Corporate travel is a necessity in almost three quarters of all companies. With conservative estimates suggesting staff travel expenses account for around 10% of total company budgets, finding ways to monitor and eliminate unnecessary travel costs can make a big difference to your bottom line.
Many experts agree it’s a good idea to closely monitor employees’ spending habits when travelling. Pay particular attention to reining in excesses: choosing the most expensive option because ‘hey, the company is paying’, padding legitimate expenses or claiming the same expense twice.
Obviously excessive spending is not always abusive spending, but it has the same result on the balance sheet.
So how can you control cost blow-outs when your people travel? And how can some of that 10% be better used in other parts of the business? Here’s four ways to rein in corporate travel costs.
1. Consistently communicate travel expense policies
It is amazing how often the cause of a business problem is poor communication. Keeping a rein on excessive travel expenses is no different. Have a program in place that frequently communicates your company policy on travel expenses, such as a quarterly eDM to managers and travellers highlighting areas for improvement. Corporate travel expenses should regularly be on the agenda for high-level manager meetings.
2. Listen to travellers
Update travel policies to encourage good travel habits and reward savings delivered by individuals. Allow flexibility and choice and meet the requirements of the modern day traveller to reduce stress for those travelling and drive savings to the bottom line.
3. Show employees how much they spend
Show employees how much company money they spend and on what. Many won’t even realise their spending is excessive or how excessive spending impacts the company. Circulating a breakdown of who’s spending what, so employees can compare what they do with their peers, is a good motivator to rein in bad habits.
4. Lead from the top
Don’t rely on finance managers to challenge claims. Relying on finance managers to monitor and challenge the legitimacy of certain expenses means questionable claims often go unchallenged. Company leaders need to play an active role in demonstrating what is expected.
Travelport Locomote’s all-in-one corporate travel management system helps companies reduce the cost of managing corporate travel by providing everything in one unique platform that combines booking, reporting and instant communication.
Customisable workflows and modules, which integrate with third party suppliers, and simplifying the bookings and approvals process, for example, can help travel companies streamline their travel spend.