The goals spelled out in the 2017 plan may have seemed lofty, but as the second quarter draws to a close, it looks as though your company will beat its Q2 top line targets. Things are looking good so far, but only after expenses are factored in will you know for sure. Is your firm truly pacing for a banner year, or will increased costs rob you of a record?
This is the quarterly conundrum faced by companies everywhere. While most expense categories are proactively controlled and monitored, business travel in growing companies can increase, nearly unchecked, and then be managed in an almost retroactive fashion. Like putting the genie back in the bottle, managing travel expenses can more closely resemble damage control in many companies. Outsourcing travel management is one way to not only rein in and control costs, but reduce corporate liability and improve operational efficiencies.
Duty of Care – This refers to the legal and ethical responsibility a company has to the well-being and safety of its employees. There are many factors that can place a traveling employee at higher risk while on the road. Partnering with a corporate travel management firm can help you identify these factors and establish policies and precautions to not only help keep your employees safe while on the road, but also mitigate liability for the company.
Crisis Management – Unfortunately, travel needs arise at all hours of the day and night. Even weekends can find a business traveler in a sticky wicket from time to time. A cancelled flight, a missed connection or an issue with a hotel reservation can send a business traveler into crisis mode. Unfamiliarity with the area or (especially for international travelers) a language barrier can quickly compound the problem. A travel manager has the relationships and resources to navigate an emergency and make alternate arrangements for your employees regardless of the hour.
Travel Policy Compliance – The only thing more daunting than drafting a Corporate Travel Policy is gaining and maintaining adherence to the policy. It is impossible to control what you cannot measure, and travel expenses are no exception. When employees operate outside of the travel policy mandates by self-booking, expenses become nearly impossible to predict and manage. Although no one can guarantee 100% policy compliance, a travel management firm can go a long way toward that end.
Effective Time Management – All too often, travel management is handled by someone with a title other than “Travel Manager.” In some companies, it falls on the shoulders of Finance, while in others it might be Human Resources, or even Administrative Assistants. This may seem to work well enough for companies with the occasional traveler but this responsibility quickly becomes unmanageable when there are multiple travelers and itineraries to assemble and oversee.
The person charged with this task spends an increasing amount of time and effort performing this function and less time on the duties for which they were hired. Partnering with a travel management company can ease the burden on these employees, which ultimately reduces costs and improves morale.
Business is ever becoming more about effective partnerships. Knowing when to seek out a partner like AmTrav to manage your business travel can benefit your company and its employees in more ways than one.
By: Denise D.