Mastering these 6 essential administrative tasks during trips is the key to managing travel in a way that drives ROI for your business.
There are plenty of tasks to take care of before and after business trips, both for Travelers and Travel Managers. But there is also a series of important things that must be taken care of related to managing travel during trips.
To ensure that you’re getting the most out of your travel program, Travel Managers should be sure to consider and address these 6 best practices related to managing travel during the trip itself.
1. Committing to Your Duty-of-Care Responsibility
When your employees leave the office to travel for work, your company has a duty-of-care responsibility to take care of them — no matter where they may be located in the world.
If your Travelers get sick or injured, if a hurricane or other weather event strikes, or if civil unrest makes a travel destination dangerous, your company has a duty-of-care responsibility to look out for your Travelers and get them home as quickly and safely as possible.
During business trips, you need to remain vigilant and committed to living up to this duty-of-care responsibility at all times. How do you do that? Through risk management, which is next on the list.
2. Managing Risk
The collection of strategies and tactics your organization uses to live up to its duty-of-care responsibility is known as risk management. Manage risk by having in place a means of communication with your Travelers when they are away from the office. It’s also best to have a system for alerting Travel Managers when weather events, civil unrest and other dynamics may threaten your Travelers. Finally, you need to have a plan for getting your Travelers home should a threat arise.
This all sounds like a lot of work, and it can be. Which is why companies often lean on travel management companies (TMCs) to provide duty of care and risk management services. TMCs typically provide these services to a wide array of clients, which means they already have the systems and tools needed to keep tabs on your employees while traveling — and to help get them home as quickly as possible if needed.
3. Provide 24/7 Support
Your Travelers should always be able to get support when they need it, no matter what time it is and no matter what day of the week.
Support needs don’t always emerge from trip disruptions (which will be addressed in the next section). They sometimes emerge from Travelers needing to add another leg to their trip due to a new opportunity, or from Travelers needing to return early from a trip or stay an extra day.
When you provide 24/7 support, your Travelers are able to get that level of assistance in real-time without waiting for business hours or for the work week to begin.
4. Navigating Trip Disruptions
Trips get disrupted all the time, which can undermine the purpose and objectives of business travel while also creating a serious inconvenience for Travelers.
Weather can delay flights. A lack of pilots and flight crews can lead to cancellations. Hotels and rental car companies can get oversold.
When these things inevitably happen to your Travelers, you need fast solutions that help support the purpose and objectives of the disrupted trip. Again, most TMCs provide trip disruption services that keep your Travelers on track. When other passengers are rushing to ticket counters to make alternate arrangements, the TMC is already working behind the scenes to rebook your Travelers.
5. Tracking Spending
Effective travel management relies on data for analysis. Without travel-related data, Travel Managers and Executives cannot make strategic decisions about travel programs.
During a trip is the best time to capture expense-related data. Travel technologies can automate the flow of uploaded receipts and spending data, credit card transactions, and other spending data directly to a platform where that information is captured and ready for analysis.
We’ve come a long way from the days of paper receipts and printed-out spreadsheets for expense submissions. Everything is automated in the modern age. Platforms are accessible via laptops, tablets and mobile devices. And your data lives in the cloud where it’s safe and easy to access at any given time.
Take advantage of these technologies that empower spend tracking. Without them, your travel program cannot reach its full potential.
6. Configuring Virtual Credit Cards
Virtual credit cards are becoming more and more popular in the business travel industry. Previously, Travelers would use a personal credit card and then submit for reimbursement, or they would use a company-issued card for all travel-related transactions.
Virtual cards allow users to configure unique card numbers, expiration dates and spending limits for individual transactions. These virtual credit cards can be requested and retrieved from mobile apps and wallets, making everything seamless and efficient.
The benefits are that corporate cards enjoy a higher level of security and that all spending data related to the use of virtual credit cards pipes directly to your platform for analysis. It’s also easier for Travelers, who do not have to submit for reimbursement or keep up with traditional credit cards.
Support Your Business Travel Objectives During Trips
Managing travel programs during trips is made easier with JTB Business Travel as your TMC. We can help with duty of care and risk management solutions, overcoming trip disruptions, tracking spending, and configuring virtual cards. We work with a group of high-quality travel technology providers, and we can help you create the ideal tech stack for your travel program.
Learn more about how we help organizations large and small meet their business objectives.