Making corporate travel savings might sound like a challenge – especially if you have lots of employees flying to different locations at different times. But there are ways to keep your costs down without compromising on traveller safety or services.
With a smart process in place, you can save money on every trip – and make both your travellers and your stakeholders happy. Check out 10 of the most effective ways to reduce your overall corporate travel spend.
TIGHTEN UP YOUR CORPORATE TRAVEL POLICY
From booking flights to meal allowances and handling expenses, there’s a lot to consider when setting out a corporate travel policy. That means there’s plenty that can slip through the net. Take a close look at your existing corporate travel policy and think about whether it’s robust enough to cover every area of travel spend within your company.
Focus first on getting the fundamentals in order – a proper approvals process, along with guidelines on bookings and reservations, on-site spending and expenses. Setting out clear procedures will help your business travellers make decisions that stay within your policy and don’t incur additional costs that hurt your bottom line.
HAVE A PRE-TRIP APPROVAL PROCESS
One of the simplest ways to reduce your corporate travel spend is by having an approval system in place for every booking. By making it clear who needs to give approval for travel, you won’t have the problem of trips having to be cancelled after they’ve been booked, triggering wasted expenditure.
If you partner with a travel management company, make use of their online booking tool. This should give you better oversight when it comes to setting up travel arrangements.
MAKE SAVINGS ON AIRLINE FLIGHTS
Airline tickets can be expensive, so be smart about which ones you book. You could save just by being flexible on the dates of travel and airline you use, and by booking Economy flights only. However, once you book it’s usually cheaper to have a fixed travel plan. Only buy flexible tickets that give you an option of return dates if they’re absolutely necessary for your trip.
Getting alerts for airfare promotions and discounted rates can also massively reduce your corporate travel costs
CUT THE COST OF HOTELS
Room rates can vary enormously, even within the same hotel, so being smart can deliver big savings. You may decide you want to let your business travellers choose where they want to stay. That’s fine – just make sure you set a budget threshold or star rating. You might also want to specify that standard rooms should be the required room type, and clearly outline whether you’ll be covering minibar charges, Wi-Fi costs and so on. Other options such as corporate apartments can prove a cost saving option, especially for longer stays of 14 nights+.
SET A REALISTIC FOOD AND TRANSPORT ALLOWANCE
You might find that giving employees control over their food and transport spending can actually reduce overspending. Meal expenses can be set as an overall allowance per day, giving the employee the choice of how much to spend individually on breakfast, lunch and dinner. There’ll always be exceptions – so keep that five-star restaurant in reserve for your highest-profile client meetings. When it comes to transport, you should clearly advise employees to choose the most cost-effective method, factoring in journey times. This could include using their own vehicles to get from A to B and then reimbursing them.
This is the golden rule when it comes to saving money in any sense. In the world of corporate travel, it’s always wise to book flights and hotels in advance as they can dramatically increase in price nearer the time.
Also, be smart about who’s covering your client meetings – does it make sense to send someone hundreds of miles to a meeting if there’s already an employee in the location who can cover it?
UNDERSTAND TRAVEL AUXILIARY CHARGES
Additional charges such as Wi-Fi and parking easily add up to give you a nasty surprise at the end of a trip – especially when you thought everything had been accounted for. Some business service providers can bundle these costs into one combined package, helping you factor them into your budget forecasts and keeping you in control of your spend.
HELP YOUR EMPLOYEES BE MORE PRODUCTIVE ON THE ROAD
If your business travellers are spending less time organizing their trip, they’re spending more time working – which is good for your company. Making their journey run as smoothly as possible at every stage will help them stay productive during their trip. There are a number of apps that can help employees plan their trip and get local area information
REWARD YOUR EMPLOYEES – AND YOUR BUSINESS
Every time your travellers pick a more cost effective option, they’re saving the company money. Over the course of a year, that can really add up. So how about giving them an incentive to deliver further savings? It could be a voucher for their favourite store, a share of the savings, or time off – just some way of thanking employees for reducing your travel costs and encouraging them to keep doing it.
There are also savings to be had by ensuring your business makes the most of corporate reward schemes. These cost nothing to join and give your company points every time you make a booking. Once your points have built up, they can be redeemed against the cost of airline tickets, upgrades and often hotels and car rental.
These are just some of the ways you can make savings on your corporate travel costs.
Source= Carlson Wagonlit Travel