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Avoid the Hidden Costs of Business Travel To Uncover Cost Savings

Avoid the hidden costs of business travel

5 min
Posted: 27 October 2022Updated: 16 May 2024
Professional female and male looking outside at airport

It seems that prices are steadily rising these days, and business travel is no exception. As the average cost per business trip increases, so do the hidden costs of corporate travel.

Reducing corporate travel may not be an option, but smarter corporate travel management can lead to cost savings. That’s why so many companies value the efficiency and cost savings provided by travel management companies (TMCs).

Check out the top three hidden costs of corporate travel:

  1. Compliance issues that lead to overspending.
  2. Loss of productivity due to manual or outdated travel booking processes.
  3. Employee burnout due to uncomfortable travel.

As a leader at your organisation, you understand that your employees represent your company whenever they travel. Prioritising their wellness and ability to be productive on the road makes sure they’re strong ambassadors of your company’s mission.

Download the guide “How to avoid the hidden costs of corporate travel” and make sure your business has the right processes in place. Now is the time to consider a corporate travel partnership that can automate your expense management and streamline your travel programme.

How to avoid the hidden costs of corporate travel

Removing paper expense reports, manual reimbursement processes, and confusion over credit card use could have a larger impact on the health of your company culture than you might think.

Companies of all shapes and sizes are centralising all business travel through one booking tool to save money and improve the travel experience at every stage of the journey.

What is a travel management company?

A travel management company is much more than an online booking tool. The platform collects your business travel spend data and implements your travel policy throughout the booking process for consistency across your business.

The business travel approval process can be overwhelming when everything is done manually. Your approval settings need to be able to evolve with the changing economy and travel landscape. Here are a few basic requirements to consider:

  • Price range of airline tickets based on destination.
  • Maximum cost for hotel room expenses per night.
  • Business class or first class upgrade permissions.
  • Minimum number of days booked in advance.
  • The distinct types of business purposes for travel.

Utilising travel management software allows for a dynamic corporate travel policy based on factors such as type of traveller, destination, and median hotel rate, which will streamline your approval process.

How do you reduce business travel costs with expense management?

Amex GBT Egencia (Egencia) provides a complete solution to help you connect your travel policy to your business travel expenses. Whatever it is you need to keep on top of your travel spend, we’ll help you identify the best way to connect your travel programme with easy-to-use expense management solutions.

During uncertain economic times, it is important to access data that shows real-time card transactions and expense types. Visibility of travel expense reports allows leadership to identify saving opportunities for other business purposes. Here are a few ways we can help:

  • Align important data fields to support your travel budget.
  • Easily manage employee expense reports to reflect spending with personal or corporate credit cards.
  • Provide flexible support for your different payment types.
  • Create traveller profiles and booking preferences to encourage policy compliance.

Employees boost their productivity when expense reimbursement requests are seamless. They have more time to focus on essential tasks for the company instead of sorting out their business expenses.

Don’t overlook the following cost saving perks of a TMC

We tend to have a binary view of cost savings that spending less money means a diminished experience. But with the right business travel management and smart technology, that doesn’t have to be the case. Here are several ways a TMC can help reduce your company’s bottom line.

  • Access to a large global supply that can utilise their strength and volume to provide you negotiated rates.
  • A digital solution that uses machine learning to save you money behind the scenes, with no extra effort from managers and no adverse impact on travellers. Egencia Savings Finder continues to search for lower rates after booking, saving customers an average of 7% on airfare and 14% on hotels.[1]
  • A platform that makes it easy to find and redeem unused tickets. When travellers have a flight cancellation due to a schedule change, they shouldn’t have to deal with managing vouchers or jumping through hoops to recoup unused tickets. When travel plans change, the right TMC can make it easy to use surplus for new bookings, displaying credits right in the search results.
  • Visual dashboards that allow you to easily spot trends and savings opportunities – regular reviews might reveal new high traffic air routes that represent an opportunity to negotiate discounts, upgrades or amenities with a particular airline or a hotel chain and car rental provider your employees are favouring.
  • The ability to drill down into specific data points – more details often reveal more insights, like being able to see who is booking flights out of policy most often, and how.
  • The ability to take action on insights by customising travel policy for traveller groups. For instance, let’s say you uncover the fact that the travellers who are booking out of policy – by booking business class on certain flights – are the ones who travel significantly more than others. You should be able to create a group for those travellers and include policy exceptions to suit their travel arrangements. For example, setting a higher per diem or allowing a higher class of service on long-haul flights after having flown a certain number of miles are a few exceptions you can indicate.

Download the guide “How to avoid the hidden costs of corporate travel” to learn more ways to get the most out of your corporate travel budget.

[1] All information represented comes from Egencia™ internal reporting, 2023.

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