To make the most out of your corporate budget for travel, it’s essential to think about how you can leverage your travel program to the fullest extent it is worth. Instructing your guests to choose the most reasonable airfare simply not enough. These are the factors to be taken into consideration when making plans or reviewing your travel plans.
1. Travel policy
A well-written and widely distributed traveling policy forms the pillar of any successful travel program and I am always shocked by the fact that so many companies have an outdated and ineffective traveling policy, or even have one even. It’s not hard to locate a properly written policy. It can be found on the internet quite easily. It is only a matter of time before it’s modified to reflect corporate values, and distributed within the company so that everyone knows and accepts the rules. This is why it is recommended to ask everyone to sign the travel policy in order to ensure that it’s read, accepted and understood by everyone in the company. I recommend that everyone within the organization signs an acknowledgement of the policy, regardless of whether they travel or not. It is possible that they will change jobs within the company and later be forced to travel. A travel policy does not have to be complicated or long. Some of the most effective travel policies I’ve ever encountered were just two pages long.
2. Centralized travel within and outwards
Many businesses do not centralize their travel plans and pay an expense in terms of cost savings and internal efficiency. Many businesses that do not centralize their travel program are scared of having travelers take on a task that they might not wish to do, with the notion that centralizing travel would require the hiring of an experienced Travel Manager. Both are legitimate concerns, but they don’t have to be the norm in all instances. When you force travelers to book through central booking but not restricting their the flexibility they require. You can streamline travel but still allow travelers to book their own with the travel company of their choice or through a service which you’ve partnered with and trust. When you assign someone to take on the task of overseeing travel, you’ll have an individual person to contact at the internal level and with external sources for questions related to travel. If your company has a budget of more than one million dollars on flights, then you don’t require a full-time travel manager. In these instances the responsibility for managing travel can be assigned to finance or human resources department, as well as an executive assistant. This article will highlight the benefits that can be derived through centralizing the oversight of travel.
If you consolidate travel through an agency that is a single one gains you numerous crucial ways. There will be a single source of assistance while traveling and will have one source for all of your travel requirements. This solves the issue of combining a travel report from multiple sources. In combining travel information it will benefit in terms of economics of scale. If you can quantify the total amount of travel across different regions or divisions it will allow you to gain more value from travel companies. This allows you to get more value from soft dollar programs offered by airlines and, in turn, you will receive more tickets for free and upgrades and a greater percentage discount for our preferred airline and receive better rates from hotels and car leases. Your fulfillment costs will reduce too, as your travel agent will typically reduce their costs for more overall travel.
3. Mix of personal and online booking service
This is an additional element to the earlier element which is to centralize travel through one travel agency. It is essential but, to achieve this it is not necessary to require users to use an online booking system or insist that travelers contact to the company directly. If you offer travelers the option to do either you will be achieving a variety of objectives. It will lower the cost of fulfillment, since the online booking process is cheaper in terms of service charge. When you offer travelers the option to book online, you give them the feeling of control they need which will boost morale and increasing the likelihood of a higher rate of acceptance. In addition, you can leave the possibility of making use of your booking engine online for simpler itineraries, as well as permitting frequent travelers, senior executives and lengthy itinerary to be booked directly through a travel agent who can provide a superior standard of service as well as a more enjoyable overall experience when it is needed.
4. Take a look beneath every stone
The majority of travel plans revolve around air travel costs but there are a variety of other places one could look to discover savings opportunities. There are some more obvious places to search for, like negotiated rate on hotels at favourite hotels and car rental discount through a preferred supplier. The majority of travel agencies already offer discounts through alliances with consortia and contract car rentals with agencies. There are a few more obscure areas that must be explored. For instance in the event that ground transportation is an issue the majority of providers will offer reduced rates and direct billing options. Direct billing agreements with car rental companies are also a great option to boost efficiency and make the work that the department of accounting less difficult.
5. Leverage soft and hard dollar contracts
Major airlines nowadays offer discounts on hard dollar and soft dollar incentives as a way to reward customers for loyalty to the company’s products. If your travel plans are greater than $1 million in airfare spending, you could get discounts on the cheapest fares offered by the airline of your choice in exchange for the commitment to share market. For other carriers, or if the volume of your business is lower than the minimum amount required by airlines, you are able to enroll in soft dollar programs that offer complimentary tickets and upgrades, in addition to upgrade of your status as a traveler and airport membership passes. These programs do not require much to do with quantity, however they are not widely known about, so you’ll need to find them, or contact Baker Travel or your current agency to guide you to the appropriate direction.
6. Do not neglect hotel volume
The volume of hotel rooms is often overlooked but it is not the case. The best rates are negotiated via your travel agent and directly through the hotel establishments you prefer. Hotels in the vicinity of corporate offices offer discounted rates to customers in exchange for a minimal night/room commitment. If you work with a travel agency it is possible to get discounts of up to 50% off thousands of hotels across the world.
7. You must have at minimum one car rental contract
Car rental contracts are simple to sign and require very little in terms of commitment from the business. Pick a partner with airport locations and is known for outstanding customer service. You can save between 5 and 10 percent very quickly and also get frequent renter memberships for all of your employees. This will help them become more productive and boost morale. It is also possible to sign up direct billing agreements simultaneously which will make the job of your accounting and travel personnel much less stress-inducing.
8. Know the contract between a meeting and group
Hotels and airlines will offer discounts on the cost of your flights and rates if there are groups of people traveling together or attending the same location from different places of the origin. Meeting contracts may give you discounts on airfare of up to 2-10% and If you are able to get enough people on one airline, you might be able offer free tickets to be granted upon the time of contract conclusion. The minimum requirement for meeting contracts is typically 10 passengers traveling to the same destination in the exact same moment. Certain airline companies have more stringent minimum requirements, so be sure to inquire prior to signing a contract. Hotels offer discounts similarly, with at least 10 nights in a room. The discounts be as low as 10% or an even higher rate based on occupancy rates and seasonal fluctuations.
9. Utilize reporting to continuously increase the quality of metrics
Effectively managed travel programs require continuous monitoring and financial control to ensure that they are properly utilized. Make sure you receive timely and custom reports that are created to provide you with the data you require the most. If you are regularly informed about the behavior of travelers and contract performance, you’ll be better positioned to comply with contract obligations, reach the goals of cost reduction and discover the areas where future savings might be.
10. Explore all options to increase comfort and efficiency
Additionally, any well-managed travel program should take into the comfort and efficiency of their guests. If travelers are relaxed and relaxed, they are able to concentrate on their primary goals that will propel your business ahead. If they are content and content, they will perform better. Ask your travel agent if they can improve the status of travelers with an airline of your choice. Consider purchasing airport club passes to ensure they can be utilized strategically in long and intricate travel plans. There are various ways to give travelers a reward for the hard and often exhausting task of traveling. These types of rewards create feelings of loyalty as well as increased efficiency and productivity.
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