective they have been. If they haven’t been achieved, what action will be taken? Realistically, they will only be effective if policed by the correct people, with possible consequences for non compliance.
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