What Is A Corporate Travel Management Programme – And Why Your Business Needs One In 2020 And Beyond

A corporate travel management programme is the foundation that facilitates all aspects of business travel for your organisation – from planning and managing trips, to tracking and reporting on expenses and measuring cost savings.

As a business’ footprint expands, its employee travel will increase in frequency. At a certain point, it will neither be cost-effective nor efficient for employees to book business trips independently.

A successful corporate travel programme will help cover all grounds – meeting the needs of your organisation while ensuring employees embark on safe and productive business trips.

#1 End-to-end cost savings and insights on travel spend

In times of economic crises, travel budgets are often amongst the first controllable spends to be slashed.

This will be inevitable in the era of the Coronavirus which is set to usher in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Nevertheless, the importance and advantages of face-to-face meetings in major deals like mergers and acquisitions will continue to necessitate business travel for organisations around the world.

As governments work on green lane arrangements to resume trade, organisations that adapt fast with a redesigned travel management programme will likely stay ahead of the curve – returning to business ventures swiftly while maximising cost savings at every point.

While some organisations may choose to build capabilities in-house, working with a dedicated Travel Management Company (TMC) to design and implement your travel management programme gives you access to exclusive rates with airlines and suppliers, and also provides valuable insights.

“Getting a TMC to help with flight bookings may save you up to 50% because we have access to an array of flight inventory which allows us to price cost effective fares – this is especially so for multi-segment bookings.” says Jolie Yap, Vice President of PriceBreaker Corporate.

“An integrated TMC can also analyse your travel data at both company and business unit levels. Meaningful data points include breakdown of travel spend by types of service, air travel fare class, booking time frame, top destinations and top airlines. This analysis is helpful in fine-tuning travel policy, and enables organisations to negotiate fares with preferred airlines.”

#2 Policy compliance: balancing organisational and employee needs

Central to any travel management programme, a travel policy is essentially a set of rules and procedures that specifies how employees should book and expense their business trips.

This includes guidelines on cabin class and hotel budget entitlement, preferred booking procedures, claimable expenses, and reimbursement procedures – providing much-needed clarity to employees while eliminating inefficiency and time spent on gaining approvals.

As part of your organisation’s travel policy, stipulating the use of a single Online Booking Tool such as Tplus or SAP Concur allows administrators to gain better control over travel bookings – ensuring that employees book within policy while giving them flexibility to choose their preferred travel arrangements.

tplus travel

Tplus is a smart and simple travel management solution built by PriceBreaker Corporate – allowing you to book, manage and save more with access to exclusive rates. 

This also streamlines expense management, and paves the way for accurate forecasting and budgeting on future travel spend.

“For years, travel expense reporting has been a tedious and cumbersome process for both travellers and travel administrators. With digitisation, organisations can now configure policies within reporting tools, set up automated data feeds from corporate credit card payments, and map expenses to specific cost centres directly,” says Albert Hong, Vice President of PriceBreaker Corporate.

#3 Duty of Care in a volatile world

With the advent of the Coronavirus, Duty of Care, the moral and legal obligation to take responsibility for a traveller’s safety, has become of utmost importance to organisations for which travel is essential.

Amidst turbulent times, a thorough Duty of Care plan with rigorous risk management strategies is essential to reinstate traveller confidence, and to ensure a safe return to overseas business pursuits.

“Travellers might remain reluctant until a safe vaccine for COVID-19 is made available. In the meantime, companies will need to listen to their employees’ concerns and adjust travel policies and business needs accordingly,” says Albert.

Apart from the apparent risks brought on by the pandemic, the provision of Duty of Care by a responsive TMC helps to mitigate risks by informing travellers of any crisis such as natural disasters, local unrest, and airport closures.

While some organisations may choose to rely on in-house support, working with an experienced TMC ensures that you have access to industry best practices, and the right tools to manage traveller safety.

Most importantly, full-fledged TMCs also have resources to ensure that 24/7 assistance is available for travellers in case of any emergency, or if any last-minute changes to travel arrangements have to be made in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

To learn how to adapt and enhance your Duty of Care offering in response to the pandemic, read this guide here: Managing Business Travel In The Era Of The Coronavirus.

In these extraordinary times, global organisations will need to adapt and respond quickly to new challenges to remain competitive.Working with a professional TMC to redesign and implement your travel management programme will give your organisation a head start – maximising cost savings, mitigating risks and improving productivity and satisfaction for all.

With more than 40 years of experience managing integrated travel programmes for public sector organisations, educational institutions, MNCs and SMEs, PriceBreaker Corporate’s team of specialists based in Singapore are ready to help you and your employees travel with a peace of mind. 

Our MICE brand, Accolade, has experience serving large delegations over the years – hosting events such as the Singapore Airshow since 2014.

 Speak to us today and let us help you navigate the new normal with a travel programme tailored to your business needs.