The bigger a corporation is, the more complex the administrative bureaucracy can become. The evidence is strong that increased complexity and red tape put a damper on productivity. It can even lead to things like fraud because there is an increased risk of these actions getting lost in the shuffle of paperwork.
Corporate travel is an example where a complex workflow of allocation, recording, and reimbursement for expenses can create loopholes where money is wasted, documents are lost, and lots of time is expended trying to check off all the administrative boxes when you don’t have a someone manage your corporate travel who can help organize your business. When every moment of time used is a moment where the business must pay someone, even if they are simply trying to contact enough people to find a missing receipt, the cost to the company of expense reporting can become astronomical.
Productivity is key not only to the individual employees who are stuck doing and redoing work to get it right; it also changes the entire climate of a corporate office. Consider the following reasons why using a Travel Management Company, a.k.a. TMC, to coordinate business travel can improve productivity for you and your workforce.
Low Fare Guarantee
TMC's have something that individual corporations generally do not, which is the ability to access the industries lowest rates for travel expenses, especially airfare. They are part of networks that collectively bargain with travel companies and thus can guarantee rates lower than you’d find anywhere else. This obviously saves money, but it also saves substantial time and productivity, since someone inside your corporation booking those same flights will need longer to find the inexpensive and high-quality bookings you require.
A full-time staff member devoted to travel management has the time to become incredibly efficient at finding and booking excellent options for corporate travel, benefiting from past experience and working with trusted partners. The reliability alone makes it much more efficient to work with a devoted company.
Integrated Communication, Accounting, & Invoicing
Corporate travel management requires near-instant communication if flights are canceled or other situations arise, and having a full-time staff you can reach in such cases is essential. Leaving corporate travelers stranded is costly and wastes time, while also setting a negative tone for important business encounters. It is better to have a supportive staff that will instantly put your executives at ease by finding them the next step and decisively moving forward.
After trips conclude, a clear workflow of modern travel management software helps executives quickly and completely account for their trips. Having a team that manages and updates the software, as well as quickly responding to invoices and concerns, helps to keep every dollar accounted for. It inspires trust in the process, which discourages overspending and fraud because of the clarity of the process.
Stay Up to Date on Regulations
As companies grow, their regulations and goals within corporate travel must grow and change with them. Rules regarding adding leisure vacation days onto business trips, expense account restrictions, and acceptable use of per diem vary between companies and across time. Regulating your corporate travel guidelines should be easy and clear, but it can often be confusing and overly lenient, resulting in some people taking advantage of a muddy workflow.
A TMC staff will have seen a variety of corporate travel guidelines and will know exactly the questions to ask to make sure they are providing exactly the kind of travel experiences that are permissible and encouraged by your company’s travel goals. They can demystify complex policies for your employees, and they will handle communications about them without running questions up a chain of managers, wasting valuable time. Their experience with various corporate travel goals means that you can place your trust in them, fully outsourcing the work and reaping the productivity benefits.
When your employees know that they always have to contact the TMC to get their travel prepared, there is less internal communication used to discover who handles receipts, who administers reimbursement, and who understands the policies and per diems. When all of these aspects are part of the consolidated account you have with a TMC, you’ll know that anyone reaching out for travel assistance will receive the complete picture with a minimum of shuffle. This makes it much easier for everyone at your company to keep getting their work done, while also ensuring consistent and responsive communication.
While corporate travel can be a part of many different people’s jobs, the advantage of a TMC lies in the fact that they devote all of their time to the work. If your essential personnel are wonderful at their major job descriptions, there is no reason to tack a new corporate travel aspect on to those jobs, especially given the depth of knowledge needed to efficiently acquire the best possible rates.
That being said, corporate travel means sometimes encountering unforeseen issues, be it from lost reservations to missed flights. TMC professionals have not only seen it before but also structure their work so as to be able to devote attention immediately to such problems without missing a beat. Such situations would require a typical company employee to pivot from their expected tasks, but TMC companies are ready to offer on-call needs and to make sure that every business trip is of the highest possible value to the workflow of your company.
The enthusiasm of corporate travel management professionals for travel and productive workflows allows them to bring a value-added level of concern to the work while freeing up your own employees to do the work that is most specific to the mission of your company.
TMC professionals clearly work to save your company money, but they also contribute to the overall efficiency and effectiveness of your corporate mission. Employees can sense when a company values a productive workflow, so the benefits of efficiency reverberate throughout the corporate hierarchy, making smart business choices part of your brand over time.
Managing a company’s travel expenses shouldn’t be the burden of employees.
Learn about how a corporate travel management company can help.