When it comes to organising and booking corporate travel with the aim of minimising overall costs, many SMEs take the ‘why pay someone to do something that I can easily do myself’ approach. This of course seems like that natural attitude to take, especially given the myriad of self-booking and product comparison websites that are available on the internet today.
But did you know that companies who engage a corporate travel management firm spend on average 10% less on their business travel activity than companies who choose to do it alone? That’s right, for every $1000 your company spends on travel, you could be spending $100 too much just by trying to save money through ‘cutting out the middle man’. How, we hear you ask, can corporate travel managers achieve such favourable outcomes for their clients?
Corporate travel agencies consistently achieve such cost savings in 2 main ways:
Upfront cost savings
Firstly, agencies can save their clients huge amounts of time by taking care of the whole travel booking process from search to purchase and making amendments. This begins the journey towards cost reduction since for most SMEs the old ‘time = money’ adage rings painfully true.
Next, the timing and methodology used to book your business travel arrangements is another area where an agency can make significant cost reductions for you and your business. Whereas you or your PA may not get around to booking your flights and accommodation until only a couple of days before you’re due to leave, an agency will work with you to reserve your bookings as soon as you know where you need to go and when. This can save you significant amounts of money as products like airfares and hotel rooms, when booked in advance, are significantly cheaper than when booked on short notice.
Moreover, agencies use their experience to undertake a much more efficient booking process than your average SME owner who occasionally travels for work. They’re also on the lookout for things like hidden luggage fees or exorbitant charges should you need to alter your travel dates.
Data-driven decision making
The other way that corporate travel agencies help their clients to achieve sustained cost savings in the area of travel expenditure is by providing detailed and data-driven travel spend reporting.
An accurate reporting process allows you and your business to see the areas where you’re already achieving great cost savings as well as the areas where you can alter your travel policy in order to make even larger savings on future travel activities. Once you’ve used your post-travel expense reports to find the right balance of spending vs. saving in different elements of your travel mix, you and your travel account manager can work these elements into your organisation’s Travel Policy.
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little bit more about the ways a corporate travel agency can save your business money both right now and for many years to come! If you’d like to discuss how to start a more cost-effective solution to manage your business travel, contact us today.