Business trips are elementary for companies in order to maintain important customer relationships, initiate new business or coordinate orders. Travel management is necessary not only to plan these trips sensibly, but also to control and manage travel costs and budgets. Especially in large companies, there are special travel managers for this purpose.
What is travel management?
The term "travel management" covers all tasks in a company that have to be done around business trips. These tasks range from information about suitable travel offers to planning the business trip to travel expense accounting.
In addition, travel management can also be part of controlling and set travel budgets or negotiate contracts with mobility solution providers. The aim of business travel management is to make the costs and administration of business and official travel as efficient as possible. For this purpose, processes are permanently analysed and optimised and travel policies are created by travel or office managers.
Modern travel management is facilitated with the help of software. Many companies outsource travel management and hand this task over to external travel managers.
What do travel policies include?
When companies set up travel policies, they specify who is allowed to use which means of transport. For example, the travel policy may stipulate that only second class rail travel may be booked or that an overnight stay in a hotel on the business trip may not exceed x amount.
Often, these policies are integrated into business travel booking software so that employees can book them through a specific portal and automatically comply.
Tasks of the Travel Management
Travel managers organise business trips and ensure that they run smoothly. Depending on the size or type of company, office managers or the HR department can also take over travel management.
The following tasks are associated with this:
- Purchasing travel services and negotiating special conditions
- Organisation and planning of business trips incl. social programmes
- Taking over travel expense accounting and controlling
- Analysis and optimisation of travel policies
- Important contact person for queries concerning business travel
- Introduction and use of tools for travel planning and accounting
- Taking over travel risk management by booking insurances
For which companies is travel management worthwhile?
In principle, structured travel management is a good idea for all companies in which many business trips are undertaken. These are, for example, companies with field staff or companies that maintain many business relationships with partners abroad. The more business trips there are and the more complex the travel expense accounting and management becomes, the more worthwhile travel management is.
Advantages of business travel management
Depending on the company, business trips can cause high costs every year. This makes the potential for savings all the greater, especially when it comes to travel planning and implementation. But there are other advantages to travel management besides cost savings:
- Transparent booking of travel costs thanks to precise pre-planning
- sensible use of resources
- simple management of employee travel
- Possibility of special conditions with tour operators, hotels or car rental companies
- simplified booking of business trips by employees
- Simple travel expense reporting
Travel management can be further optimised by using travel expense software. Circula offers the possibility for travel managers or office managers to view costs via the assistance mode and submit receipts, e.g. a hotel bill or a train ticket. In addition, Circula has an integration to TravelPerk, a business travel platform. With this integration, Circula enables a fully digital process from travel planning and booking to invoicing.
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