Change is part of a travel manager’s job. Technology developments are ensuring that the speed of that change is accelerating sharply. And now a volatile global political environment is adding a new element into the equation.
2016 was a year of surprises on both sides of the Atlantic. Unexpected election results were a salient reminder that uncertainty may now be the ‘new normal’ but it can present issues for both managers and travellers.
This is fortunately all happening at the same time that an emerging tool can provide some solutions for the trend for travellers to source and book their own travel. Given that their ultimate objective is business, not the flight itself, this should be as user-friendly as possible for the traveller and deliver the corporate the data it needs to increase service and value and decrease costs.
An integrated booking and expense management solution also supports the fashion for companies to become data driven enterprises, namely for different departments to capture and make use of company-wide data in the same format and on the same platform. Easy data exchange with other departments means easier and better data analytics which can help travel managers improve both traveller services and corporate savings.
It can also reduce some of the potential pain that uncertainty can confer on companies or emanate from the expectation that travellers can book their own trips rather than through a dedicated travel booker. Here are a few examples of how an integrated booking and expense management tool can help.
One way of reducing traveller booking pain is to offer the best possible choice of travel content sourced in line with company travel policy. Content within a corporate tool can always be centrally amended to account for any change in prices or potential risk because of an incident, for example.
A corporate tool will also hold data on past trips which means that the traveller can be offered content, including ancillaries, in line with their preferences.
Travellers and managers both benefit from an integrated booking and expense management tool because it is time-efficient and minimises the possibility of errors and omissions. As business travellers are increasingly doing their own bookings using one tool for both booking and expense management will clearly save precious time.
Duty of care
Political uncertainty in many parts of the world has meant that traveller security is now at the forefront of travel management concerns. Managers value tools which enable them to know where all their company’s travellers are at any time.
Comprehensive and accurate information is invaluable and in uncertain times, it is especially important to have as full, accurate and consistently presented data as possible to enable quicker data analytics and more rapid decision-making.
Having a tool which can easily be integrated with other corporate IT platforms is fundamental to the enterprise solution by providing the comprehensive, consistently presented data which is necessary for shrewd forward planning.
An integrated booking and expense tool can indeed minimise any traveller pain points. To learn more, visit amadeus.com/corporatesolutions, or visit us at the ITM Conference in Birmingham from May 2-4, 2017.