It’s widely accepted that travel is conducive to business success. Among other things, it’s beneficial to sales, education, and networking. Because it is so important, travel is typically the second or third largest expense for a company, so it’s vital to have control over the expenditures. The best way to do that is to implement a managed travel program. But what does that entail?
A managed travel program balances the needs of the individual traveler with the goals of the company. It governs how employees purchase travel so that they enjoy a level of comfort and convenience while the company controls costs and meets their duty of care obligations.
Using a Travel Management Company (TMC) is a key building block of a managed travel program. A dedicated relationship with a professional TMC partner helps an organization control their travel costs and identify areas ripe for negotiated rates, as well as provide travelers with booking autonomy and assistance during travel disruptions.
Elements of a Managed Travel Program
Travel Policy – Designing and implementing a structured policy for all company travel allows the organization to control costs. It guides employees to travel in a certain way. For example, it may require the use of preferred hotel vendors so that the company can qualify for volume discounts. Or it might dictate when use of business class is approved or identify what length of layover outweighs a $300 fare savings.
Covington Travel creates programmatic reservation rules for our corporate accounts that help the company enforce their unique travel policy. Our Business Travel Services team can provide sample travel policies and recommendations for what to include.
Data Collection – Monitoring and analyzing travel expenditures is essential for realizing cost-cutting opportunities. A travel management program should include regular review of reports that pertain to travel expenditures by destination, by supplier, and by corporate department. This information can be used to negotiate preferred rates based on volume, identify overspend, and determine future budgets.
Covington Travel offers customized Business Travel Reports to corporate accounts that include Executive Summary, Unused Ticket Tracking, Benchmarking Reports and more. Our Business Travel Services team also partners with our corporate accounts in identifying opportunities and negotiating discounts based the company’s specific needs.
Online Booking – The ability to self-book travel 24/7 gives employees the autonomy that many crave, and when done via a TMC partner’s online booking tool, the organization can rest assured that the booking adheres to travel policy and the details are tracked for reporting. In addition, the TMC service fee for an online booking is typically lower than those of a full-service booking, so adoption equals cost savings.
Covington Travel offers corporate accounts the Concur Travel Solution, a secure, company specific website built to the organization’s travel policy guidelines. We offer training and support to online clients.
Employee Safety – Companies are legally responsible for the safety and security of employees while they are working. This is known as “duty of care” and in today’s world, that can be complicated when employees are traveling. A managed travel program includes a travel risk management plan that provides prevention, guidance, and assistance to employees on business travel.
In the event of any safety concern, be it severe weather or terrorism, Covington Travel assists our corporate accounts by identifying travelers who may be affected.
Information Center – A managed travel program provides employees with resources to get the information they need to make travel decisions. Do I need a visa? Can I arrive in time for a lunch meeting? What’s the closest hotel within budget?
Covington Travel offers global travel expertise with a personal touch. We’ve got the answers to all your travel questions.
As you have read, a professional TMC plays an important part in each element of a managed travel program. Contact our Business Travel Services team to make Covington Travel your TMC partner in managed travel.