The corporate world is awash in new and innovative information systems. This wave of innovative systems includes new business travel technology — options that can help executives save companies money while also creating more efficient experiences for travelers.
But, given just how many options you enjoy, are you sure your business has the right travel, expense and invoice management solutions? And, is your business making the most of the technology it has invested in?
A new report published early this year by SAP and Forrester shares key findings on how businesses are using travel-related technology — as well as recommendations on how any size company can best coordinate its many technology platforms and the teams that use them. Here’s a look at some of those key findings and recommendations.
The Need for Cross-Department Collaboration
This report by SAP and Forrester is based on 378 responses to a survey taken in September 2017, as well as 6 qualitative interviews with finance and IT decision makers. While the survey and interviews yielded a number of key findings, it did highlight one departmental relationship that needs strengthening: the relationship between IT and finance.
About 40% of respondents indicated that IT and finance stakeholders were not working closely to ensure that companies have a unified T&E and invoice management strategy. A unified approach to strategy leads to higher user satisfaction, which in turn motivates all team members to embrace new technology.
Other recommendations that emerged from this report can only be implemented with improved collaboration between IT and finance.
Time to Transition From Manual or Legacy Technology to Automation
While most companies desire a simplified and fully automated system for travel, expenses and invoices, many are still mired in legacy technology.
The problem with legacy tools is that they often demand manual intervention in processes, and they simply can’t deliver the timeliness that modern companies need in travel, expense and invoicing tools. In fact, about 60% of survey respondents noted that manual intervention and a lack of timeliness are significant issues with their current systems.
Better Technology Leads to Better Visibility
As an executive, you often ask managers for projections and reports on their teams’ activities — business travel included. But managers are often just guessing, both on past expenses and future projections, because of a lack of modern travel, expense and invoice systems.
Only about 38% of survey respondents reported satisfaction with current reporting and analytical capabilities. Those who are less than satisfied will continue to struggle with managing costs and forecasting budgets — until the right technologies and systems are put into place.
And, as an executive, you can likely get more accurate forecasts when your team is using travel technologies that offer better reporting and analytical capabilities. In short, it’s an investment that could provide significant returns for your company.
The Benefits of Modernizing Systems
Why should executives care in the first place? Because modern systems for travel, expenses and invoices lead to 3 key benefits:
- Employees Satisfaction and Compliance: When companies land on the right technology and systems, employee satisfaction grows — and compliance grows in direct relation to satisfaction.
- Reduced Expenses: Better management of T&E and invoices allows companies to identify and eliminate waste.
- Revenue Growth: Automation is the foundation for revenue growth. When a company successfully automates a system, it helps eliminate missed opportunities. Without automation, significant revenue growth is difficult to achieve.
Key Recommendations on Travel Technology
This study uncovered a wealth of information that should be helpful to executives in a wide range of industries. Consider these specific action items as you plan ways to improve your company’s travel, expense and invoice management systems:
- Finance and IT must find ways to work together on a unified strategy.
- Automation must replace manual and paper-based processes that are both burdensome and flawed.
- Companies must identify and invest in new travel, expense and invoice management technologies that fit their cultures and business objectives.
For more on each of these recommendations, download the full report and take a deep dive into the information and insights uncovered.
Is Your Company Ready to Embrace New Technology?
According to the report from SAP and Forrester, companies across a broad range of industries are eager to automate and simplify processes related to business travel. At JTB Business Travel, one of our specialties is advising companies on the right technologies and tools for their needs, and then helping them implement those technologies and tools for maximum positive impact.
As a comprehensive corporate travel agency, we provide services that make a real difference for our clients. Behind everything we do is a common sense approach to business travel.
Contact us today about securing the right travel, expense and invoice solutions for your company.