The new-age software solutions and applications help your firm streamline many complex business processes, including business travel management. You can implement a travel management system to automate crucial steps in the process, like travel booking, travel expense management, and travel data analysis.
But you can automate this multistep process only by choosing and implementing the right travel management software. For instance, you can reduce upfront and ongoing infrastructural costs by opting for a cloud-based travel management solution. Likewise, you can automate the process entirely by implementing unified travel and expense (T&E) management software.
Hence, you must consider several factors to choose software that meets your organization’s business travel needs. At the same time, you have to prioritize software that helps your employees accomplish business travel goals without escalating average trip costs. We are making choosing the right travel management system easier by sharing some actionable tips.
9 Actionable Tips to Choose the Right Business Travel System For Your Firm
- Define Automation Goals
Travel management process automation helps you meet business travel needs and solve issues. Hence, you should define business travel needs and problems before shortlisting business travel systems.
You should start with understanding the needs and expectations of employees traveling for work. But it is also essential to focus on resolving issuers like delays in travel expense reimbursements and difficulties in enhancing work traveler safety.
- Shortlist Business Travel Systems
You can choose from a wide range of business travel systems. Hence, it becomes essential to shortlist travel management solutions according to your precise needs. In addition to gathering information from online sources, you should check the travel management software implemented by your competitors.
However, it is always essential to evaluate each tech solution based on the features, tools, and options provided by it. You must prioritize software solutions that help boost work travelers’ experience and safety without escalating the average business trip costs.
- Focus on Travel Policy Enforcement
When employees comply with organizational travel policies, it becomes easier for you to enhance business traveler safety and control business travel costs. Your firm needs travel management software that supports implementing granular travel policies.
But you need to ensure that the software prevents travel policy violations by keeping policies accessible and showing in-policy travel policies to employees. Also, you should prioritize software that sends automated notifications when an employee violates preset business travel rules and guidelines.
- Simplify Pre-Trip Approval Process
Your firm can control business travel costs by making pre-trip approval mandatory. The requirement will make an employee start business travel booking after getting approval from the relevant authority. But you need to keep the business travel process fast and straightforward.
Hence, you need a travel management system to implement a custom approval workflow. The workflow will help each employee directly send business travel requests to the appropriate manager or supervisor. Also, the employee can send business travel requests, and the approver can review the request using the same software.
- Increase Travel Choices and Booking Options
Their choices of flights, accommodations, and other business travel products these days vary according to employee demographics. Older employees still prefer hotels, while younger employees opt for homestays and other alternative accommodations. Likewise, many employees reduce carbon footprints by choosing green hotels and energy-efficient airlines.
It becomes easier for you to meet the needs and expectations of employees when the travel management software provides access to an extensive travel inventory. You should choose a travel management system that enables employees to choose from a diverse range of travel products according to the travel destination and preset travel policies.
- Simplify Travel Expense Reporting
You must replace paper-based expense reports with digital expense reports to automate a crucial process like travel expense management. Digitization will help your employees submit expense reports early. Also, your finance team can review the digital expense reports without putting in extra time and effort.
Hence, you should opt for a travel management system that enables your employee to produce digital expense reports in minutes. Many travel management solutions generate automated expense reports by capturing important information from the invoices, receipts, and bills scanned by employees.
- Facilitate Real-Time Travel Expense Tracking
It becomes easier for your finance team to speed up reimbursements when they can track travel expenses incurred by employees. Hence, you should opt for a travel management system with an intuitive dashboard.
Your travel management company’s finance team can use the dashboard to track travel expenses based on their pending, reviewed, and reimbursed status. Also, they can analyze travel expenses employees incur by generating reports using parameters like department, project, and destination.
- Ensure 24/7 Support
Employees must manage many common and unexpected challenges while engaging in business travel. They need up-to-date information to overcome emerging business travel challenges. Similarly, they need on-time support to manage emergencies and other unexpected travel challenges.
You can provide employees with the required information and assistance by choosing software with 24/7 support. However, you must ensure your employees can contact the provider’s customer support executives using multiple communication channels like phone calls, emails, and instant messaging.
- Facilitate Data-Driven Decision Making
The new-generation travel management solutions create opportunities for your firm to leverage employees’ travel and expense data. You can update and unify the data across enterprise systems by integrating the travel management solution with existing business tools.
Likewise, the data analytics solution featured by the software will provide you with actionable insights gained by analyzing large volumes of travel and expense data. You can use these insights to help employees accomplish business travel goals and control business travel costs by making informed decisions.
You can automate business travel management using several software solutions and applications. But you can automate the process end-to-end only by evaluating the features and tools each travel management system provides.
At the same time, you need to ensure that a reputable and reliable travel management company provides the travel management system. These actionable tips will help you choose software that effectively automates travel management.