In-person meetings are reclaiming their space, particularly revitalising specific industries. After over 3 years of asking people whether they can hear us, see us, and mastering the mute function, it’s finally time to swap the virtual setups for real-world engagements.
Yet, when it comes to corporate travel, we’re all a tad out of practice. The big questions aren’t even whether you should fold or roll your clothes, it’s about the entire travel plan. Who’s in charge of that, especially after years of not requiring such coordination?
Our suggestion: your corporate travel manager. Now if you’re thinking, “But we don’t have one!”—this article presents to you the reasons and benefits of having a travel manager. With all your travel needs handled professionally, you can concentrate on impressing clients during all those important meetings.
The role of a travel manager in a company
A corporate travel manager takes on the comprehensive responsibility for all facets of corporate travel. They help to shape the company’s travel policies, oversee the logistics of travel arrangements, aid in selecting the most suitable corporate travel agency, manage and monitor travel expenses, and prioritise the well-being of business travellers.
Following each trip, the travel manager analyses collected data to enhance and optimise future trips. This role demands a skill set encompassing impeccable communication, organisational skills, and strategic thinking.
In the past, the role of a travel manager in a company was often shouldered by an office manager or an individual within the HR department, adding travel coordination to their existing duties. However, in recent times, companies of all sizes are increasingly recognising the value and benefits of having a travel manager.
Corporate travel manager duties and responsibilities
1. Corporate travel policies
One of the primary responsibilities of a travel manager involves creating a corporate travel policy. This encompasses consideration of potential trip expenditures and establishes regulations and directives for employees when arranging travel.
This policy should be the key concern of travel manager duties and responsibilities, and include details about the various aspects of the company’s approach to business travel such as:
- Procedures for booking and approved travel booking tools
- Allowable expenditure thresholds for reservations (hotels, flights, ground transportation)
- Specific exemptions or regulations for high-cost cities or routes
- Preferred vendors endorsed by the company
- Processes for seeking approval for trips exceeding typical limits
- Reimbursement processes
- Expenses that are permissible and those that are not
- Protocols for post-travel debriefing
- Designated travel insurance providers
- Vendors or procedures responsible for duty of care
2. Overseeing travel preparations and plans
While some companies opt to assign their travel manager the task of arranging all key elements of employees’ business trips, others delegate this responsibility to the employees themselves.
The two most important components are transportation and accommodation, but obligations also include things like travel insurance, airport transfers, and more.
Once a travel policy is in place, a corporate travel manager takes steps to secure reservations in alignment with the established guidelines. This ensures that company executives receive the greatest deals.
Furthermore, travel managers incorporate finer specifics concerning transportation and accommodation. For instance, many corporate travel policies outline the preferred travel class (e.g., business or economy) and hotel categories.
3. Keeping track of costs and travel budgets
The handling of credit cards and in-destination costs are two additional aspects of business travel that are challenging to estimate. To make financial tracking easier, corporate travel managers are in charge of establishing acceptable expenditure caps for trips.
Setting a limit on credit cards and charges offers organisations better control over the costs of business travel. Spending caps must also be adjusted to the differences in cost of living between locations.
However, maintaining a certain level of employee satisfaction requires a certain degree of human flexibility. Which is why travel manager duties and responsibilities also include finding the right balance between independence and cost-effectiveness.
4. Data analysis
While corporate travel policy strives to cover all potential scenarios for business travel, it’s imperative to evaluate actual journeys. The task of a travel manager involves gathering data from all trips to facilitate well-informed decisions in shaping future travel policies.
For instance, if employees consistently exceed the designated travel budget, a corporate travel manager should be able to pinpoint areas of concern and engage employees in discussions to determine necessary adjustments.
Additionally, financial data serves as a crucial role in establishing key performance indicators (KPIs) and assessing the profitability of business trips. Office managers can easily compare each trip’s costs and benefits to determine which is most advantageous.
5. Adopting innovative technology
Technological advancements in the realm of business travel evolve rapidly, necessitating corporate travel managers to stay informed of these changes. Enhancements in booking platforms contribute to swifter and more efficient operations across the entire business landscape.
For instance, with an established travel policy, employees now possess the option to independently arrange their travel arrangements in alignment with policy directives.
Another asset of contemporary technology lies within the realm of data management for corporate travel. Online tools dedicated to corporate travel management consolidate data in a centralised location, simplifying data analysis. Intelligent data storage also reduces the need for endless emails while planning travels.
6 key benefits of having a travel manager
1. Enhance travel and operational efficiency
Let your employees concentrate on their core strengths, and delegate the rest to the specialised role of a travel manager in a company.
Among the most notable advantages is that a corporate travel manager enables you to refocus on your work and excel in your specialised areas. Let’s face it: planning a great trip takes a lot of time, and that isn’t the primary role you’ve designated for your well-compensated sales professionals.
Using a specialised corporate travel manager significantly reduces the time dedicated to organising a business trip.
2. Consult a corporate travel expert
Where should you head to? How can you secure the best rates and benefits, while also trimming down your travel costs?
Navigating business travel is akin to a specialised skill, which is among most travel manager duties and responsibilities. So having an expert on board, who can leverage their knowledge and industry contacts to secure you the most advantageous deals, will be one of the key benefits of having a travel manager.
3. Have round-the-clock assistance
When your employees embark on a journey, who oversees their on-the-ground experience? The answer is often no one.
A multitude of challenges can arise during business trips that go beyond mere flight disruptions. With time zone disparities and colleagues at the office preoccupied with their own tasks, designating a single individual to manage the travel logistics becomes a logistical challenge.
This is when the role of a travel manager in a company becomes important, serving as an always-available support system, ensuring your travel plans proceed without a hitch.
4. Comprehensive risk management
What happens when insurance is required, whether someone is halfway across the globe or simply in a cafe a couple of cities away?
Risk management is one of those travel manager duties and responsibilities that frequently gets neglected—especially when businesses handle travel arrangements internally. If you’re not on top of it, it may result in some expensive mistakes.
Having a dedicated role of a travel manager in a company ensures you’re covered and keeps track of everyone at all times.
5. Enhance the ROI of your business trips
Want to cut down on travel expenses and fine-tune your travel outlays while also making the most of those crucial meetings? Chief among the benefits of having a travel manager is the improvement of cost-effectiveness and ROI.
Certainly, utilising tools and platforms comes with a cost, yet these investments pay off through increased concentration, time savings, and better control and optimisation of expenses.
Once the initial onboarding expense is covered, you immediately gain insights into the true scope of your travel expenditures, allowing you to begin making better data-driven decisions.
6. Be compliant wherever you are
How comprehensive are your travel policies? If this question prompts uncertainty, it precisely supports our point: compliance is essential in businesses, just like it is in everything else.
This is particularly crucial when it comes to your employees conducting work during their travels. Having a dedicated person to provide guidance in this regard is one of the benefits of having a travel manager.
Reimagine business travel with end-to-end management
Here at Holiday Tours, we collaborate with organisations to satisfy the demands and expectations of travellers while solving the complexities and challenges of business travel management.
NEED A CORPORATE TRAVEL MANAGER?
REACH OUT TO US AT +603 2303 9100 (Press 3) OR
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