If you’re a growing company, you may have arranged your employees’ travel internally up until this point, without feeling the need to invest in managed travel. However, there comes a point in most organizations’ scaling process, at which the company’s business travel just becomes, frankly, unmanageable.
Whether it’s employees booking travel at whim, budgets being blown or running into all sorts of business travel snafus, letting your travel program go unmanaged can spell big costs for your company. So how do you know it’s finally time for you to invest in managed travel? Here are five signs.
1. You feel like you’ve lost control of your employees’ travel.
When you have a relatively small team, you can manage your own company’s travel relatively easily. You approve travel plans and budgets, as well as expenses. You know where your business travelers are at all times during a trip.
However, if you’ve grown your company substantially and recently, you may find that you just can’t keep up with the management of your team’s travel. Additionally, industry-wide challenges have made business travel more complicated and travel management more time-consuming. It’s more or less a full-time job and, when something falls through the cracks, your travel budget suffers. You can’t really complain to the employees, though, because they’re just doing what they think is best (hopefully).
At this point, you’ve lost control of your employees’ business travel spending and habits. If you invest in managed travel, however, you can regain control. That full-time job of managing your employees’ travel plans becomes someone else’s full-time job, so you can get back to the work you actually want to do as a busy executive. You’re still kept in the loop and you can make all the major decisions, but you’re not signing off on every little receipt or getting frantic calls after-hours, because an employee missed an important flight connection and they want approval to book another.
2. You have higher priorities than managing corporate travel.
If you’re currently scaling your company, your priorities likely lie in ensuring that your company can still meet its commitments to bring in the revenue needed, while keeping clients or customers happy, all so you can continue to grow. You may need some business travel in order to meet those commitments, but there are too many moving parts to scaling for you to truly put your attention on managing that travel. You don’t have the time.
Even if you’re not the one managing the corporate travel, if you have someone else on your staff doing this work, think about the important time it’s taking away from them. If they’re not in a dedicated travel management role, they’re not completing the tasks that they were hired to do, meaning you’re spending money on their salary or wages and not seeing you’re intended ROI.
Thankfully, when you invest in managed travel and partner with a travel management company (TMC), you (and your employees) will be saved a whole lot of hassle and a whole lot of time. (In fact, one study found that one of SMEs top frustrations in booking travel was all the time wasted, including time spent dealing with expenses, analyzing expense data and credit card reconciliation.)
The TMC takes over researching travel deals and finding the best options for both your budget and your business needs, and ensuring your travelers’ itineraries show the highest ROI possible.
3. You’re not seeing the same ROI on travel spending that you once did.
Speaking of ROI, if you’re not seeing the same return on investment from your travel spending that you once did, it could be a simple matter of travel mismanagement (which is all too common and an easy trap to fall into as you’re scaling!).
A TMC can help you get back on track, analyzing your travel spending and its return, so you can make smarter travel decisions.
4. You don’t feel like all your employees are spending appropriately on their business travel.
When you have a very small, intimate team, it can feel like a family and you generally are inclined to trust family, even where business matters are concerned. You may have, in the past, allowed employees to spend on their travel as they deemed appropriate because you trusted their decisions.
Now, however, your workforce has grown, and you don’t have that same connection and intimacy with all your team members that you once did — and you’re thinking that some employees aren’t spending the way they should, when booking travel or when on business trips. You know you need some sort of travel policy in place, but you’re just not sure how to go about implementing such a task.
Again, this is where a TMC can help you. When you invest in travel management, a TMC can begin creating a travel policy from scratch — or revising an old one — so that you have a firm policy in place that will meet your business’s current needs. In addition, the TMC will help your employees remain compliant and flag issues of non-compliance, so they can be dealt with as needed.
5. Employees are complaining about business travel.
Lastly, have your employees started complaining about taking time out of their days to book their business travel, or to deal with all the complex arrangements necessary for international business trips?
If so, working with a TMC can take some of this work and frustration off their plates, by creating a streamlined, simple booking process that allows them to focus on their actual work.
Invest in travel management that offers the experience you need
As you shop around for a travel management company, there are a few things you’ll want to look for: experience, flexibility, a broad range of services and expert insight. JTB Business Travel offers all the above, plus more.
Whether you’re an SME with an existing travel management process in place and you want to revamp that process to fit your current needs, or you’re an executive who needs to get a handle on their out-of-control business travel spending, JTB Business Travel has the tools to help you meet your business travel goals. Reach out today, and let’s talk about those goals and how we can get you there.