In today's world of business travel, companies are doing more with less. This post-pandemic shift has raised the bar for expedited bookings, stronger compliance, simplified processes, and tools that support duty of care.
To balance these competing but complementary needs, those tasked with managing travel must find the right mix of convenience and cost-savings as they consider the goals of their corporate travel program. One key variable in this equation is a reliable and balanced tech stack. In fact, a recent survey from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) found that two out of five travel managers identify technology as one of their main headaches.
Most notably, a customized online booking tool (OBT) that delivers the best rates and simplified bookings is an essential building block of a streamlined corporate travel program. The best OBT solution for your business should have a user-friendly interface that matches the size and scope of your organization while adhering to specific individual and group travel needs. Below we take a look at four of the primary ways an OBT can improve your travel program and drive your business forward.
1. Compliance Support
When employees book within policy, they strengthen established supplier relationships as well as duty of care. An OBT fosters compliance and makes it easier for your travellers to adhere to company goals, especially when something goes wrong. When employees book out of policy, a travel manager may not have the leverage to assist when flights are canceled or hotels are overbooked.
2. Prioritize Duty of Care
Along with boosting compliance, an OBT provides efficiencies that improve duty of care. To enhance duty of care, an OBT needs to align with your travel policy and risk management initiatives. First and foremost, travel managers, business unit leaders, and C-suite executives need to be assured that employees stay safe and informed while on the road. An OBT serves as a centralized system that utilizes customer traveller profiles to provide a simplified booking experience and important traveller information should an emergency occur.
3. Reduces Spend
An OBT that helps your business thrive includes capabilities that allow you to easily manage spend and stay on track within your budget. By utilizing an OBT instead of another form of booking, the employee reaps the benefit of an efficient process, and the company saves money due to pre-negotiated rates and contractual elements that are integrated into the system.
4. Saves time
When you save time, you save money. Rather than searching for the best fares across platforms, an OBT serves as a one-stop shop. With an OBT, Employees don’t have to spend hours researching the best deals on travel or trying to book within policy. Instead, teams can focus more on project management and company goals.
A Trusted TMC + OBT = Program Success
Regardless of company size and structure, a travel management company (TMC) can help you maximize OBT benefits with tiered levels of options that promote traveller safety and lead to program success.
By working with Direct Travel as your TMC, you'll learn from travel experts how to build a framework that creates visibility, simplifies processes, and maximizes ROI. Furthermore, as a TMC Elite Partner of SAP Concur, our team is uniquely positioned to help you configure your OBT in a way that improves travel policy and processes.
We look forward to helping you build momentum and accelerate growth through your travel program in 2023 and beyond!