Plan for maximization of your corporate travel budget to get the best out of it. Simply telling travelers to choose the lowest cost airfare is not enough. These are the key elements to consider when planning your travel program.
A well-written policy on travel is the foundation for any good program. But I’m always amazed that so many corporations have an outdated or poorly-conceived policy. It is simple to find a comprehensive policy. A policy can be found online easily. It’s edited to reflect corporate culture. Then it is distributed to everyone within the company.
To make sure that everyone in the company understands and agrees to the policy, it is a good idea. I recommend everyone in the company sign a travel policy, no matter if they travel.
They may be required or asked to travel if they are promoted later in the company. An easy to understand travel policy is not necessary. Some of my favorite travel policies were only a couple pages long.
Many companies are reluctant to centralize the travel program. This results in a loss in expense reduction opportunities and internal efficiencies. Many companies do not centralize travel. They fear that travelers may have to do something they do NOT want.
While these two issues may be legitimate, they do NOT have to be. While it is possible to make travelers book centrally, this doesn’t necessarily mean they will lose flexibility. You can centralize your travel without limiting flexibility. Travelers can still book on their own with any travel agency they choose, or online with a provider that has been trusted by you.
The assignment of a travel manager is a way to ensure that everyone has one point contact for all matters related to travel. Your company may not require a full-time manager for travel if it spends less that $1 million on air travel. In these instances, travel oversight could be left to the finance department, human ressources, or an executive level assistant. Here are some advantages of centralizing your travel.
A single agency can centralize travel and offer many benefits. There will be one point of contact for issues while traveling, and one entity for all your travel requirements. This eliminates any need to collect information from several sources and consolidate it into one travel report. By bringing together your travel, you can benefit from economies.
When you are able to compare the total travel in different regions or divisions, you will get more from your travel supplier. This will allow your airline soft dollar program to be more attractive. It can result in more free tickets and upgrades as well as a greater percentage discount from the preferred airline. Additionally, you can negotiate better rates for your hotel room and car rental contracts. To measure the travel-index it is vital to see all the possible destinations along with departure sites.
Your fulfillment costs will drop as your travel agency often discounts their fees for a higher volume of travel.
This is an additional element to the preceding element. It involves centralizing travel services with one agency. While this is important, it does not mean you can require travelers not to use an online booking service or that they call the agency directly. This will help you achieve multiple goals. Online booking will lower fulfillment costs as it is not subject to a service charge. Travelers will feel more in control if they have the option. This can increase morale as well as their chances of being adopted.
Thirdly, it’s a good idea to let senior executives, frequent travelers, and people with more complex travel plans use your online booking tool.
While most travel plans are focused on air travel, there are other areas that you can explore to save money. You should also be looking for discounts from favored suppliers or negotiated hotel rates.
Your travel agency might already have discounts through agency car contracts and consortia affiliations. Some areas are less obvious and should be explored. You can also ask for direct billing if ground transportation is of concern.
Direct billing arrangements are great for increasing efficiency and making accounting easier.
In exchange for their company’s loyalty, many major airlines offer hard dollar discounts and soft-dollar incentives. For best travelinfo check the site having all the possible flight schedules.
In exchange for a market share agreement, if your travel program is more than $1 million in air expenditure, you can receive a discount off the lowest fares on your carrier of choice. Soft dollar programs may be available to your secondary carriers. If your volume falls below the minimum requirements of the airline, it will give you free tickets, free upgrades, and the opportunity to enhance your traveler status or get airport club passes.
These programs have very little volume. Baker Travel and your agency may be able to point you in their direction.
Hotel volume is sometimes overlooked. However, it should not. There are two options for negotiating rates: through your travel agency or directly with your hotel. Individual hotels in corporate areas will often negotiate discounted rates in return for a minimum night commitment. If you work with a travel agency, it is possible to get discounts between 5% and 50% on thousands upon thousands of hotels all over the world.
Contracts for rental cars are simple to enter into and do not require any commitment from the corporate. Pick a partner that is familiar with airport locations and has a track record of excellent customer care.
You can save anywhere from 5-10%. Additionally, you can negotiate frequent renter memberships to all your employees. This will make your employees more efficient and boost morale. You can also agree to direct billing. This can reduce stress for your traveler and accounting staff.
Hotels and airlines will give you a discount if you have groups travelling together or meeting at the same destination from multiple origin points.
These contracts can provide airfare discounts up to 2-0%. And if you have enough people on a single airline, you might be eligible for free tickets. The minimum number required is generally 10 people going to the exact same place at the time. There are some airlines that have higher minimums. Make sure you inquire before signing any contract. A minimum of 10 night stays is required for hotels to receive a discount in their rates.
These discounts may vary in price from 10% to more depending on your occupancy rate or seasonal variances.
In order to properly leverage your travel program, you need to ensure that it is well managed. In order to get the most important information, you should demand timely and customized reports.
Regular reporting on provider performance and travel behavior will enable you to better fulfill your contract obligations, reduce costs and uncover potential savings.
The comfort and productivity of travelers is a key aspect of any well-managed travel program. Your business can thrive when your travelers feel comfortable. When travelers feel happy, they are more productive. Ask your travel agency whether they can upgrade the status of a traveler to a preferred carrier. For long, complicated itineraries that require a lot of planning and coordination, you might want to consider purchasing blocks or airport club passes.
There are many options to reward travelers who travel, even if it is a difficult and exhausting task. These rewards are a great way to reward travelers for their loyalty and improve productivity.
Please contact me if your company would like to better leverage its travel program. This will help you increase your bottom-line and satisfy your executives. I’m glad to help.