What You'll Learn About Corporate Travel Management
Corporate Travel Management (CTM) software or Travel Management software assists with coordinating travel expenses and activities.
The software manages various tasks such as travel schedules, flight, and hotel bookings for different team members. This allows your team to monitor, manage and book trips without the input of management executives.
Corporate travel management software eliminates manual tasks such as tracking travel expenses. It also helps manage unexpected travel challenges such as flight cancellations.
Most CTM solutions also include expense tracking tools in standard Expense Management Software. Such solutions handle all processes, including submitting travel requests, approval, and travel reimbursement.
Why You Need Corporate Travel Management Software
Corporate travel management software streamlines travel processes and retains detailed travel and accommodation records for easy travel reimbursement. Businesses can effectively reduce costs and fraud cases while enhancing expense forecasting.
The software allows the creation of travel data reports and provides insights into managing and optimizing travel expenses. It’s a flexible and scalable solution that accommodates business growth.
As your business or company expands, simple and reliable processes help to save time and money.
Other outstanding benefits include:
Updated Information on Everyone’s Location
Every organization has a duty and responsibility to care for all team members regardless of their location. Email correspondence is inadequate, so it’s essential to have an effective solution for risk management.
Corporate travel management software eliminates guesswork by centralizing travel-related information. You can easily track the means of transport every team member uses, where they stay, and the scheduled return dates.
In case of an emergency, such information is invaluable.
Flexible and Customizable Dashboards
Corporate travel management solutions ensure access to real-time data to manage travel programs effectively.
The customizable dashboards help manage and plan departmental budgets using booking and financial data. It’s easy to reconfigure the dashboard based on real-time changes, and you can set notifications or alerts in case of unusual behaviors.
Access to Experts in Corporate Travel
CTM solutions allow you to work with experienced professionals. The experts give you access to perks that help you save, such as:
- Partnership benefits
- Discounted corporate rates
- Benchmarking insights into travel expenses
- Expense reporting
- Professional account management
24/7 Customer Support
Although booking on various platforms seems more cost-effective, getting customer support from multiple providers is hectic. It can be very frustrating, especially in a crisis.
CTM solutions ensure swift and high-quality customer support, often with a short response time.
Compliance with Travel Policies
CTM solutions provide a unified platform for all business travel needs to comply with your travel policy.
As your team grows, your travel program expands, and the travel policies become elaborate. CTM software helps to set parameters for:
- Approval and travel reimbursement processes
- Flight bookings
- Hotel reservations
- Ground transportation
- Rental car expenses
- Meal expenses
- Travel rewards
- Client entertainment
CTM solutions also help to set clear guidelines differentiating between personal and work-related expenses. It’s easier to keep up with popular trends such as leisure travel, where team members combine business and leisure trips based on the travel policy.
Optimized Travel Costs and Expenses
Although CTM solutions have an upfront cost, the benefits are worth the investment. Integrating the software allows you to save on aspects such as:
- Corporate accommodation
- Group and event bookings
- VAT reimbursement
- Door-to-door travel
The pre-determined business partnerships and expertise that come with CTM solutions would take years for your business to achieve. You can identify the particular areas to optimize expense management and reduce costs.
The benefits of using corporate travel management software are undeniable. It’s therefore essential to ensure the software or solution you choose is suitable for your particular business needs.
Here are the 5 Reasons Bento's Corporate Travel Management Software Is Perfect For You
Each business has different requirements, so a one-size-fits-all solution doesn’t exist. However, there are some key features that all corporate business management software should have.
1. Customizable Travel Policies
The travel policy is among the essential features of corporate travel management software. Whether the management or individual team members book travel arrangements, you’ll require in-app travel policies to ensure everyone is on the same page.
The in-app policy should be customizable to accommodate:
- Special guidelines for particular team members such as last-minute flights and accommodation for C-level executives
- Minimum number of days required for pre-booking
- Overnight hotel rates based on the specific city
- Universal policies for overnight hotel rates
- Global train costs and costs for particular routes
- Maximum flight expenses for particular routes
- Universal policies for complete international and domestic flight costs
The travel management system you select should allow presetting your company policy. Ensure it’s capable of remaining functional anytime team members need to book something.
Your travel policy is available on the booking app where its needed the most.
2. Customizable Approval Workflows
In some cases, trips outside your travel policy require booking. The CTM solution you select should accommodate approval workflows. It allows the team member booking the trip to request approval from management and save the trip details instead of sending emails.
Your business travel management system should allow you to customize approval workflows. When customizing automatic travel policies, you should have various options for strictness levels.
For instance, you can set three levels:
- All trips require no approval
- The particular trips that require approval
- All trips require approval
For out-of-policy trips, it’s essential to ensure the approval process is simple. The team member can request approval within the platform without the need for external communication via email.
You should also be able to determine who approves which trips. For example, some trips only require approval from the department lead, while others require input from the CFO or office manager.
3. Travel Expense Reporting
All corporate travel management software should have the ability to generate reports on various aspects of business travel. You should be able to monitor:
- Travel spending based on a specific period
- Travel expenditure by team or department
- The travel expenses that are beyond your travel policy
- Travel expenses by event, client, or project
- Travel expenditure incurred from hiring
Besides the ability to generate reports, your CTM solution should allow you to add tags and labels to trips and expenses.
The main goal of a travel management system is to consolidate travel processes. Let’s take a realistic scenario, for example, with fifteen team members. Each member is responsible for booking their trips based on upcoming events.
Your travel management platform should allow you to see:
- The individuals who successfully book trips within the travel policy
- The people who request an out-of-policy booking and the respective reasons
- People with in-progress voyages, that is, those who saved itineraries but haven’t completed the booking process
- Team members who haven’t booked any trips yet
Although everyone is responsible for their bookings, it’s essential to remain updated on what’s happening. It’s the best way to identify which team members require extra assistance.
4. Customer Support at No Extra Cost
Your corporate travel management solution should have customer support at no additional cost. It helps you plan and budget your expenses efficiently, without any surprise costs.
Team members should also have access to support on a need basis.
When evaluating support, ensure you consider these aspects:
- Round the clock availability
- Native language support
- Easy connection to real people instead of automated responses by chatbots
- Swift escalation in emergencies and complex issues
- Follow-up and follow-through guarantees
5. Easy booking, including Self-Booking for Travelers
A seamless booking and user experience are essential regardless of who is responsible for the bookings.
If you aim to allow self-booking, it’s best to select a CTM solution that is exceptionally user-friendly. It should offer adequate support to all team members, fulfill their needs and be fun to use.
In this age of digital transformation, your corporate travel management software should have a simple mobile app. Before choosing a particular solution, ensure you download and test the app yourself to determine whether your team can use it well.
Choosing The Right Travel Management Software
The best corporate travel management software should have a broad, global inventory of the safest airlines and hotels. This provides your team with various options and travel management tools, all on a unified platform.
Choosing the Travel Management Software
Your travel management software should provide a pleasant travel booking experience. All tools available should be simple and easy to understand.
Check for an Intuitive User Interface or UX
The interface for your travel management software should be user-friendly. Everyone should be able to book travel based on the travel policy and monitor the approval status of the booking. They should also see the available flights and accommodations on one platform. The relevant tools should be easily visible without an instruction manual.
Confirm Availability on Multiple Platforms
Besides the desktop dashboard for analytics and reporting, your service provider should also have a mobile app. It makes it easier to access services and update travel details on the move.
Check for All the Necessary Features
When choosing travel management software, it’s essential to understand what features to look for. Some must-have features include:
Zero Onboarding Costs and Low Setup Time
Your developers should be able to integrate the software into your system in a short time and at no extra setup costs.
The software should ensure data access to multiple team members simultaneously. The platform should remain operational at all times, 24/7/365.
The software needs to provide simple API or custom integrations into existing systems. For example, you can integrate it with accounting, HRMS, and ERP solutions.
Ability to Customize and Configure Complex Policies
The software should be flexible enough to allow the configuration of elaborate flows for different cases.
For example, the software should adjust the expense limits with international travel depending on the destination. All this should be within the travel policy, and the changes should be real-time.
Ensure it has Advanced Safety Features
Safety Tags for Hotels
Your CTM solution should allow tagging hotels safe and compliant based on WHO’s global safety standards.
Live Traveller Locating
The software should include tracking features to help you determine your team members’ location at any time. This should be regardless of whether they are commuting to work or on a business trip.
Check for 24/7 Multi-channel Support
Your team members may require support at any point during their journey. The CTM provider you select should be capable of providing proactive support at any given time of day or night.
The support should be available via accessible live chat and calls. In emergencies, your team should be able to connect with a support agent instead of automated chatbots.
Check for Advanced Analytics and Reporting Tools
Your travel management software should facilitate comprehensive reporting through one dashboard. You should be able to generate detailed reports of travel-related information based on:
- Individual team members
Such reports help you identify trends and patterns to make more informed decisions.
Take Charge of Your Business Expenses
The most effective way to manage the travel processes, including expenses and approval, is to leverage automation.
With an intuitive business spend management platform such as Bento, you access top-notch reconciliation and control tools.
You can easily track and mitigate unnecessary expenses by establishing daily spending limits. You can also restrict merchants and international transactions on business credit cards.
Bento eliminates time-consuming processes such as customizing controls on corporate cards and approval workflows. The AI-based reporting tools help automate expense reports and export data to other platforms.
Get in touch today to simplify travel management and save on costs and time.
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