A crowded marketplace

In today’s world, booking travel online has become almost second nature to most savvy travelers. With so many online travel websites cropping up, there is a wealth of choice out there with a seemingly endless list of hotel and flight options. Whilst these consumer sites work for leisure trips, when it comes to business travel planning, consumer sites are not fit for purpose. Certainly they benefit from vast investment in user experience, however, you should consider whether they are providing the necessary invoices and VAT receipts, whether they are delivering the required visibility of fare rules and whether the fares quoted to begin with are the same fares booked at the end of the process.

Booking business travel using a leisure tool can incur increased risk and additional unexpected costs that far outweigh any initial saving. Without a corporate travel system, tracking travelers, bookings and invoices can be a challenge, and there is no guarantee that you have found the best fares and rates for your business needs.

Keeping your travelers safe

Using a corporate booking tool gives you the ability to book, track, record and report on all of your travelers in a single system and takes away a great deal of manual work.

In a single view you can immediately see where in the world all of your travelers are located so, should anything happen, you know who may need your assistance. In a volatile world where anything from natural disasters to terrorist attacks are a sad reality, knowing where everyone is at any given time could make all the difference.

Booking within policy

Ensuring that your travelers are sticking to the policy is difficult if you can’t police this at point of booking. With a corporate booking tool, a policy engine will work behind the scenes to present the best value options to travelers. Whether it is a cap on hotel city rates, airline class restrictions, or highlighting preferred vendors, a good corporate tool can use visual cues (such as green for in-policy, red for out-of-policy) to help guide arrangers to the best options.

An advanced booking tool is also able to restrict policy based on the reason for travel as well as an employee’s seniority. For instance, a director may always travel Business class when traveling on behalf of a client. But if traveling for internal company purposes on a short haul trip, it may be that economy class is acceptable.

Not all corporate tools are equal

It is important to remember that not all tools are equal. There are several corporate booking tools in the market that allow for various customizations. For instance, GetThere benefits from TripCase integration, Concur links seamlessly with the expense product and R&M/Book offers the most advanced comparison engine in the market.

By working with a Travel Management Company who will understand your business needs and establish not only if online is right for you, but if so which tool best serves your requirements, you can save considerable time and money.