Businesses that send team members on the road have 2 options — unmanaged or managed travel.
Unmanaged travel is when your team members (or other designated individuals) book travel, handle their own arrangements while away from the office and file expenses upon their return. This is a perfectly acceptable way to do things when your business infrequently requires its employees to travel.
Managed travel is when your company hires a corporate travel agency to provide some level of support and service. Agencies can provide a range of tools and resources that help businesses save money and that help travelers enjoy better experiences.
But how do you know when it’s time to move from unmanaged to managed travel? While any number of scenarios might inspire a company to look for outside help, the following 5 scenarios are the most common drivers for companies to move from individual booking to hiring a corporate travel agency.
1. When Your Travel Budget is Growing Out of Control
Travel is expensive. If you need employees to travel for business, you should expect a significant return on that investment.
Unfortunately, unmanaged travel puts you at a disadvantage. When your employees make their own travel arrangements, they are paying market rates for airlines, hotels, cars and other services. Needless to say, that’s no way to reduce expenses.
Many corporate travel agencies have a range of travel tool options that are designed to help minimize expenses. They can even pre-negotiate rates with specific vendors, creating savings that aren’t available when you shop on the open market.
There’s cost associated with managed travel. But, that said, the best corporate travel agencies pay for themselves by dramatically reducing expenses.
2. When Disruptions Constantly Affect Your Travelers
When you send a team member on a business trip and he or she is affected by severe weather or cancelled flights, the cost of that business trip is wasted money. Travel disruptions can prevent your employees from reaching important meetings, and they can also prevent them from returning to the office and getting back to work.
A good corporate travel agency will provide real-time support to your team members. When a flight gets cancelled, rather than getting in line with everyone else, your team members can get in touch with the agency and immediately make alternative arrangements.
When you move from self-booking to a corporate travel agency, your team members experience fewer disruptions and less money goes wasted on business travel.
3. When Booking and Expense Processes Become Unwieldy
The more your company travels, the more time is spent on the travel process. Someone has to book trips, handle necessary arrangements during trips, file expenses after trips, approve expenses after they are filed and more. In time, the travel process itself becomes unwieldy and overwhelming.
When you switch to working with a business travel agency to manage your travel you enjoy access to tracking app options and other technology that streamlines the entire process. Your team members can quickly book flights, get support when needed during a trip, and even file expenses in real-time via a mobile device. Approvals are streamlined, too, which makes the process less overwhelming for managers of traveling team members.
4. When Travel Becomes a Drag on Productivity
When your company goes with unmanaged travel, the travel process itself becomes an unnecessary challenge — and it also costs you money via lost productivity.
Every moment a team member spends booking travel and filing expenses is a moment of productivity lost. The same holds true for managers — the more time they spend approving travel and expenses, the less time they will have for bottom-line productivity.
Shifting to a corporate travel agency should bring a level of automation to the travel process. Your team members and their managers enjoy a more streamlined travel experience, which frees them up to be more productive both while on the road and when back in the office.
5. When You’re Worried About Risk
Duty of care and risk management have become important terms to any company whose team members travel. Many businesses don’t have the in-house resources or expertise to properly address duty of care and risk management — but corporate travel agencies often do.
If you’re concerned about duty of care and risk management, look for an agency that can provide expert guidance and help you implement policies that protect both your business and its employees. The cost of a corporate travel agency is nothing compared to the cost of liability should you fail to live up to your duty of care obligation
JTB Business Travel: Your Complete Solution
At JTB Business Travel, we provide a managed travel solution that helps your business save money, that helps your team be more productive, and that puts in place policies and procedures that protect you from liability. Behind everything we do is a common sense approach to business travel.
Get in touch to learn more about the transition from self-booking to a corporate travel agency un-managed to managed business travel.