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More and more, businesses—both small and large—are putting their staff on the road to help build and maintain relationships within their own organization or to forge new alliances with other companies. In addition, they’re using corporate travel as an important means for professional development and to increase employment engagement.
While there are different standards for corporate travel versus personal travel, all travelers have the same basic common expectations, including:
If your company wants to improve the business travel experience—for your employees, your business or travel managers—you should consider establishing a corporate travel program. You may be surprised how this decision can become a big win for everyone involved.
A formal corporate travel management program sets operational guidelines for both your employees and your company’s travel manager, providing visibility into your company’s booking policy, opportunities for savings, as well as methods to communicate with travelers.
Do you have a means to know who’s traveling—and when, where and with what accommodations?
Can you reach travelers in an emergency—and what support can you offer?
Are my employees booking the best rates for their travel plans—with preferred providers?
Does my company have official travel and expense guidelines to help save money and establish corporate standards?
Are we missing additional opportunities to save money?
A company should be aware of an employee’s travel itinerary. What’s more, it should be equipped to respond to corporate travelers when they are faced with unforeseen weather, health or social events—or even a flight or train cancellation. At such times, your travelers may look to you for support for travel alternatives or to secure their well-being. The ability to communicate with your traveling employees can help create a seamless travel experience and contribute to employee engagement.
Having a means to track spend is not just a way to gain control of the spend — it’s also a way to proactively save and support other objectives, like traveler satisfaction and duty of care. Without written business travel program guidelines that set limits on travel spending, your employees may expose your company to higher expense reports by booking travel without regard to price and timing. What’s more, they may be in the unenviable position of unknowingly working against your company’s overall budget.
One of the most effective cost-savings methods for business travel is negotiating special rates and benefits with vendors in exchange for sending a certain volume of business their way. By giving your traveler’s access to these preferred suppliers or better rates upfront, you make it easy for them to stay within corporate in-policy guidelines—and support the corporate travel agenda.
Building a formal business travel program can provide you and your travelers access to technology that allows for online booking and managing itineraries in one place. With the support of an intuitive digital platform, you’ll help employees quickly book in-policy travel, and help travel managers crunch data and review the overall spend. Newer technology can also keep you on the lookout for additional cost-savings opportunities and boost traveler satisfaction.
A Travel Management Company or TMC can bring a lot of helpful resources and solutions together—saving you time and money on travel costs. This may include the capacity to give your travelers the round-the-clock support they require, which can improve their total travel experience; keeping your own company on task to achieve important business goals, and providing already negotiated rates so your business travelers have access to the options they want at rates you’ll love.
American Express Global Business Travel. We are in the business of simplifying corporate travel, so that travelers can be the best advocates for their companies—wherever the business takes them.
Whether your company spends a little or a lot on travel, we can help. Our flexible, all-in-one solution can help you upgrade your travel program—or be the starting point for developing one—and boost return on investment, so you can focus on what matters most to your business.
GBT is eager to help you build your corporate travel program. To get started, schedule an appointment with one of our representatives today.