Businesses use metrics to assess and monitor many performance indicators. Why isn’t travel spend often tracked the same way?.
To resolve this matter, these are some of the facts that will provide you with more visibility towards your T&E expenses.
Policies are often generic, for the masses. Exceptions are approved discreetly. In travel, for example, a policy requiring employees to book at least 14-days in advance can be beneficial for your sales team but not for the maintenance team who is dispatched on short notice, which is not good. An effective travel policy would identify such discrepancies and address desired behavior as needed.
Travel data provides the company with better insights on how the T&E budget is spent. It allows the company to make informed decisions, which can add to savings in corporate travel expenses. For example, a top city report can lead to negotiated rates with a local hotel, often saving between 10-22% on daily rates.
As the metrics provide quantifiable results, it gives the company the opportunity to address any breach of policy, understand behavior, and hold employees accountable. A company that has preferred hotels could flag any bookings made on non-preferred hotels in a given city, and require an explanation.
Lists of approved vendors are typically used by companies to ensure certain cost and quality standards.
On occasions, a perception that the policy doesn’t provide adequate options leads to non-compliant bookings. Reports will indicate missed savings opportunities. On Air, a ‘lowest logical fare’ comparison will often point out traveler airline loyalty. For hotels, overnight stays without a room book may indicate non-compliant hotel choice.
Social responsibility is taken seriously by international organizations, especially when it comes to travel. Corporations often promote social responsibility by committing socially, environmentally and ethically to human rights topics.
For example, monitoring choices that lead to higher carbon emissions can be impactful. Both corporate travelers and employers can keep track of how often they purchase rail over air tickets. Since rail travel generally produces fewer carbon emissions per passenger than air travel, the travel policy program can calculate the environmental goodness of making equitable disposals of rail tickets divided by the total number of rail and air tickets, which will offer a fair measure.
The metrics only show the quantifiable results and not the qualitative picture of the business travel. It may show you the average cost of travel, but it will not tell the quality of flight, satisfaction of the employee, etc. Using feedback forms can help overcome this issue. A report on ‘reason for booking change will shed light on some business practices worth revising.
The results provided by the metrics are not always correct. We say “garbage in, garbage out.” Using outdated or incorrect metrics can lead to misleading results that can lead to wrong decisions, which may cause dissatisfaction among employees. Companies should focus on easing the data collection via the online booking or and Travel Management Company.
In sum, today’s TMC services are paired with the latest technology to allow your company to understand travel behavior and costs. Are you using what is available to you to maximize your travel program?