Like it or not, business travel is a cost of doing business — and a substantial one at that. According to the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), it’s also among a company’s most controllable expenses — particularly when companies enlist the services of a travel management company.
Think your business won’t benefit from using a business travel agency? Guess again. Getting help with business travel can significantly impact your company’s bottom line, while saving time and increasing employee productivity.
Because travel management companies foster relationships with airlines, hotels and car rental agencies, it puts them in the position to offer travel cost savings, which can help companies achieve and maintain their financial goals.
According to the GBTA Foundation’s study “What Costs and Savings Do Managed Travel Programs Experience?” those negotiated discounts can save companies upwards of 90 percent. The GBTA further notes that more than 90% of its members have negotiated agreements in place with one or more air carriers, which accounts for 10-20% of quantifiable travel and entertainment savings.
Featuring a dedicated team of at-the-ready experts, an online business travel agency, like AmTrav, provides in-house, 24-hour support. And with no hold times, access to live chat and text and the ability to avoid or fix potential travel problems directly, the experience is far more personalized. Employees get their questions answered in real time, and they can make quick, informed decisions before booking travel with ease.
Plus, billing is typically automated, generating expense reports is all-but-effortless, and approvals can be made from virtually any device.
A recent survey of 300 Internet business users shows that a whopping 89.9% of employees use the Internet for personal use, in large part to make travel arrangements.
Rather than have employees waste valuable company time searching the Internet for travel deals, a business travel management company streamlines the process — up to 79 percent per the GBTA Foundation, in fact.
Usually, a company’s corporate travel department works with individual departments to set travel budgets. Then, travel managers negotiate discounts and preferred rates with travel suppliers based on those needs. Corporate travel management companies then present up-front discounts based on volume and price.
Corporate travel managers are tasked with setting policies and maintaining policy adherence through a managed travel program. The goal is to prevent expensive bookings with non-preferred travel suppliers.
A travel management company then helps companies capitalize on supplier discounts to promote cost avoidance, enlisting revenue streams — such as rebates and incentive payments. If a company negotiates a contract for discounted fares on certain cities with its preferred air carrier, for example, the travel department may receive overrides, or incentive payments, from that carrier when they meet their contractual obligation.
Improved Efficiency and Safety
There are less obvious benefits to a company’s bottom line as well, since company travelers experience safe, smooth and productive travel.
Companies also minimize risk during times of crisis through employee tracking and emergency assistance. A travel management company’s behind-the-scenes role mitigates the impact of ever-changing safety concerns, while imparting critical information along the way. By booking through a business travel agency, companies see increased compliance with travel policies, resulting in greater efficiency and — as a byproduct — savings.
To learn how AmTrav’s travel management services can help, click here.
By: Jennifer O.