Business travel management : all you need to know
The COVID-19 pandemic marked a seismic shift in business travel. Global and local travel came to a grinding halt in 2020, and it has taken a good two years for the travel industry and business, in general, to get back on its feet. The pandemic brought about a comprehensive re-evaluation of how and why businesses travel. Most businesses are now keen to get back on track and get their employees out and about. It is a good time, however, to take stock of your corporate travel needs and how you manage them within your company. Mooncard can help you get the most out of your business travel management policy and programme. Read on to find out more!
Corporate travel policy and travel managers
From the largest multinational to the smallest SME, an overarching travel policy is essential to the smooth operation of modern business. Whether your employees travel the world seeking out new markets or cycle across town to meet with a supplier, at some point you need to take stock of your travel requirements and put into place a travel policy that meets your current needs and future ambitions.
Business travel generally accounts for a major proportion of company expenses and is key to a cost-effective operation. For this reason, efficient management of the travel budget and travel policy is essential.
Most large companies will entrust this role to a specific individual within the company, the travel manager. A key player in the company, their role is to optimise costs while balancing employee convenience, safety and comfort. This multi-faceted role involves negotiating rates, communicating with managers and employees, overseeing travel insurance requirements, staying abreast of the latest technological developments in the travel industry, and analysing and reporting on the application of the travel policy. Not to mention being responsible for the logistical aspects of booking travel, reserving hotel rooms and making restaurant reservations on behalf of employees.
For smaller companies, however, with a much more limited travel budget, employing a full-time travel manager is just not an option. It is more cost-efficient for them to turn to a dedicated travel agency, who they entrust with finding the best deals and making travel and accommodation bookings. These travel agencies, which are often local, provide a service to SMEs that they cannot cover in-house.
Some companies manage everything in-house, allowing employees to book their own travel and accommodation and integrating the management of the travel policy into the work of the HR team, accounting department, or even the admin support staff.
Whatever solution your company chooses, your travel programme needs to be regularly reviewed and improved to adapt to the ever-changing nature of business travel. Just as the travel industry is constantly changing to adapt to the “new normal”, businesses need to adjust their travel policies and procedures to ensure they are cost-effective and that their employees feel comfortable and safe when travelling on behalf of the company.
New needs and services
The COVID pandemic certainly changed the way companies and employees felt about business travel. While some embraced the use of video conferencing and appreciate the extra time in their day they saved from commuting to work, others craved face-to-face discussions and getting back on the road.
Something that no one missed was filling their wallets and purses up with paper receipts, train tickets, scribbled notes on mileage and dog-eared boarding passes. The advent of new mobile technology which makes it possible to scan receipts, log mileage allowances using GPS, and purchase fuel and other essentials using contactless cards has revolutionised business travel and how it is managed.
Simpler, transparent and integrated travel management has now become a reality for even the smallest company.
Not only does this make life easier for frequent travellers but it also lightens the load on the corporate travel manager who no longer has to chase up receipts from employees and try to piece together the evidence required for expense claims.
Complicated manual booking processes and travel management procedures are now a thing of the past and have brought a breath of fresh air to business travel.
Travel managers can now focus on optimising costs, building new relationships with travel partners, and adapting to new travel opportunities – electric cars, bicycles, carbon offsetting, air miles, while employees can focus on ensuring they have packed all their travel essentials and are fully prepared for the job in hand!.
Has your company taken the time to re-assess its business travel policy and procedures in the past couple of years? Now might be the perfect time to explore whether Mooncard can help you improve and streamline your business travel needs. Contact us today to find out how Mooncard corporate cards can make life easier for your travel manager and all your employees and how working with Mooncard might open up new opportunities. Book a free demo to find out more.