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February 22, 2018

Why Corporate Travel Policy Will Never Save Companies Money

The TripActions Team
Cost Savings
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For years the business travel industry has said static corporate travel policy is the only way to reduce travel spend. This is an extremely antiquated and traditional approach that can actually undercut your company’s ability to save significant money and may actually cost the organization money over time.

Luckily, it’s never too late to shift away from a traditional policy. Adopting a more flexible approach on travel policy and travel management technology allows companies to actually create cost savings on hotel bookings rather than blindly enforce them. Such a shift in strategy can make an effective and productive impact on the company with very tangible benefits. Combined together, these three steps can help your company maximize travel savings.

Here are the three steps to actually save on corporate travel:

1. Build a dynamic policy that adjusts to real time prices.

Costs can shift dramatically depending on the time and location of travel, so implementing a flexible and intelligent travel policy is key for reducing travel costs.

For example, let’s say your travel budget for New York City is normally capped at $300--but during peak times, hotel prices skyrocket. Coincidentally, one of your employees is headed to NYC for a business meeting that very week and quickly discovers it is nearly impossible to find lodging anywhere under the $300 limit. The employee either has to enter a painful approval process and play the waiting game or get flagged for spending above allowance.

However, if the same employee went back to NYC after a peak time and hotels were available for only $200, you wouldn’t want the employee to spend up to the max of $300 your static policy usually allots, right? That’s already a potential savings of $100 per night! Chances are, you’d prefer that employee stays at a more affordable place to take full advantage of the price drop.

That’s exactly how our dynamic policy works to save companies money while allowing employees to select travel that appeals to their preferences. Prices change all the time, so shouldn’t your policy adjust, too? Leveraging machine learning and advanced algorithms, we automatically calculate a price policy based on real time market data for that specific search. That way, your company will save when prices drop and you spare employees from a major headache.

2. Provide employees low hotel cost travel options in one place.

Travelers expect inventory from the traditional corporate systems that most business travel management solutions offer in addition to the consumer sites they’re used to booking with for personal trips, as those sites usually offer discounted hotel rates.

When employees can’t find travel options that match up to their personal preferences or the conveniences within the tools offered by the company, they often look elsewhere for their business travel bookings. One survey we conducted, found that 83% of business travelers spend more than an hour booking a business trip. Knowing this, we combine corporate inventory with the content from consumer sites, giving business travelers access to hotel discounts they would have to spend time searching for - leading to an average six minutes for travelers to book a trip on TripActions.

3. Give business travelers a reason to care about company money.

While every organization hopes their employees spend with the company’s best interests in mind, many other factors impact their decisions. Business travel can be stressful, so it only makes sense for employees to book based on their own preferences--such as a favorite loyalty program or flight time--rather than the corporate options given to them. In fact, research suggests that price is typically one of the last considerations for business travelers.

However, by introducing the right hotel booking incentives into your travel program, employees can earn personal rewards and save company money at the same time. The TripActions Reward Program encourages employees to spend more cost consciously by giving them a share of the savings. With the New York example above, incentives give employees the opportunity to make a better decision for the company and select an even lower cost hotel that is below policy since they share in those savings.

Next Steps

Introducing these simple improvements and features into your travel program virtually guarantees your travelers the flexibility and choice they want while also providing significant hotel savings for the company. That’s a win for your employees, and a very big win for your company.

We see that business travel is a total pain for travelers and companies. TripActions is a business travel management solution that offers the best business travel experience that travelers love and leads to real savings for companies. As an end-to-end solution we offer a dynamic policy that adjusts to real time prices in the market, a wide variety of travel inventory combining consumer and corporate travel options, the world-class level of support travelers expect, as well as an incentive program that truly drives changes in employee hotel spending behavior. Leveraging advanced technology and machine learning we personalize results leading to more efficient processes. Companies like SurveyMonkey and Box have realized real reductions in hotel bookings costs and many more organizations are experiencing drops to their travel spend.

You too can give your employees the best business travel experiences and start to see a reduce in travel costs just like many companies have already by meeting with our team today.

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