Webinar Recap | Unlocking Cost Savings How Digitalization Transforms Travel Management

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In a recent webinar, Darren Riley country manager at TruTrip and Joel Chong, business development lead at YouBiz, both seasoned experts dived into the nitty-gritty of managing business travel expenses and shared game-changing insights.

They showed us how digitalization and automation are revolutionizing travel management, making it easier and more cost-effective than ever. Here are the key takeaways and standout quotes from their session.

Rising corporate travel costs and budget management

Darren kicked things off by tackling the elephant in the room: skyrocketing travel costs. “Rising travel costs due to factors such as fuel prices and inflation make it challenging for companies to manage travel budgets,” he said. To combat these costs, Riley emphasized the importance of negotiating rates and harnessing tech to find smarter options. “To mitigate these costs, businesses should negotiate rates with travel service providers and leverage technology to find effective options.” Plus, having a dedicated travel manager is crucial to avoid hidden costs. “The absence of dedicated travel managers can lead to hidden costs.”

Joel added that companies are now realizing deeper hidden costs of business travel beyond the obvious expenses. “Previously, companies used to calculate travel expenses from a more simple dimensional perspective—the cost of flights, day-to-day expenses, the usual stuff. But nowadays, companies are now realizing that there are deeper hidden costs to business travel.” He highlighted the importance of identifying these costs to manage travel budgets effectively.

The impact of technology on managing travel expenses

Joel took the stage to talk tech. “Technology is increasingly critical in managing travel expenses,” he noted. Digital payment solutions are a game-changer, offering competitive and transparent rates for FX spread and exposure. “Digital payment solutions offer ultra-competitive and transparent rates for FX spread and exposure.” He emphasized how integrated expense management software can cut unnecessary costs and streamline compliance. “Expense management software integrated with payment solutions helps reduce unnecessary costs and streamline compliance.”

Darren agreed and highlighted the absence of dedicated travel managers as a challenge. “Our research highlights that a significant percentage of surveyed companies don’t have a dedicated travel manager, resulting in delays and increased spending.” Leveraging technology helps mitigate these challenges by providing comprehensive analytics and improving decision-making.

Automation and administrative efficiency

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Automation was a hot topic, with Darren highlighting its benefits. “Automation reduces the administrative burden on employees, streamlining repetitive tasks and allowing them to focus on their core responsibilities.” Integrating automation speeds up operations, errors decrease, and costs drop. “By integrating automation, we can speed up operations, reduce human errors, and cut operational costs.” Riley also pointed out how these systems boost employee satisfaction by making booking easier. “Automated travel management systems enhance employee satisfaction by offering more efficient booking experiences.”

Joel echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the role of automation in reducing manual errors and administrative costs. “The average cost to process a single expense report manually was a staggering $58, and 20% of these reports had errors, adding another $52 in costs.” Automation eliminates these errors and costs, making expense management more efficient.

Balancing control and flexibility in expense management

Joel discussed finding the sweet spot between control and flexibility. “Balancing control and flexibility in travel expense management is essential to prevent non-compliance or operational inefficiencies.” Empowering employees with corporate cards gives them spending freedom while easing the stress of out-of-pocket expenses. “Corporate cards provide team members the flexibility to make necessary expenses while on business trips, reducing the strain of out-of-pocket expenses.”

Darren added that clear, flexible travel policies are crucial. “We always talk about clarity and consistency. Ensure that the policies are clear, easily accessible, and consistently enforced. Employees need to understand exactly what is expected of them and understand the rationale behind the policy.” This understanding helps balance control and flexibility in expense management.

Data-driven travel policies and cost savings

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Darren emphasized the power of data-driven policies. “Using data to build clear, flexible, and consistently enforced policies can significantly reduce travel costs.” Predictive analytics are crucial in forecasting travel expenses and optimizing budget allocations, potentially saving companies up to 30%. “Predictive analytics can forecast travel expenses and optimize budget allocations, helping companies save up to 30% on travel spend.” Regular data monitoring helps create effective travel policies. “Regularly monitoring and analyzing travel data helps companies create effective travel policies.”

Joel reinforced this point by highlighting how data analysis can uncover cost-saving opportunities. “Identifying trends and anomalies in travel expenses is key to making informed decisions and implementing meaningful cost reduction strategies.”

Communication and training for policy compliance

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Communication and training are key to compliance, said Darren Riley. “Employees need to understand the rationale behind travel policies for better compliance.” Open lines of communication and proper training improve adherence and platform adoption. “Open lines of communication and proper training can improve compliance and adoption of travel platforms.” Training ensures staff understand how travel platforms benefit everyone. “Training staff on using travel platforms ensures they understand how it benefits them and the organization.”

Joel agreed and emphasized the need for clear communication to prevent non-compliance. “A lot of times, these expenses are accidental. Maybe the team member was uninformed or unaware, or there was a difference in interpretation.”

Real-time expense tracking and anomaly identification

Real-time tracking is essential, noted Darren. “Real-time expense tracking allows companies to identify anomalies and manage travel spending effectively.” This monitoring provides a clear picture of expenses, enabling data-driven decisions. “Monitoring travel data in real-time gives a clear picture of travel spend and helps make data-driven decisions.” Spotting discrepancies through data can lead to significant savings. “Identifying cost discrepancies through data monitoring can lead to significant cost reductions.”

Joel added that real-time tracking helps companies stay on top of their expenses. “Digitalization and tools provide a transparent, accurate picture of travel expenses, enabling data-driven decisions.”

Negotiating better rates with travel vendors

For negotiating better rates, Darren advised thorough research and data support. “Conduct thorough research and use data to negotiate better rates with travel vendors.” Having clear objectives and strong relationships with vendors is crucial. “Define clear objectives and build strong relationships with vendors for successful negotiations.” Knowing your spending data improves negotiation outcomes. “Understanding your travel spend and having data ready improves negotiation outcomes.”

Joel highlighted the importance of clear objectives and vendor relationships. “Building strong relationships with vendors based on trust and mutual benefit is always crucial.”

Digitalization and comprehensive expense management

Joel discussed the shift to digital solutions. “The market is moving towards digital solutions in business travel management.” Comprehensive expense views enable informed decisions. “Solutions that provide clear, comprehensive views of expenses enable businesses to make informed decisions.” Digitalization offers a transparent, accurate picture of expenses, crucial for data-driven decisions. “Digitalization and tools provide a transparent, accurate picture of travel expenses, enabling data-driven decisions.”

Darren agreed and emphasized that digitalization helps companies manage travel expenses more effectively. “By integrating a travel management platform, companies gain a clear picture of their travel spend and can make data-driven decisions.”

Transform your travel management today!

Leverage digitalization and automation to cut costs, boost efficiency, and enhance employee satisfaction. Implement data-driven policies, invest in automated systems, and negotiate better rates with comprehensive analytics. Empower your team with flexible, tech-driven solutions. Watch the full webinar to learn more:

There’s more in store for you from this collaboration!

Webinar Unlocking Cost Savings Jun 26 2024

We’re excited to offer you a FREE 3-month trial on TruTrip, valued up to $99! Experience seamless travel management and discover the efficiency of our platform without any cost.

But that’s not all! Enjoy an 11% cashback on all TruTrip subscription plans when you pay using your YouBiz card. 🌟

Don’t miss out on these incredible savings! Sign up now and take your travel management to the next level.