Business travel is a huge industry. Global business travel spending is expected to reach US$1.47 trillion by 2026, according to Statista. But what is this money for?
When you think of business travel cost centers, you might think of booking air travel, hotels, restaurants, and event venues. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg – there can also be significant management costs involved in trip planning.
With inflation increasing the cost of travel, finance and travel managers are increasingly looking for ways to save money.
Many companies choose to invest in automation solutions to modernize their business travel programs. An effective software tool can streamline the trip planning process, saving time and money.
And that’s where travel sourcing comes in:
What is Corporate Travel Procurement?
“Procurement” means sourcing and obtaining goods and services for a business. In short, it means buying anything a business needs, from raw materials to office supplies to hardware or software.
The procurement process involves:
- Understand your business requirements
- Understand legal or regulatory requirements
- Plan the purchase
- Search for different service providers
- Selecting an option
- Budget and payment management
Different stakeholders may be responsible for corporate travel purchasing services. Some companies have a dedicated purchasing manager. In other companies, the responsibility may lie with a travel manager, administrator, finance manager, human resources manager, or a combination of these.
Purchasing travel can involve booking business travel and arranging the trip directly, but it can also involve choosing a travel management company or software tool.
Travel booking tools make the process of planning business trips much easier. They can help you save money with exclusive business travel discounts and flexible booking options. They can also help you apply and administer travel policies, organize bookings and expense reports in one place, and offer data-driven insights to optimize travel spend.
When purchasing a travel booking tool for your organization, be sure to consider:
Corporate travel needs
How often do company team members travel for business? And what types of trips are these? Meetings, conferences, trips or removals, for example?
Depending on your business needs, you may need different types of travel planning solutions. For example, if your business hosts a lot of events or offsite, you would benefit from a solution like TravelPerk Events. Using the platform, you can make reservations, manage attendees, share itineraries, and communicate changes, all in one place.
If your travelers often need to change or cancel their plans, look for a solution like TravelPerk’s FlexiPerk program. Pay a small fee for each trip and you can make each trip refundable. Travelers can cancel anytime up to two hours before travel and recover 80% or more of the cost of the trip.
And if you often have guests who join your employees on business trips (like family members, spouses, clients, or partners), make sure your platform offers a guest profile option. This way, administrators can manage the movements of these external people or give them limited access to the platform without seeing sensitive company information.
User experience and customer support
When looking for a travel management platform or online booking tool, choose an option that offers a modern user interface that travelers will be comfortable with. This will encourage them to continue using the platform, while improving the traveler experience.
Along the same lines, you’ll want to make sure the platform’s customer support team is up to snuff. They must be able to offer customer support in the languages you need for all travelers and must maintain high standards of customer service.
With TravelPerk, you can receive 24/7 in-app customer support from real humans (no bots), with a response time of 15 seconds.
Duty of care
Fast and efficient customer support is also essential to meet your due diligence and risk management obligations. Travelers need to be able to easily reach someone in case of an emergency. They should also have access to essential travel information and risk notifications during the trip.
Also, you should be able to know where they are, so you can act quickly if they need help and keep travelers safe.
Your supplier should offer sufficient inventory with plenty of options for flights, car rentals, and accommodations. They should also offer fares that suit your needs and budget when booking a trip.
Make sure your booking tool inventory includes the options most important to your business, such as train tickets if your travel schedule includes a lot of domestic travel, or airline tickets if you book international travel often .
If your company is striving to achieve sustainability goals, your business travel software should help you achieve them. Some booking tools offer carbon offsetting and reporting directly within the platform (TravelPerk does this with the GreenPerk program.) This way you can ensure your organization is traveling sustainably and meeting your emissions reduction goals. .
Try to find a tool that offers an analytics dashboard, so you can understand how, when, and where people travel. With access to data on travel habits, you will be able to:
- Find and reduce inefficiencies
- Identify savings opportunities
- Simplify the process of managing travel expenses and bookkeeping
- Visualize trends and present them to stakeholders
Finally, it helps to choose a travel service that will automate travel policy compliance. By automating approvals and adding your travel policies directly to the platform, you can ensure compliance, while giving travelers the freedom to choose their preferred booking options.
IIf you are responsible for business travel purchases and want to try TravelPerk, book a free demo for more information and to see the software in action.
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