As a procurement or staff travel manager, it’s your responsibility to keep costs low when managing employee trips, while trying to ensure an overall good experience. However, that’s often easier said than done. Therefore, to make your life simpler when managing travel, we’ve put together a list of strategies that you can employ for improving business trips, and reduce expenses with ease.
Consider Uber or Lyft ridesharing
Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft reduces staff travel spend because they’re typically less expensive than sedan services or taxis. In fact, businesses find that Uber is 40% less expensive than taxi services, and employers can save up to $1,000 per employee by utilising their service, according to Uber’s website. A Choice investigation confirmed this when they compared 28 taxi rides to the same number of trips using UberX. What they found was that taxis were indeed more expensive nine times out of 10. It was only with surge pricing – which increases the cost of a UberX trip during high-demand times – that taxis became cheaper (by about 6% in most cases).
Online rating results have also shown that ridesharing gets better ratings than taxis or other car services, as it’s more appealing to corporate business travelers.
Simplify expense reporting
Use a streamlined travel expense app that allows for automatic expense entry. Harvard Business Review found that post-trip paperwork can be the most stressful part of the trip. Therefore, it’s in an organisation’s best interest to use a streamlined travel expense app that allows for automatic cost entry as demonstrated here. By automating expense reports, you won’t have to worry about losing paper receipts or eliminating duplicate costs as the tool takes care of it for you. You’ll also be able to ensure compliance while providing reporting histories with digital signatures and full audit trails.
Look for discounts everywhere
The most obvious way to cut staff travel costs is by looking for discounts everywhere you can including corporate discounts based on group size or loyalty programs through hotels, car rental agencies, and airlines. Many of these businesses offer corporate discount programs - some as high as 25% off.
If the travel management platform you’re currently using provides limited hotel options, for example, you might also want to look into a solution like this one, as access to the widest range of hotel options is your best for finding the best rates.
Book accommodations with AirBnB
As of last year, Airbnb now provides companies with the opportunity to book business trips and a full range of tools you typically wouldn’t find as a standard user. The suite of instruments includes visibility into employee travel itineraries booked through the platform, central billing, and financial reporting data to improve the experience for travel managers and travellers. This data is particularly useful for keeping track of where employees are staying and when to ensure passenger safety and policy compliance.
Plan in advance, but be flexible
Scheduling trips in advance will provide you with better rates than booking at the last minute. It’ll usually also be easier to negotiate pricing and get schedules properly organised. However, in business, there isn’t always the luxury of planning travel far ahead of time. A conference date changes, a meeting, gets cancelled, or a new sales deal springs up that’s ready to close. Whatever the reasons, flexibility is your best bet for dealing with vendors, especially when it comes to last-minute changes in schedule or accommodations.
Also, it’s wise to stay in your provider’s good graces by maintaining good communication with them. That way, they might be more inclined to offer you a deal when booking staff travel.
Is your business spending too much on corporate travel? Calculate your potential savings using our Travel Savings Calculator below: