In order to make the most of your corporate travel budget, it is critical to plan for profiting your program for all it is worth. Telling travelers to select the lowest logical plane tickets is just not enough. Here are sun and rain that needs to be considered when planning or evaluating your travel program.
- Travel policy
A well written and disseminated travel policy is the foundation of any good travel program, and I am consistently amazed that so many firms have this outdated and badly conceived travel policy, if they have one at all. It is not difficult to get a well written policy. One can be found online quite easily. All that remains is that it is edited to reflect corporate culture, and disseminated within the company so that everyone understands and believes to follow it. ที่เที่ยวสิงคโปร์ มาแล้วต้องไปเยือนให้ได้ For this reason, it is a good idea to have everyone sign a copy of the travel policy to ensure that it is read, understood and owned by all company staff. I would recommend that everyone in the company signs a copy of the travel policy, whether or not they travel or not. They may change positions in the company later and be asked to travel. A travel policy need not be long or complex. Some of the best travel policies I have ever seen were only a few pages long.
- Centralized travel internally and outside the body
Many companies do not centralize their travel program, and they pay an amount in terms of a loss of expense reduction opportunities and internal efficiencies. Many companies that do not centralize travel have a anxiety about requiring travelers to do something they may not need to do, along with the idea that centralizing travel will require hiring a Travel Manager. Both of these may be legitimate concerns but they do not need to be in most cases. By requiring travelers to book centrally, you are not necessarily causing them to lose flexibility. You can centralize travel while still allowing travelers to book on their own, either with a travel agency of your choice, or online via a provider that you have joined with and have faith in. By working out someone with the responsibility of supervising travel, you are getting a single point of contact both internally and outside the body for travel issues. If your company uses less than $1 million in air travel, you probably have no need for a full time travel manager. In these instances, travel oversight can be fond of the finance department, recruiting, or even an executive level admin. Here is a look at the advantages to be gained by centralizing travel.
When you centralize travel with a single agency, you receive in a number of important ways. You will have a single point of contact for problems while travelers are on the road, and you will have one thing to go to for the travel needs. This eliminates the problem of consolidating a travel report from among several sources. By bringing travel together, you will gain significantly from economies of scale. If you can measure total travel among various divisions or locations, you can get more for your money from travel suppliers. This will assist you to gain more from airline soft dollar programs, which means more free tickets and improvements, get a higher percentage discount from our preferred airline, and get better negotiated rates from your hotel and car contracts. Your fulfillment costs will decrease as well, as your travel agency will often discount their fees for a higher overall volume of travel.
- Mix of online booking and personal service
This is an addendum to the previous element, which calls for centralizing travel with one travel agency. This is important, but in doing so, you need not require travelers to use an online booking system, and you need not require travelers to call the agency directly. By offering travelers the option of accomplishing either, you are accomplishing several goals. You will lessen your fulfillment costs, as online booking is cheaper in terms of a site fee. Giving travelers the option, you are providing them with an awareness of control, thereby increasing spirits and standing a better chance of a high adopting rate. Finally, you leave open a best practice of using your online booking engine for less complex itineraries, and allowing senior professionals, frequent travelers, and complex itineraries to be reserved directly with a travel agent that can provide a more impressive range of service and a better overall travel experience where it is most warranted.
- Look under every stone
While the bulk of most travel programs revolve around the air budget, there are several other areas one can investigate to find savings opportunities. A large couple of more obvious areas to look, such as negotiated hotel rates at your favorite hotels, or car rental discounts with a favored supplier. Often your travel agency will already have discounted rates through consortia affiliations and agency car contracts. There are also some less common areas that needs to be investigated. For example, if ground transportation is a concern, most suppliers will offer discounted rates and a direct accounts receivable option. Direct accounts receivable arrangements with hotels and car rental agencies are also a great way to increase efficiencies and make the job of the accounting department easier.
- Leverage hard dollar and soft dollar contracts
Most major flight companies today offer hard dollar discounts as well as soft dollar rewards in return for company loyalty to their product. If your travel program is over $1 million in air spend, you can secure a discount off the lowest prices of your carrier of choice in return for a market share commitment. For your supplementary carriers, or if your volume is less than the minimum required by the airline, you can enter in to soft dollar programs for free tickets and free improvements, as well as vacationer status enhancements or airport club passes. These programs require little in the form of volume, but they are not well publicized so you might want to look for them or ask Baker Travel or your current agency to point you in the right direction.
- Do not neglect hotel volume
Hotel volume is sometimes overlooked but it should not be. Negotiated rates can be had through your travel agency or directly with the hotel properties of your choice. Individual hotels near corporate locations will negotiate discounted rates for you in return for a minimum room/night commitment. By utilizing a travel agency, you are likely to receive discounts of 5% to 50% on thousands of hotels worldwide.
- Have at least one car rental contract
Rental car contracts are easy to enter into and require little in the form of commitment from the corporation. Choose a partner that has airport locations and a reputation for excellent customer service. You can save 5-10% very easily and can also negotiate frequent renter membership for the employees. This will make them extremely effective and enhance spirits. You can also enter in to direct accounts receivable agreements at the same time that can make the jobs of your travelers and accounting staff much less stressful.
- Understand group and meeting contracts
Flight companies and hotels will discount your prices and rates when you have groups traveling together or meeting at a single destination from multiple points of origin. These meeting contracts can bring you plane tickets discounts of 2-10%, and if you have enough travelers on a single airline, you may be able to negotiate for free tickets to be honored at contract end. The minimum requirement is usually 10 travelers going to the same place at the same time. Some flight companies have higher minimums so be sure to ask before a contract is generated. Hotels will discount their rates in the same way with a minimum of 10 room nights. These discounts can range from 10% to a more achieable discount dependant on occupancy rate and in season diversities.
- Use canceling to consistently improve metrics
Well managed travel programs require constant monitoring and financial controls to be properly leveraged. Refer to timely and customized reports that can be designed to bring you the information you need most. By receiving regular canceling on vacationer behavior and provider contract performance, you will be in a better position to satisfy contract obligations, achieve cost reduction objectives and see where opportunities for future savings may lie.
- Use all avenues to enhance vacationer comfort and efficiency