Business travel was one among the first to taper at the beginning of the Corona virus pandemic. Travel dipped heavily and has started to inch back in small increments recently. It is not a steady climb, but moving up, nevertheless.
A steep downturn in the economic scenario and resultant pressure on company budgets are a deterrent for a smooth travel process. To remain viable, businesses will have to reduce costs including travel. The new normal involves and promotes the use of technology tools such as Zoom. However, these tools are not long-term replacements to trust-inducing in person face-to-face meetings.
Controlling Costs for Business Travel
Business travel holds great importance for most businesses irrespective of size, and the associated costs form a big chunk of the budgetary allocations. Negotiating for best fares becomes meaningful when there is at least a minimum budget to spare; however, when travel allocations are close to none such comparisons become a wasted expense of time.
As per PhocusWire, in the current situation, all new business travel will be scrutinized. Herein lies the importance of cost control measures. Let us take a relevant example, one of travel procurement, to see how cost control post the pandemic can be implemented with lesser impact on business outcomes.
Travel Planning & Procurement
After the travel decision is made, it is important to carry out planning cautiously, so that cost control and safety measures are in place. In the normal circumstance, this includes the travel manager collecting staff member details. They will then initiate procurement by interacting with multiple vendors/ suppliers. Whether a large team of travel managers dealing with 100 travellers or a solo travel admin working for a smaller organization, the situation can be a hassle.
Another challenge is the cost. Multiple calls and emails will not guarantee the lowest prices and good services. Travel prices are seldom the same across suppliers, creating price disparity. Also, the prices quoted by suppliers are not their best rates. In addition to this. quotes from multiple vendors need manual or semi-manual processing that can lead to less than accurate decision making and revenue loss. No single vendor can provide the best fares at all time and a lot of effort needs to be spent on identifying the right combination every time a purchase decision is made.
Fare escalations are also troublesome for companies trying to rein in costs.
Most businesses therefore rely on OTAs which can be a separate task that needs attention and focus for successful execution. Since businesses need to focus on their business more, this kind of an engagement can be a distraction.
Role of Technology
Compare this exercise to the presence of a smart travel management system that can automate travel procurement. Such a system can also accelerate other aspects of travel. However, most importantly, the tool must be able to provide a unified digital marketplace with ample choice, allowing travel managers to choose the right suppliers with matching prices, all within policy framework.
A right choice of suppliers, adoption of technology tools and focused efforts on the travel program can help businesses make considerable savings on costs.
TCat – Travel Management Solution from Catalyca
TCat offers a unique way of solving cost control challenges related to travel, particularly procurement. The system empowers the business to provide wider choices through collective bargaining in a digital marketplace. TCat combines travel procured from multiple vendors into a single unified platform, enriched with intuitive user experience and proactive traveller support.
TCat allows the below benefits for travel managers & other stakeholders.
- Diversity of choices
- Rich content through IATA Standards (NDC)
- Opens hitherto inaccessible suppliers
- Collective bargaining power
- Seamless supplier switching
TCat offers a traveller-first approach, one that is also highly personalized without causing revenue leakage. In TCat, all dimensions of travel are integrated to provide a seamless experience to stakeholders named as One Travel.
To know more about how TCat can save travel costs for your business, reach out to us today.