An increase in business travel is often a sign that a company is doing well and growing in the local or global marketplace. However, without a clear travel and expense management system, you’ll soon find that business travel is more of a burden to your bottom line than an advantage for future growth. In order to get the most out of business travel and maximize cost savings, you need to adopt and stick to a travel policy. Your policy will be shaped by your culture and budget, but here are five things your company needs to consider to keep business travel on track.
1. Define What You Reimburse
Clearly defining expense categories that you will and will not reimburse is key to managing travel budgets. Start by listing T&E items the company covers, and be sure to include details on booking guidelines and restrictions. Make sure to identify:
- Company-preferred vendors such as hotels, rental car companies, and airlines.
- Timelines for advance booking requirements. If you want employees to book two weeks or a month in advance, designate it in the travel policy.
- Payment processes. Let employees know if there’s an allowable per diem for spending, as well as when they should use their own card versus a company card
- Non-refundable items. Not everything will be eligible for reimbursement, so let employees know if items like amenity upgrades, parking tickets, or staff tips are their responsibility.
2. Enhance Traveler Safety
Duty of care depends on defining travel safety procedures. Working with a travel management agency will give employees 24/7 access to support in the event of emergencies and other unexpected circumstances. Conduct training workshops on how travelers can stay safe, identifying travel risks, and response protocols.
3. Provide Mobile Solutions
Whether they’re one state over or across the globe, mobile solutions give traveling employees easy access to vital information. Automatic mobile notifications keep employees aware of itinerary changes, weather emergencies, boarding information, and more. Mobile platforms also allow travelers to update expense reports in real time, helping to streamline the process of budget management and reimbursement.
4. Offer Traveler Autonomy
Employees will be more likely to honor your travel policy if it allows space for them to make their own choices. Using a customized online booking tools lets travelers increase their comfort in terms of hotel, airfare, and rental vehicle booking, all while staying within the bounds of your company’s travel policy.
5. Partner with a Travel Management Company
One of the best ways to maximize savings in business travel and expense management is by working with an experienced travel management company. Teplis Travel saves you time and money with experienced agents, advanced travel technology, and the lowest fares in the market. Contact a Teplis Travel representative or call 1-800-669-6547 to learn more.