So any holidays planned?
At this time of year, plenty of business conversations end with a chat about travel plans for the summer holidays, with France, Spain and Portugal emerging as popular destinations. Now with the children ‘off school’, we are knee deep in the ‘silly season’ where many decision makers are unavailable for lengthy durations.
However, we have had enquiries recently from clients looking to reduce their Travel Costs. Why not? For many companies, corporate travel is a necessary, and expensive, part of business life. According to some experts, business travel spend is the third largest controllable cost item affecting profitability.
Usually, travelling for business can be costly because you only have a few days notice to book, and that means travelling at peak times/costs. Like all Overhead Costs, keeping business travel costs under control should be a priority, so consider these tips for reducing your company’s travel expenses;
1. Leverage Volume Discounts
Even when traveling solo, you can join buying groups and avail of per-negiotated discounts. Similar to our group deals on Energy Costs, we also leverage the buying power of Roomex when booking Hotel Rooms. Take advantage of their deep corporate discounts here.
2. Invest time in creating a Corporate Travel Policy
Developing a firm travel policy will provide a significant Return on Investment to control all future travel costs. A detailed policy should provide specific details about per diems in various destinations (i.e. have Dublin and London rates versus Cork and York rates), preferred hotel chains with pre-negotiated rates, reimbursements for expenses, and limits that require a signature if exceeded. Strictly implementing this policy while promoting same-day travel whenever possible, will guarantee long-term travel savings for your business.
3. Use a Competitive Travel Agent
Similar to most non-core activities within a business, travel planning should be outsourced to the experts. Even though the likes of SkyScanner and Trivago have created DIY Travel Agents, it is worth noting that Travel Agencies have access to corporate discounts with Airlines and Hotels, while having the in-depth knowledge and systems in place to negotiate better travel deals and greater savings. Such Travel expertise will not just provide you with lower fares (via affiliates and travel partners) but better availability, more options and greater flexibility.
4. Technology facilitates non-travel
Like most cost categories, technological advances enable more efficient delivery of information and services, which means employees can communicate remotely without leaving the office. Be warned that this does take commitment and persistence, while rarely appropriate for first-time meetings. However, it is worth experimenting with virtual meetings with excellent services such as Skype for Business and 24×7 Meeting available. While initially uncomfortable, not in person meetings are an acquired skill and employees will become more comfortable as they use the services over time.
Like all non-wage related Overhead Costs, we would be delighted to assist you benchmark and reduce your business travel costs. We would love to perform a comprehensive audit of your company’s travel program so contact us today to discuss further.