November 7, 2019

What to Consider in Your First Managed Travel Program

In the corporate travel management world, one of the biggest challenges to overcome is simply kicking off your first managed travel program if you’ve never done it before.

Corporate travel falls into one of two broad categories: (1) managed, either through a travel agent or a corporate travel management solution, and (2) unmanaged, via which travelers can choose where to book travel, usually on consumer sites or directly from whichever airline or hotel they prefer.



Unmanaged travel might make sense at a small organization that’s just getting its feet wet with all aspects of running a business, not just travel. However, unmanaged travel comes with issues that you should address sooner rather than later.

For starters, unmanaged travel leads to higher costs in the long run since your travelers are booking what they want with no guidance or oversight. This lack of support also leads to loss of productivity since employees are often stuck clicking through browser tabs to compare options across sites instead of getting the inventory they need, when they need it. From a travel management perspective, unmanaged travel means the finance team has absolutely no visibility into spend until travelers submit post-trip expense reports, which can often take weeks or even months after a trip has taken place — way too late to control for costs that a managed program would have helped address proactively.

At TripActions, we spend a lot of time moving teams from unmanaged to managed travel programs. TripActions Director of Customer Success Sam Peters recently sat down with David Shapiro, Controller at Movable Ink, to learn how the organization successfully transitioned from an unmanaged to a managed corporate travel program.

“At Movable Ink, we hit a point that we realized we needed to do something,” David said. “Some of the challenges we were running into made it difficult to create or even administer a policy. It led us to believe we were unable to proactively provide best practices for travel to our employees to follow. It really started to create frustration for our employees so it was something we had to address.”

David shared Movable Ink’s story with Sam as well as topics including:

  • How to gauge the implementation process when you’re vetting solutions for the first time
  • Building a travel program policy that’s tailored to your specific business needs
  • What to look for in your solution’s inventory offering
  • Why considering the traveler experience matters

“Traveler experience was a main focus for us when moving to managed travel, the reason being we didn’t want to implement something that added to the pain of traveling,” said David. “We wanted a tool that would ease the pain of traveling and that’s what TripActions did for us.”

Check out the webinar, now available on-demand, for these insights and more.