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What to avoid when managing business travel

Changing travellers’ behaviour can cut travel over-spend up to 15%

Business travel is big business, but it also means a lot of money is on the line. It represents the second largest line of expenditure for organisations across the world, and managers need to be aware of pitfalls if they’re to make the most out of business travel.

The London School of Economics has released new research exploring some of the common problems associated with managing travel and expense programmes. Arlene Coyle, CCO Corporate Solution Sales and Marketing of Business Travel at Amadeus and spokesperson for the research discussed what managers need to track to maintain successful business.

“What we are seeing now is that voice of the traveller is becoming more relevant in business travel,” said Coyle, discussing Managing Every Mile: how to deliver greater return on investment from Travel and Expense and its five steps to optimising travel and expense spend. “This is driven primarily by a focus on meeting the needs of a digital and virtual workforce, which for business travel translates as how we interact with the traveller and how they interact with a travel and expense management process.”

“As an enabler, technology plays a key role here. There is a clear demand today for flexible, automated solutions when it comes to managing travel and expenses. Where we see this in practise is in the mobile space and more importantly in mobile expense capture.

“Four years ago, 40% of business travellers said that digital expense solutions were important, but now that figure has doubled. By addressing this component of technology, corporations could reduce employee frustration and speed up processes with ‘scan and send’ expense reporting.”

70% of participants say duty of care for the traveller is a greater focus in their organisation today than it was three years ago however, research participants estimated that 80-85% of travellers make on-trip changes to their travel arrangements that are out-of-programme.

“That said, while technology can lead to automation and improved adoption, a fantastic expense programme will be undermined by a clunky, manual booking process, so the whole process needs to work effectively,” continued Arlene Coyle.

“By enhancing technology and ensuring the traveller has the autonomy to plan or adapt their trip on their device, employee satisfaction can be greatly increased. A successful, flexible business travel programme can also be an important factor in the recruitment process and may help a corporation attract new talent.”