Cloud-Based, Integrated, End-to-End Solutions Drive Efficiency
Legacy approaches to corporate travel and spend often rely on program managers to select distinct Travel Management Companies (TMCs) and Online Booking Tools (OBTs). Those same managers must also balance relationships among suppliers and third party tools like duty of care or reporting widgets.
As more systems adopt digital practices, however, that approach is no longer efficient. Now, TMCs and OBTs can be integrated into a simple, single platform, while reporting, duty of care, and other supplemental assets can weave directly into the solution. A report from TripActions and Skift called Five Trends that will Define the Future of Business Travel highlights this trend.
Pain Points With Legacy, Fractured T&E Systems
Traditional, disparate approaches to handling corporate travel and spend often lead to a litany of issues that program managers face. Some of those challenges include:
- Multiple contracts and invoices. Those managing programs are exposed to separate contracts, relationships, and the intrinsic complexity of dealing with a multitude of vendors.
- Lack of connectivity. Each component of the legacy corporate travel and expense network often needs to be manually integrated, leading to long implementation times and bucreatic systems.
- Confusing user experiences. Managers need to pull data from different sources—often with different logins and web deployments based on each country. Travelers and those filing expense reports also thrash among systems, leading to program leakage and loss of visibility.
“The siloed nature of these solutions leads to all sorts of problems, including imprecise traveler communication, missing trip information, unnecessary internal red tape, and unresponsive support,” says the Skift Report. “To make things worse, it often creates software challenges for company information technology departments, forcing them to maintain an increasingly complex collection of different integrations with various software systems.”
Managing Corporate Spend Adds Complexity
“As organizations look for ways to better manage travel problems as well as employee spending, solutions like TripActions Liquid™ will become increasingly essential,” suggests the Skift Report. “As an added bonus, TripActions Liquid can natively integrate with the core TripActions platform, allowing corresponding transactions to be automatically associated with an employee’s trip, leading to fewer invoices and saving accounting teams from manual reconciliation of expenses.”
Financial considerations covered by TripActions Liquid didn’t used to be part of the equation when looking at corporate travel and spend solutions. But with new developments in digital fintech and the suite of tools now available through the marriage of travel and expense, the savvy program manager now has additional benefits to consider. These include:
- Automatic policy setting. Based on a traveler’s destination, spend policy can now be set and managed automatically.
- Automatic reconciliation. With spend policy automatically defined, it’s also now possible to identify and reconcile expenses, cutting out the process of onerous expense reports.
- Streamlined expense and reconciliation for travelers (and managers). Travelers need only to swipe a connected card or capture a receipt to start the process. Reimbursement happens automatically and within a day.
Unified Corporate Travel & Spend Platforms Foster Efficiency
Like the transition from booking consumer vacations at the mall to now managing that trip to Cancun online, corporate travel and expense will also continue to streamline through digital channels.
As the Skift report puts it, “In the future, this new generation of end-to-end business travel tools will also go a step further in simplifying and streamlining the entire business travel process. By utilizing tools like artificial intelligence and employee-level personalization, travel managers can also rest assured that these end-to-end solutions provide the right context to address the specific needs and circumstances of each individual traveler.”
TripActions is a Modern, End-to-End Corporate Travel and Spend Solution
The evolution of modern enterprises into the cloud has touched numerous systems. from accounting to HR to word processing. Corporate travel and spend systems will inevitably move in this direction as well, as suppliers, infrastructure, and technology mature.
“It’s true that a range of business travel strategies—including product innovation, company spending, risk management, and policy—will need to evolve to address the industry’s new realities,” says the Skift report.
To deliver this experience, TripActions has built the first truly end-to-end solution for corporate travel and expense that lives entirely in the cloud and that modernizes the legacy systems. Download the full report below or register for a demo to get started.