The beginning of the year is the best time for businesses to deliberate on the single most important aspect of business – The Bottom Line! Considering the significant impact of business travel expenses on bottom lines and with travel managers putting their weight behind streamlining travel costs, UNIGLOBE experts recommend a travel cost-containment plan for businesses, as we enter 2016.

Implement a corporate travel policy

Create a travel policy that covers all aspects of business travel, including spending limits on lodging, meals, entertainment, transportation, etc. Make sure that the policy mandates a pre-trip authorization process, one of the best practices in modern business travel to control costs before spending. An effective policy will consolidate your travel expenses, give you greater control over your budget, save you money and increase your negotiating power, no matter how many road warriors you’re sending out every month.

Utilize managed travel

Managed travel is much more than having a travel policy. It’s about having a professional partner who you can depend on for assistance and ideas for cost containment. Work with a travel expert who understands your company’s unique travel patterns, needs and cost parameters, from bookings, to insurance and visas, to formulate a customized travel management program for your company. This will ensure greater consistency in your company’s booking processes and streamline your bookings and travel patterns, in turn delivering long-term savings. Also, working with a TMC will offer a host of other incentives ranging from negotiated booking rates, guaranteed upgrades, significant discounts, etc., thanks to their marketing and consortium affiliations on account of their cumulative booking volume.

Educate and motivate your people to save

Ensure everyone in your organization is aware of the corporate travel policy and complies with it. Educating and motivating employees by making them understand how complying with the policy will benefit them as individuals and as a company, will achieve vast savings for your company.

Optimise air travel, hotel booking and car rental costs

Air Travel

Air travel continues to account for the vast majority of all corporate travel related expenses. Needless to say, every aspect of air travel must be subjected to a microscopic view. This means, in addition to the obvious measures such as sourcing the lowest airfares and booking tickets in advance, also play close heed to the often neglected measures of air travel cost optimization. These include, utilizing the frequent-flier points, redeeming the often neglected unused tickets values, avoiding making or changing travel plans at the last minute and ensuring ramifications for employees making bookings outside the parameters of the corporate travel policy.

Hotel

Negotiate corporate rates with hotel chains common to your destinations. Look for hotels that offer amenities such as a complimentary breakfast, refrigerators and coffee makers in the rooms. Require employees to use these hotels and amenities when they are available.

Car Rentals

As with other aspects of business travel, advance planning in securing car rentals can help reduce costs, sometimes by significant amounts. In addition to making advance reservations, use discount coupons from membership organizations, or airline frequent-flyer clubs when securing a rental car.

To sum it up, a little forethought and planning can save you a significant amount of money on business travel expenses. So, make business travel bottom-line friendly in 2016!

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