In order to maximize your business travel budget, it is important to plan for leveraging your program for all it is worth. Informing tourists to pick the lowest logical airline tickets is simply insufficient. Here are the aspects that must be thought about when planning or assessing your travel program.

1. Travel policy

A well written and distributed travel policy is the structure of any great travel program, and I am regularly impressed that many corporations have such an out-of-date and inadequately conceived travel policy, if they have one at all. It is simple to find a well composed policy. One can be discovered online quite easily. All that stays is that it is modified to reflect business culture, and distributed within the company so that everyone understands and accepts follow it. For this reason, it is a smart idea to have everybody sign a copy of the travel policy to guarantee that it is read, comprehended and owned by all business staff. I suggest that everybody in the business signs a copy of the travel policy, whether they travel or not. They might change positions in the business later and be required to travel. A travel policy need not be long or complex. A few of the best travel policies I have ever seen were only a few pages long.

2. Centralized travel internally and externally

Lots of companies do not centralize their travel program, and they pay a cost in regards to a loss of expense decrease chances and internal performances. Lots of business that do not centralize travel have a fear of requiring travelers to do something they might not wish to do, together with the concept that centralizing travel will need working with a Travel Manager. Both of these might be legitimate issues but they do not have to remain in the majority of cases. By requiring travelers to book centrally, you are not always causing them to lose flexibility. You can centralize travel while still permitting tourists to book by themselves, either with a travel bureau of your option, or online through a service provider that you have partnered with and believe in. By assigning someone with the duty of supervising travel, you are getting a single point of contact both internally and externally for travel issues. If your company spends less than $1 million in flight, you most likely do not need a full time travel supervisor. In these cases, travel oversight can be offered to the finance department, personnels, or perhaps an executive level assistant. Here is a take a look at the benefits to be gotten by centralizing travel.

When you centralize travel with a single company, you gain in a variety of crucial methods. You will have a single point of contact for problems while travelers are on the road, and you will have one entity to go to for all your travel needs. This eliminates the issue of consolidating a travel report from amongst numerous sources. By bringing travel together, you will gain considerably from economies of scale. If you can measure overall travel amongst numerous divisions or areas, you can get more for your loan from travel providers. This will enable you to gain more from airline soft dollar programs, which implies more free tickets and upgrades, get a greater percentage discount rate from our preferred airline, and improve negotiated rates from your hotel and cars and truck contracts. Your fulfillment costs will decrease also, as your travel bureau will frequently discount their fees for a greater total volume of travel.

3. Mix of online reservation and individual service

This is an addendum to the previous element, which requires centralizing travel with one travel agency. This is essential, but in doing so, you need not require travelers to utilize an online booking system, and you need not need tourists to call the agency straight. By using travelers the option of doing either, you are achieving a number of goals. You will minimize your satisfaction costs, as online reservation is cheaper in terms of a service fee. By providing tourists the alternative, you are giving them a sense of control, thus increasing morale and standing a much better opportunity of a high adoption rate. Finally, you expose a best practice of using your online scheduling engine for less complex schedules, and enabling senior executives, frequent travelers, and complicated itineraries to be reserved directly with a travel agent that can use a greater level of service and a better general travel experience where it is most required.

4. Look under every stone

While the bulk of a lot of travel programs revolve around the air budget plan, there are a number of other areas one can investigate to find savings opportunities. There are a number of more apparent locations to look, such as worked out hotel rates at your favorite hotels, or automobile rental discount rates with a favored supplier. Frequently your travel agency will currently have discounted rates through consortia affiliations and agency vehicle contracts There are likewise some less typical locations that need to be investigated. For instance, if ground transport is an issue, most providers will offer reduced rates and a direct billing alternative. Direct billing plans with hotels and car rental companies are likewise a fantastic way to increase effectiveness and make the job of the accounting department simpler.

5. Leverage difficult dollar and soft dollar contracts.

Most significant airlines today offer difficult dollar discounts along with soft dollar incentives in exchange for company commitment to their product. If your travel program is over $1 million in air invest, you can secure a discount off of the lowest fares of your provider of choice in return for a market share dedication. For your secondary providers, or if your volume is less than the minimum required by the airline company, you can enter in to soft dollar programs free of charge tickets and free upgrades, as well as tourist status improvements or airport club passes. These programs require little in the way of volume, however they are not well publicized so you might have to hunt for them or ask Baker Travel or your current agency to point you in the ideal direction.

6. Do not overlook hotel volume

Hotel volume is often neglected however it ought to not be. Negotiated rates can be had through your travel bureau or straight with the hotel properties of your choice. Private hotels near business areas will negotiate discounted rates for you in exchange for a minimum room/night commitment. By utilizing a travel bureau, you are likely to receive discount rates of 5% to 50% on thousands of hotels worldwide.