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What is Corporate Travel Management?

Corporate travel management is undoubtedly demanding, from handling travel requests to itineraries, booking flights, and other last-minute modifications. Furthermore, missing out on a single email out of hundreds of emails while scheduling group booking leads to mismanagement and a bad reputation.

That’s why it’s essential to use dedicated corporate travel management software, such as NetSuite, to streamline travel procedures for the employees, vendors, business partners, and other customers.

Read along to learn about the significance and benefits of corporate travel management.

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The Functionality of Corporate Travel Management

Technology plays a significant role in managing corporate travel. The primary purpose of using travel management software is to improve the end-to-end travel experience and comply with the businesses’ travel policy. Furthermore, the management tool should facilitate the following tasks, such as:

  • Business Trip arrangement
  • Airline and rental car booking
  • Contacting hospitality providers
  • Consolidate traveller’s information
  • Issue real-time reports

Importance of Corporate Travel Management

Research reveals that four out of ten working professionals find travel delays and ticket cancellations stressful. That’s why the travel management tools allow the companies to create corporate travel programs, manage travel profiles, payment options, travel policies, and access different travel risks.

Additionally, all this information is available in one place with automatic approval routing from the corresponding officials. This way, the companies save their cost, time, and other resources by preventing multiple, overlapping, or missed online bookings.

Furthermore, the officials travelling on the road can get real-time alerts regarding delays in the cab arrival or any other last-minute changes in the travel itineraries.

As a result, the corporate management tools increase the overall return-on-investment ROI by tracking expenses, creating end-to-end travel reports, predicting past travel history, etc.

For example, the travels can use mobile devices to scan receipts and upload them on the front end of the travel management software. On the other hand, the companies can implement online travel policies to accept or reject the travel request form or other expenses.

The travel management solution integrates financial management, accounting, platforms, and other planning solutions to minimize data entry, especially in the accounts payable departments. Similarly, the software offers an easy-to-use interface for the employees to raise travel requests and compile expense data for timely reimbursement.

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Travel Task Management

Let’s briefly discuss the tasks that a Corporate Travel management tool handles:

Itineraries

Creating itineraries isn’t a simple process as the companies have to consider the following factor in mind:

  • Cost
  • Company travel policies
  • Business responsibilities
  • Proper allocation of the company’s resources

For example, employees can certainly use online booking websites to generate itineraries. But, conversely, multinational companies hire travel agencies to create itineraries for the employees who frequently travel, such as higher management or sales staff.

Costing

The primary goal of the corporate travel management software is to optimize the cost of business trips by setting different travel guidelines. This way, the employees don’t overspend over the allocated travel cost.

Accommodation

Lodging cost differs from travel cost because it depends on economic conditions, geographical location, and, most importantly, seasons. That’s why the accommodation cost varies throughout the year globally.

Hence the businesses negotiate stay costs with different hotel chains and onboard other accommodation options in an emergency.

Travel

The Corporate travel management software analyzes all modes of transportation to save cost and time, keeping different regional factors and other on-ground situations.

Lastly, the management software guarantees that all the travel arrangements comply with travel policies and exceed the allocated budget.

Meetings and Other Events

Meetings, conferences, and seminars require comprehensive travel planning, including restaurant, hotel, and conference room bookings in addition to the travel and accommodation arrangement.

Policy and Compliance

In addition to setting cost thresholds for travel and accommodation, the corporate travel management software ensures that all the employees comply with the travel policies. That’s why the software defines reimbursement policies by analyzing the submitted travel receipts by the travellers.

Support

It’s not just about the advanced booking and travel arrangement; the travel management software facilitates the travellers during their travelling. For instance, the mobile app offers real-time information and alerts about subsequent bookings, cab facilities, etc.

Reporting and Insights

At the end of the trip, the travel management software automatically compiles all travel costs and expenses. Furthermore, the tool creates an elaborate dashboard for higher management to review. These reports present future budgeting and other forecasted budget allocations for the following year.

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Travel Management

With the advancements in artificial intelligence, online booking is faster and efficient. It’s because these online tools can access the traveller’s history to search for suitable accommodation based on the expenses and stay preferences.

Not only that, but AI uses chatbots to address runtime travel-related issues and inquiries. Moreover, the people can use voice commands to reserve accommodation.

According to Travel & Hospitality magazine, the AI will play an integral role in eliminating all minor trip planning and management tasks. For instance, AI can analyze the data of all the travelling employees of a business and create precise itineraries.

Future Challenges

  • Business cost optimization policies conflict with the employee’s travel comfort and flexibility in travel dates and accommodation.
  • The cost of the additional services that are no longer a part of airfare and other hotel bookings certainly creates a discrepancy with the company travel policies, especially during extended stays.
  • Employees’ manual errors in online booking lead to additional change or cancellation fees.
  • Due to strict company policies, the employees can’t select a lower-cost accommodation or travel service.
  • The reimbursement process is manual, as travellers must upload the receipts. Moreover, the refund process takes at least five to ten working days to acknowledge the receipts and refund the money.

Conclusion

Global business travel for conferences, team-building events, and meetings is estimated to be in trillions in the near future. That’s why Corporate Travel management by NetSuite streamlines different travel programs, planning, itineraries, travel policies, stays, and tracking. Consequently, the businesses can minimize the overall cost, manage time and resources, and improve operational efficiency.

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