If you’re in charge of booking travel for your organization, you’ve likely had some extra time to fill in the past year and a half. With pandemic restrictions in place and the timely rise of Zoom, travel became a thing done from sofas and home offices worldwide.
Even with the lifting of restrictions, travel managers have found themselves in unfamiliar territory. A once-reliable process has become a scavenger hunt, confirming – and reconfirming – entry requirements, travel allowances, and even finding alternate routes when layovers become an impossibility.
Your work life has likely gone into overdrive, and you’re feeling the pressure to stay on top of things in an uncertain global travel climate. Now is the right time for improving your travel program to suit these new and ever-changing times. Optimize your travel program so you can meet your company’s needs.
Travel Isn’t What it Used to Be
As the world reenters into a sense of “normalcy,” it’s clear that things won’t simply return to their original state. The ways businesses function has shifted dramatically, and so have movements domestically and internationally.
Your travelers will likely be going to different places than they once did. Future travel is all but impossible to predict. Fares, rates, and policies are in constant flux. For many companies, budgets have tightened in an effort to rebound from the economic impact of lengthy shutdowns.
These factors increase the pressure on travel managers to be agile and budget-conscious, bringing value to the company to show the importance of their role. That requires new ways of approaching your travel booking workflow to lower costs.
Making a move away from static rates in favor of real-time negotiations can help you achieve this flexibility. Ongoing program management is crucial, ensuring you’re staying ahead of fluctuations and capitalizing on the best rates, routes, and options available.
Automation is Key
Fortunately for all of us, we live in a technological era. Some solutions can help to remove manual burdens and streamline your travel booking processes. Machine learning and artificial intelligence can offer deeper insights into booking options and help deliver business travel cost savings reliably and efficiently. With continuous sourcing, you can be sure you’re receiving the best and most current fares available.
Manual audits and reports are not only time-consuming but are prone to human error. Using technology to audit expenses and deliver numbers for earrings and expenditure reports will save you time and give you a clearer picture of where your company’s budget stands. Automating reporting and crucial audits means you always have important figures available to help govern your decisions.
Even once you understand how to improve your travel program, it won’t happen overnight. These things take time to develop a strategy and approach. That includes checking and vetting services, negotiating agreements, designing a strategy, understanding interoperability of workflows, reviewing technology requirements, and budgeting for implementation. And all of that is before you even embark on the overhaul and put the wheels in motion for improving your travel program.
Business travel will be back to normal before you know it – and now is the time to start optimizing your travel program using FairFly – Book an intro with FairFly here to learn more.
Now is the Time
The entire process for improving a travel program can take six to twelve months. While you can choose any time to optimize your program, the best time to start is now, particularly while things are slowly opening up. While it may seem far-fetched at this point, the world will open up again and travel volumes will skyrocket.
The future is hard to predict in the best of times it’s true, and this is now even more true than ever before. While travel booking won’t remain as it is today, it will see dramatic changes even as the world returns to some sense of normalcy.
Optimizing your travel program now means greater flexibility and agility to manage these shifts and unknowns. Waiting too long to optimize means attempting to revamp a system while it’s in a mission-critical state. It will be harder to justify the expense while the burden on workflows is great.
Don’t try to meet modern needs with an antiquated approach. Take a moment to evaluate and improve your travel program so you can meet the new challenges and opportunities of a post-pandemic world when the time comes.