Investment in business travel helps companies and startups generate incremental revenue. But business travel management is completely different from routine business activities and tasks. Many enterprises these days streamline this complex and distinct business process by working with corporate travel consultants.
A corporate travel consultant provides advice, information, and assistance related to business travel management. He helps employees plan business trips, make business travel arrangements, and claim travel expenses without putting in extra time and effort.
At the same time, employers need not spend time managing business travel programs after working with a business travel consultant. Instead, they focus extensively on boosting operational efficiency, expanding into new markets, and driving revenue generation.
However, the role and responsibilities of a business travel consultant differ across companies. Some travel consultants join the company as full-time employees, while others operate as freelance consultants. They help companies increase the ROI of business travel by saving time and money in several ways.
10 Ways a Corporate Travel Consultant Helps Companies Save Time and Money
1. Negotiating for Lower Rates
Global inflation makes it difficult for companies to control average business trip costs. A corporate travel consultant helps them save money by booking flights, accommodations, and other travel products at lower-than-market rates.
He gets corporate rates and discounts by networking and negotiating with many travel suppliers. Also, he expands supplier networks consistently by making negotiations an ongoing process. The reduction in travel product rates helps companies reduce average business trip costs significantly.
2. Ensuring Travel Policy Compliance
Companies control costs by defining and communicating clear travel and expense policies. But they find it challenging to ensure that employees book only in-policy travel products. Employees often escalate costs by booking out-of-policy travel products.
A corporate travel consultant considers the travel preferences and booking history of each employee while shortlisting travel products. He still prevents travel policy violations by showing and recommending only in-policy travel products to each employee.
3. Booking Travel Products Early
Experienced travel consultants understand that travel products increase travel product rates at the last minute. They complete business travel bookings early to get better rates. However, they save money by comparing the rates offered by individual travel suppliers. Also, they reduce costs using the discounts and deals provided by various travel products.
4. Prioritizing Fully-Flexible Tickets
Corporate travel consultants know the fact that work travelers cancel and reschedule travel bookings frequently due to unpredictable reasons. Hence, they prioritize fully-flexible tickets over non-refundable and non-cancellable tickets. Their choice of fully-flexible tickets enables employees to cancel and reschedule bookings without making employers pay cancellation fees.
5. Choosing Hotels Offering Complimentary Facilities
While making business travel arrangements, employees often ignore the complementary facilities and amenities provided by hotels. Hence, they have to spend money on breakfast, airport transfers, or car parking. But corporate travel consultants always prioritize hotels that offer complimentary facilities. Hence, it becomes easier for employees to save money by avoiding certain travel expenses.
6. Facilitating Process Automation
Most companies these days save money by automating business travel management. A corporate travel consultant helps them automate the process completely by choosing the right travel management software.
At the same time, many consultants automate crucial steps in the business travel management process by helping companies implement corporate booking tools and expense management solutions. They help companies configure, adopt, and integrate the software optimally.
7. Minimizing Travel Risks
Work travelers often escalate business trip costs by spending money on managing various business travel risks. A corporate travel consultant helps them save money by providing assistance and information before and during business trips. In addition to tracking the real-time location of work travelers, the consultants ensure real-time information delivery.
8. Meeting Duty of Care Obligation
Duty of care has become an integral part of business travel management after the pandemic. Companies invest in duty-of-care resources to ensure the safety and security of work travelers across destinations. A corporate travel consultant helps companies enhance the safety and security of employees in several ways.
In addition to providing elaborate destination information, he helps employees make business travel itineraries and refine business travel checklists. Also, it helps companies reduce duty of care costs by partnering with global health and security risk management firms.
9. Assisting Expense Monitoring and Analysis
No company can increase the ROI of business travel without streamlining travel management. A corporate travel consultant helps companies unify travel and expense data of employees. The unification helps the finance team track and monitor travel expenses in real-time.
At the same time, the consultant shares a variety of reports with decision-makers regularly. These reports generated using real-time help decision-makers understand patterns and trends in business spending. Also, they make it easier for companies to find opportunities to reduce business travel costs.
10. Sharing Data-Driven Insights
Like other professionals, corporate travel consultants boost customer experience using cutting-edge technologies like data analytics. They use advanced data analytics solutions to make sense of a company’s travel and expense data.
The analytics solutions help them gain actionable insights by analyzing large volumes of data. The consultant shares data-driven insights regularly with companies. Companies can leverage these actionable insights to find new opportunities to control business travel costs.
A corporate travel consultant helps companies increase the ROI of business travel by offering advice, assistance, and insights. Each company these days has the option to work with many types of corporate travel consultants.
Hence, it can reduce ongoing human resource costs by working with freelance travel consultants. At the same time, AI-powered travel management software creates opportunities for companies to work with virtual travel consultants. The virtual travel consultant finds opportunities for companies to save time and money by making travel and expense data analysis an ongoing process.
At the same time, a company can leverage features and tools provided by the software to curtail costs through end-to-end business travel management automation. Hence, each company these days has the option to save time and money by working with human or virtual corporate travel consultants without escalating human resource costs.