What’s the top strategic priority for managed travel programs today?

As companies continue to forge ahead in the return to travel, improving duty of care and boosting policy compliance are top of mind. But another key priority is increasing cost savings, according to a report from PhocusWire, Why Modern Corporate Travel Management Technology Isn’t Just About the Tech.

No question: Travel teams are under more pressure than ever to rein in spending. And it’s happening at a time when safety is essential and managers are under pressure to prove their program’s effectiveness.

How T&E solution managers can achieve all of these goals is just one of the secrets revealed in this must-read report from PhocusWire.

Compliance Leads to Big-Time Savings

One area where managed travel and expense programs can find cost savings is through compliance. But many programs have trouble finding a balance between how employees want to travel (accruing awards points, flying their favorite airline) and what the company needs (having employees book travel on the platform).

Companies that resolve this disparity also drive compliance rates up. That starts by implementing a travel and expense management technology built with the understanding that a user-centric approach is crucial.

As the PhocusWire report makes clear, “Netflix and Lyft have transformed their industries by providing personalized, on-demand service. Employees want the same quality when booking business travel, and if the tools offered don’t deliver it, they are likely to book out of policy.”

In other words, working with and engaging travelers leads to higher adoption rates. And the result can be dramatic cost savings for the company.

Monetary Benefits of a Dynamic Travel Policy

Another way of achieving cost savings is through policy. Some companies adopted more restrictive booking policies during the pandemic, but continuing down that path won’t lead to cost savings. Instead, due to today’s changing needs, it’s imperative to shift gears and make adjustments on the fly—and that means incorporating dynamic policy tools.

In the PhocusWire report, Ofer Ben-David, SVP of Engineering at TripActions, extols the virtues of a dynamic policy: “Corporate travel and spend tools now need to have nuance built into policy so that it’s possible to restrict destinations, types of spend, and classes of service. Tools like dynamic policy can also flex to give travelers more (or less) space when inventory shifts—and you’d be surprised by how much money a simple dynamic policy can save.”

How to Keep Bottom Lines in Line

No question: Technology helps drive cost savings. Having a wish list of features can help. According to the PhocusWire report, “A desire to automate trip-related expense capture is the top priority for technology investment, with 45% of corporate travel managers including it among their top three tech goals. And roughly four in 10 travel managers want to implement a fare/rate tracking and rebooking solution while a similar number look to implement contactless solutions.”

But as the title of the report suggests, the secret to a travel program’s success is not having just any technology. Instead, it requires having the right technology; one built from the ground up, with a sense of purpose baked in.

Such a technology can offer the kind of personalized experience travelers have become used to. It can also offer features like incentivized rewards, which encourage travelers to book options that cost the company less. Programs save cash while employees get a piece of the pie. Win-win.

When this kind of intention drives the creation of every technical feature, travelers actually use the tool. And when they do, travel programs unlock the full potential of their technology solution and can realize the cost-savings goals they need in today’s competitive environment.

Download the PhocusWire report to learn more ways that technology is spurring cost savings in managed travel programs.