As the economy continues to tread water Australia’s companies, continue to look for ways to reduce expenses. Many have turned to the area of business travel and started focusing on tightening their belts. They are creating and enforcing policies that reduce organisational travel spend. In addition to the pressure to reduce expenses are the increasing costs of things like air travel and accommodations. In general, that means that organisations are opting for economy class instead of business class or a lower number of stars when it comes to hotels.

Traveling for business is a wonderful opportunity to combine one’s profitable business purpose with a rich personal travel experience. On the flip side, the personal experience of business travel can turn into a nightmare depending on the circumstances and how frugally one is forced to exist on the road. Those circumstances mostly rely on the financial realities and latitude of the company. Are they willing or able to spend what it takes to provide employees with comfortable travel? Do budgetary concerns squeeze the whole experience so tightly that a rich, full opportunity transforms to just getting by and is the business purpose compromised to some degree? How do travel managers balance reduced cost and happy travelers to ensure the business portion of the trip remains successful?

One solution utilised by Australian companies is contracting with travel management companies and or travel management software systems. The travel management industry is innovating, and this translates into savings on travel. For example, one well-known travel company has launched an app that enhances taxi services for business travelers. The app matches travelers from the same company arriving at the same destination and creates a cab-share experience. Statistics shows that the cost of taxis can account for up to 20 percent of business travel expenditure. Cab-sharing significantly reduces the percentage and can save travelers and their companies many thousands of dollars.

Business travel is an unavoidable necessity of conducting business. The goal of many travel management companies is to identify the challenges regarding cost and user experience their corporate travel clients face. After identifying the challenge, they find or create a technology based solution focused on cost savings and improving the traveler’s experience. Travel management companies have established an equitable policy of treating each traveler like a VIP, regardless of the size of their company. They have blended mobile technology with old-fashioned values to create an affordable and enjoyable travel experience. Happy stress-free business travelers bring home more profitable business deals. Companies with a reputation for happy stress-free business travelers also have a better odds of attracting talented employees.

Mobile cloud-based technology provides user access anywhere and anytime. If a situation arises, that requires a rapid response easy access is available. Travel managers can access the same information to compare and choose the best flight and hotel options at the most affordable price. Effective business travel has become about smart buying, saving money while maintaining the best possible travel experience. One often hears those involved with managing corporate travel referring to taking an end to end approach. That means that managers confirm each component at each stage of the process ahead of the actual travel. Before one step is taken toward the destination managers understand all the details concerning cost.

One final issue that has increasingly become an important consideration because of terrorist actions around the world is the duty of care. Employers are very aware of the increased risk their travelers assume every time they board a flight. They feel deep responsibility to protect them from things like terrorism, climate-related phenomenon, hurricanes, or any number of possible problems. Technology also plays an important role in this regard because employers can easily keep track of where their people are.

Written by Paul Podbury @ Locomote 


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