Must-Know Tools for Travel Managers
Your role as a travel manager involves wearing dozens of hats, sometimes more! With so many things to juggle, finding ways to make your day run more efficiently becomes an essential part of the job.
How can you turn your processes into streamlined workflows that practically run themselves? The key is to find the right tools and ensure they work well together.
You don’t want to have to open multiple programs to reach one common goal. Sure, it’s necessary sometimes, but if you can invest in tools that solve multiple problems simultaneously, it’ll save you time, money, and headaches.
Sound too good to be true? Along your search for the Holy Grail of travel management tools, look for these must-have features, and you’ll quickly see how your daily tasks become simpler.
Do you remember the last time you adjusted your travel policy? It was likely after COVID, but the pandemic’s effects continue to impact the hospitality industry, causing new regulations and building technology to make travel safer.
As the world changes, so must your travel policy. But you don’t want to have to rewrite the whole book to tweak a few portions every time something new hits the scene. Instead, look for software with built-in, adaptable travel policy templates that you can customize with the click of a mouse.
A travel policy isn’t something to write lightly or copy and paste from another business. Your corporate travel policies reflect the duty of care you provide your travelers with, and it may be necessary to defend the company if any mishaps happen.
Well-designed templates include an introduction that explains your company’s view on traveling employees and why the policies are vital to each person’s safety. From there, the templates let you create workflows that include your company’s policies regarding:
- The booking process,
- Authorized expense categories and approved vendors
- Non-reimbursable expenses and unauthorized vendors
- How to report expenses and receive reimbursements, and
- What to do if support is required while traveling.
As you know, this can get complicated, and any minor misplaced or forgotten word can make a significant difference. With a template, it’s easier to rearrange portions of the text to suit your business and click to add or delete as needed.
Travel and accounting software programs may boast hundreds of reports, but do any of them help you understand the data you need?
Big data analytics and reporting can optimize your travel expenses, helping you make more informed decisions and predictions. Useful software tracks your company’s spending individually or by departments, broken down by projects, campaigns, events, or even client-by-client.
Over time, you’ll see how travel costs change during certain times of the year, which of your travelers/events/destinations bring in the most return, and which areas of your expenses aren’t profitable.
If you only use your software solutions at the surface level, you may never need customer support. Should you decide to delve deeper into the filters and tools available, or a question comes up, a little guidance might be helpful. How easy is it to access customer support when that happens, and is it going to cost you every time you need help?
The customer support features for any tool you use should be included in the cost of the software. If you need to ask a question, there’s either a problem, or you want to get to know what’s available to you on a deeper level. Either way, you shouldn’t have to pay to get the information.
Here’s an example. A business’s travel manager wants to create an event at a particular destination, but they need a hotel large enough to host hundreds of guests. They’re using a corporate bookings tool like Hotel Engine, and the filters bring up too many options.
The travel manager wants to narrow down their search further but isn’t sure how. By contacting customer support and explaining their needs, they’re able to find a hotel close to the city center within their budget with availability on the date of their choosing.
Tech support and customer service should be easily accessible and free, and you should feel comfortable contacting them with any questions.
When you’re on the hunt for the top tools in the travel industry, you’re going to find a lot of options. Narrow down the search by looking for software that helps you easily design the important documents in your business, like your travel policy, has report features you’ll use, and gives you free and accessible customer support.