Choosing the Best Corporate Travel Solution
Good business demands travel. Since 2016, corporate expenditures on travel have increased by about 6%, and executives and travelers alike estimate that about 28% of corporate sales would be lost in the absence of travel.
However, because travel logistics play a “supporting” role in the corporate world, they do not always receive the attention they should. Many companies have trouble setting clear policies and keeping their booking systems in use and up-to-date.
A good corporate travel solution will enable workers to book travel easily, permit managers to enforce best practices, and help executives to improve their bottom lines.
We have heard from a vast number of business travelers and managers about the challenges they face. Fortunately, these fit into a few key themes, and all of them can be addressed by the right corporate travel solution.
Here are the four most common questions we are asked.
What are the top challenges involved in planning corporate travel?
Far and wide, we hear from companies that their number one corporate travel pain point is not liking their current travel tool. There may be many reasons for this. Some booking tools require a desktop computer, but that can be an inconvenient restriction on highly mobile road warriors. Other corporate travel “solutions” suffer from poor design, slow processing times, or a limited selection of travel options.
We often hear about companies where users have abandoned their corporate travel solution, and instead, resort to working directly with providers. Especially now, major air, hotel, and transportation providers have put in the time and resources to make sure their direct booking interfaces are easy and attractive.
Taking the “easy way out,” however, has bad downstream consequences. Managing multiple travelers can be impossible when everyone is doing their own thing. Without a user-friendly corporate travel solution, accounting, tracking, and reporting become a nightmare for mid-sized and even smaller operations.
Deem’s 95% user adoption rate is proof in the pudding that, as a corporate travel solution, we address the pain points of all corporate stakeholders.
How can companies reduce their businesses travel costs?
Unfortunately, most employees will not adopt a new technology just to make a manager’s life easier. However, executives and employees alike have an interest in saving the company money.
Businesses have a lot of clout in the travel industry. Corporate travelers make up only 12% of airline passengers, for instance, but their fares account for 75% of airline profits. When businesses adopt a corporate travel solution, they identify themselves as bulk buyers and reap the cost-saving benefits.
Consider this. An employee booking travel directly from Airline X is merely a one-off retail consumer purchase. But a corporate travel solution can document that 1,000 workers booked flights through an airline over a given period. This purchasing power can be leveraged to negotiate with airlines, who may offer reduced ticket prices, upgraded seating, or waived baggage fees. If such benefits save, say, $100 in savings per trip, that’s $100,000 in savings across those 1,000 workers, assuming each takes just one trip in that time span (and many will take more).
Of course, vendors will more readily supply such discounts when presented with detailed activity reports. Keep in mind that no two corporate travel solutions are alike. Be sure to investigate what providers want to see and how easily, flexibly, and thoroughly different corporate travel solutions generate such information. The end result could be hundreds of thousands, possibly even millions, of dollars in travel savings that can go straight to the company’s bottom line.
Put simply, better corporate travel solutions allow businesses to scale demand and persuade providers to grant significant discounts.
There is another path to savings, though.
What if travel policies don’t fit well with my company?
Even today, 40% of businesses do not have formal travel policies. It’s not hard to figure out why. Employees tend not to see the value of these rules, and nearly one-third readily admit to not following them!
At some level, it’s natural for people to bend and break rules in the absence of a compelling reason not to. As noted above, employees may not initially show much interest in a newly adopted corporate travel solution. But when the implementation of a corporate travel solution can create savings for them, they are far more likely to engage. Similarly, many people don’t care about following policy rules for the rules’ sake, but they probably will care about following policies if that’s their only way to expense meals and entertainment, for example.
The right corporate travel solution will allow travel managers to build policies into the booking system. Not surprisingly, not all travel tools make this easy. The art of balancing robust policy capabilities with a smooth user experience can be difficult.
As a premier corporate travel solution, Deem perfected this balance. Deem’s policy tools help users through a lengthy series of options and restrictions. When travelers book flights, hotels, and rental cars, we make sure that their selections fit with corporate policy. This allows managers to incorporate best practices and money-saving measures with as little hassle as possible.
It also makes life easier for employees. Business travelers report spending up to 40 hours a month reconciling their expenses and payment data. The right corporate travel solution makes the expense reporting process seamless, saving hours of back-and-forth between employees and travel managers.
Finally, it’s worth noting that often when we hear that travel policies don’t fit in with a company, it’s actually a case of having the wrong tool accompanied by poor communication. For more advice on formulating solid travel policies, read Deem’s guide on the subject.
What factors should be considered when choosing a corporate travel solution?
A good corporate travel solution needs to have the right functionality for a company’s personnel. Far and away, companies tell us that a strong, streamlined mobile app is their most important travel solution feature. From seating selection to expense reporting to customizable messaging, travelers want an app with all the capabilities of a full desktop application.
Flight options matter. No one wants to be locked into only seeing red-eye options because their travel tool doesn’t show the options they are looking for. Well-developed corporate travel solutions, like Deem, pull from all possible sources, providing the maximum number of options, while allowing travel managers to shape the options shown to users.
The list goes on and on. Corporate travel solutions can improve security through the use of new payment options that help reduce credit card fraud. They can include “help-me”-style wizards that guide travelers through bookings and trip management. They should let travelers see and weigh a range of fare options so that they can balance cost against convenience. And, of course, they should be backed by a company that prioritizes customer service and helping travel managers find a solution that meets the needs of every concerned party from the traveler to the CFO.
Deem checks off all these boxes and many more. To see how Deem can serve as the best corporate travel solution for your company, learn more at deem.com/travel.