5 Must-Haves for Corporate Travel Management SoftwareBy Mike Baker
New platforms have emerged to help companies manage corporate travel — what sets the best tools apart?
The right corporate travel management tool can make all the difference when it comes to travel planning, compliance, and back-end management. But how can you tell if the platform you’re considering has what it takes to support – and please – all your employees?
There are 5 essential qualities you’ll want to look for when identifying the right corporate travel management software for your business needs:1. Comprehensive
Obviously, the software has to work for everyone — travelers, travel managers, and finance teams. If it doesn’t fully integrate all things “travel,” then someone, somewhere, within your organization is still spinning their wheels.
That’s no better than the chaos and confusion you have now. Employees booking their own travel in whatever way suits them. Your travel manager running around tracking down receipts. Finance folks chronically unable to accurately track (and forecast) spending. Do you even know where your employees are when they’re on the road?
A truly comprehensive corporate travel management solution alleviates all that pain and suffering by pulling together everything everyone needs under one digital roo — from booking through reimbursement, travel spend analysis and other follow-up. That’s a lot of value right there, but that’s not all.2. Intuitive
Truly useful travel management software puts your company’s travel policy literally in hand, so travelers can instantly refer to it when necessary. If they have to hunt it down, you know they won’t. They’ll wing it instead. So much for compliance. Goodbye, budget.
Yes, creating a one-page summary of your key policy points gives travelers a handy in-office reference, but built-in parameters for flights and hotels make booking even easier. And always within budget.3. Simple
What makes everything simpler? Digital automation! It’s a digital world. Technology is pervasive. By definition, any travel management tool that is not based on digital technology (and available in the cloud) is outdated. You want something that covers all the bases, is super-easy to use, and flexible enough to carry your teams into the future as the world of travel unfolds. (Have you met Lola?)
But it’s not just about being digital and mobile-friendly. The best corporate travel management software is intuitive to use and constantly improving. The modern business traveler is accustomed to consumer-friendly booking tools (like Kayak) so they won’t have the patience to plug away at crash-prone, bloated business software.
Likewise, finance jobs are complicated enough as they are — the last thing these folks need is outdated software hamstringing their ability to track, report on and forecast travel spend. A simple corporate travel management platform that applies common sense to the travel spend reporting process is a must.4. Collaborative
Teams that collaborate get more done and do it better. That applies to travel as much as other aspects of your business. When traveling employees, travel managers, and finance professionals are all using the same app, coordination is a no-brainer. Cross-communication is a no-brainer. Travelers can submit receipts with a click, or connect with fellow travelers. Your corporate travel manager knows who’s where and what their schedule looks like, with having to hound them. Assistance is available, 24/7. Simple. Digital. Technology.5. Mobile
Mobility is the essence of travel. Collaboration can’t go on hold just because team members are on the go. For that matter, neither can travel planning. In fact, as of 2017, 79% of corporate travelers reported making reservations for flights or hotels using their smartphone – because they were on the go. Any corporate travel management tool that isn’t agile enough to keep up with travelers and home base isn’t worth talking about.
With these 5 essentials, your people get the support they need, no matter how business travel affects their role in your organization. Actual travel is easy to plan and comfortable to execute. Duty of care is never a risk because travel managers can track schedules and communicate with travelers in real time. Finance folks have complete, accurate, timely visibility into budgetary compliance and overall travel spend.
No wonder everyone is pleased with your corporate travel management software.
PS - Lola.com has the highest-reviewed corporate travel solution on the market, and is a High Performer for Spring, 2019