Business travel ROI on thin ice? Break free from sneaky saboteurs

Krizia Mojado
Krizia Mojado
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While corporate travel managers may diligently focus on reducing travel expenses, they might overlook the less obvious elements that can significantly impact the overall business travel ROI. The true ROI of business travel is often elusive, with several factors lurking beneath the surface that can silently sabotage the expected gains. 

Research indicates that business travel continues to play a pivotal role in fostering growth and generating revenue. According to the Asosiasi Perjalanan Bisnis Global (GBTA), in 2019, businesses spent a staggering $1.5 trillion on business travel, resulting in a significant contribution to the global economy. Furthermore, a study conducted by Oxford Economics found that for every dollar invested in business travel, companies experienced an average of $12.50 in incremental revenue and $3.80 in new profits.

These figures underscore the potential for substantial returns when business travel is managed effectively. However, a closer examination reveals that the ROI of business travel is not solely determined by travel expenses. Sneaky saboteurs, such as missed opportunities, unproductive meetings, and employee burnout, can diminish the expected gains, making it essential for organizations to adopt a holistic approach to maximize the ROI of their business travel endeavours. 

In this article, we will explore some of these saboteurs and shed light on the strategies that can help break free from their grip, ultimately enhancing business travel ROI. By addressing these hidden challenges head-on, organizations can unlock the full potential of their business travel investments, paving the way for increased profitability and sustainable growth.

1. Self-serve snowball effect

A self-serve snowball effect can have a significant impact on business travel ROI. But what exactly does a self-serve business travel programme mean? A self-serve business travel program happens when employees are allowed to book their travel arrangements, such as flights, accommodations, and transportation, without needing extensive assistance from a dedicated travel manager or department.

At first glance, this self-serve approach might seem like a great way to streamline the travel booking process and save time and money. Employees can quickly make their own arrangements, cutting out the middleman and reducing administrative overhead. However, if not managed properly, this self-serve system can lead to a snowball effect that negatively impacts the overall ROI of business travel.

When employees are empowered to handle their own travel arrangements, they may prioritize convenience and personal preferences over cost-saving measures. They might choose more expensive flights or accommodations or book last-minute trips without considering cheaper advance booking options. Additionally, it becomes challenging to enforce travel policies and ensure compliance without centralized oversight. Employees might unintentionally bypass preferred suppliers or negotiated rates, further eroding potential cost savings. Moreover, it becomes difficult to identify trends, track expenses, and make informed decisions to optimize travel spending without comprehensive reporting and data analysis.

To combat these potential pitfalls and transform a self-serve business travel program into a powerful ROI booster, it’s crucial to implement certain strategies. Here are a few tips:

  1. Set clear guidelines: Establish travel policies that outline preferred suppliers, booking timeframes, and cost-saving measures. 
  2. Offer training and support: Provide employees with training on cost-saving techniques, preferred vendors, and best practices for booking travel. Offer assistance channels, such as a dedicated support team or online resources, to address any questions or concerns.

2. Lenient travel policy’s perks melting away

For some companies, low-effort travel policy adherence is maintained by being lenient. But this makes your travel policy as delicate as a snowflake that might slowly melt away and leave your business travel ROI out in the cold. 

While companies may yearn for a low-effort travel policy that seems easy to implement, they often overlook the consequences of being too lenient or failing to tailor the policy to suit various types of corporate travel. Igniting a blizzard of savings requires unleashing strategies that strike the perfect balance between policy compliance and cost efficiency.

An overly lenient policy might allow employees to book extravagant accommodations or premium transportation options, leading to unnecessary expenses. On the other hand, a one-size-fits-all policy may fail to account for the diverse travel requirements of different employees or departments, resulting in dissatisfaction and reduced productivity.

Here are a few approaches you can consider:

  1. Tailor your policy: Instead of a rigid, generic policy, customize it to accommodate the varying needs of your employees. Consider factors such as travel frequency, seniority, destination, and purpose to determine the appropriate guidelines for each situation.
  2. Provide clear guidelines: Clearly communicate your travel policy to employees, outlining what is acceptable and what isn’t. 
  3. Leverage technology: Implementing user-friendly travel management companies or platforms can simplify the booking process, streamline expense reporting, and provide valuable data for analysis. 
  4. Foster a culture of cost-consciousness: Encourage employees to make cost-effective choices by incentivizing savings or providing guidelines on preferred suppliers, negotiated rates, and travel booking best practices. 

3. Taming your travel management system

Imagine your current travel management system as a Yeti, a mythical creature known for its elusive and challenging nature. It might be causing more problems than solutions, at the moment, and it’s time to address the missing puzzle pieces that could be chilling your ROI.

Acquiring a corporate travel management system doesn’t automatically guarantee cost savings, but finding the RIGHT one can make all the difference. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Streamlined Processes: An effective travel management system streamlines various aspects of your travel program, such as booking, expense management, and business travel policy compliance. 
  2. Cost Control: The right travel management system provides tools and insights to help you control costs more effectively. It allows you to set and enforce travel policies, monitor expenses in real time, and identify cost-saving opportunities. 
  3. Enhanced Traveler Experience: A user-friendly travel management system can significantly improve the traveller experience. It provides a seamless booking process, access to travel itineraries on mobile devices, and on-the-go support. 

To thaw out your success, finding a comprehensive travel management system that addresses your unique needs is crucial. Look for a solution that offers seamless integration, robust reporting capabilities, mobile accessibility, and excellent customer support.

Remember, acquiring the right travel and expense management system can save costs, increase efficiency, and maximize your business travel ROI. So don’t settle for a Yeti-like system when you can have an ally that brings value to your organization.

4. Post-Travel Hibernation Blues

Post-travel hibernation blues can significantly impact the return on investment (ROI) of business travel. It refers to the phenomenon where employees experience a lack of motivation and productivity following a business trip. While it might be tempting to skip post-travel reports and dive straight back into work, doing so can lead to missed opportunities and decreased ROI. 

Post-travel reports are crucial for capturing valuable insights and learnings from an impactful business travel. These reports provide a detailed account of the trip, including meetings, interactions, and observations. By documenting this information, you create a knowledge repository that can be referred to in the future. It allows you and your team to reflect on what worked well, what could be improved, and what new opportunities were uncovered. 

Secondly, post-travel reports enable effective communication and collaboration within your organization. This collaborative approach enhances team cohesion and promotes knowledge sharing, leading to better decision-making and increased productivity. 

Moreover, post-travel reports play a vital role in measuring the ROI of corporate travel. They provide a tangible record of the trip’s goals and whether those were achieved. By evaluating the outcomes and comparing them against the costs incurred, you can assess the effectiveness of your business travel initiatives. 

To streamline your reporting process and combat the post-travel hibernation blues, consider the following tips:

  1. Simplify the reporting format: Create a standardized template that captures essential information while minimizing the time and effort required to complete the report.
  2. Encourage immediate reporting: Encourage employees to document their experiences shortly after the trip while the details are still fresh in their minds. 
  3. Provide guidance and support: Offer clear instructions on what should be included in the report and provide examples or guidelines to help employees structure their thoughts effectively.
  4. Automate where possible: Leverage technology to automate certain aspects of the reporting process, such as data entry or report generation. This saves time and reduces the administrative burden on employees.

Boost Your Bottom Line and Increase Your ROI Today

How can you take it a step further and uncover even more savings in your travel costs? This is where TruTrip comes in. Our innovative savings calculator is designed to help you see how much more you can save on business travel. It’s a quick and easy way to unlock hidden savings.

Ready to break free from the limitations of traditional travel spending and discover the true potential of your business travel? Jadwalkan demo atau mendaftar untuk uji coba gratis of TruTrip today. Our team of experts is here to guide you through the process and help you revolutionize the way you approach travel expenses. 

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to elevate your ROI and maximize your savings. Take the first step toward a more efficient and cost-effective travel program with TruTrip.