There’s been a lot of buzz recently in the world of corporate travel management. Studies show that more and more employees are “going rogue.” Millennial workers spend more freely. Travel spend is a costly line item. What does all this mean?
While embracing change in the travel industry has become the new normal, adopting a completely ‘unmanaged’ travel policy can be fiscally irresponsible. After all, several major value-adds can be found in managed travel solutions: negotiated rates, duty of care, customer service, policy enforcement and data aggregation. Still, many companies are finding a more ‘open’ approach to be more cost-effective and far more user-friendly.
How can you tell if your company is ready to adopt “unmanaged” or “open booking” policies? As you think about the right way to manage (pun intended) your company’s travel policy, here are six key questions that will help evaluate options:
1. Is there room to save on T&E?
Travel spend is a pain point for many companies, but it doesn’t have to be. While business travel can be incredibly expensive, given the right tools and employee incentives to recruit a partner in cost savings, we see an opportunity for enormous savings for you and your company.
2.Do we have or want to have a strong company culture?
At Rocketrip, we believe employees know best. If your employees care about the bottom line and tend to spend responsibly, then implementing an ‘open booking’ policy should be right in line with existing culture. If you trust your employees, it’s a no-brainer that they can find better deals on the open market.
3. Do your employees deserve rewards?
Do your employees already book the cheapest deal they can find? Great. Rocketrip motivates them to save even more by rewarding them for ‘beating’ the budget. Some call it “gamification,” but we disagree. Our system provides actual rewards with actual value. Think of it like sales team commissions, but in reverse.
4. Do your employees have simple itineraries?
If your employees tend not to have complicated itineraries with multiple legs and lots of last minute cancellations and changes, then Rocketrip can help. Rocketrip’s platform is easy to work with and is optimized for most types of business trips. That said, for sophisticated itineraries requiring high levels of coordination, agents can be helpful. By the way, most managed travel pundits think changes and cancellations happen all the time.
5. Do your employees prefer booking online?
Your employees travel for personal reasons all the time. They have a favorite website, they’ve signed up for loyalty programs, or they simply love certain airlines, hotels or car rental agencies. With Rocketrip, they’ll have the freedom to book wherever, whenever, and however they want (so long as stay safe and under budget). Most companies with managed travel programs struggle with employee “leakage” (non-compliance to the layperson) because employees prefer the open market and know they can find cheaper deals on their own. We find it a bit humorous that “leakage” and “rogue” travelers occur so frequently that these terms have become part of the industry vocabulary.
6. Do you want to track your spending data?
Concerned about losing travel spend data with a more open system? At Rocketrip, we are partnering with expense management systems so all of your receipts can be sent to one place and your expenses managed effortlessly. Our dashboard provides analytics that will update you in real time with data on your total spend and related savings. We are also working on tracking employee behavior so you can see who is staying under budget and who isn’t. If you have historical T&E data, send it our way and we’ll draw up an analysis to show you how much you could save with an open booking policy.
All of this said, if you represent a huge company that gets tons of value out of your TMC, we are by no means suggesting you throw current policy out the window. Rocketrip can be used right alongside such solutions. We can save you money while making your employees money and everyone lives happily ever after.
The Rocketrip platform is an easy-to-use plug-and-play. Within a few minutes companies can plug in their current travel policy into the system, invite employees, and start providing instant travel budgets. Rocketrip provides expensing analytics and rewards redemptions.
This analysis was also featured in Tnooz, read the full story here.