Travel and Expense

How to Tell If You’re Ready for a Managed Travel Programme

Hanneke van Leeuwen |

Small to medium-sized businesses are trying to squeeze every ounce of savings out of their budgets right now, yet many waste thousands of pounds each year on travel and expenses they can’t find a way to control.

  • They waste money on hidden spend (bookings they’re not able to see or control).
  • They waste time (which, as they say, is money) battling inconsistent ways to book trips, chasing down receipts, and manually entering charges on expense reports.
  • And they waste a lot of both dealing with errors and outright fraud on those reports.

But you probably know this already. You understand the value of having a connected, automated programme that allows you to control spend without complexities; to simplify the travel experience so employees aren’t wasting time on paperwork; and to make business travel both productive and enjoyable.

Take Back Control and Get Visibility Over Your Travel & Expenses

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And no, you’re not asking too much. You just need to know what to look for when you’re looking at managed travel providers. Here’s a start:

It’s all about integration.
Look for technologies that allow you to integrate payments with expense reports, shortening the time and distance between when employees submit expenses and when they’re reimbursed.

Welcome to the ecosystem.
Look for solutions wrapped in an ecosystem. Travel and expense processes run best when they’re integrated with your ERP, accounts payable, HR, and CRM systems, so make sure your potential providers can make sure every part of the system works together.

Security is more important than ever.
If your solution provider doesn’t use the latest data security protocols and fraud-detection technologies, keep looking.

Workflow automation is key.
Choose a solution that imbeds intelligence within workflows for bookings, itineraries, and approvals. And make sure they have AI-driven processes to automate the repetitive tasks that bog your employees down.


When You Sit Down with Prospective Suppliers, Don’t Let Them off Easy

You want a programme that lets employees book their trips their way – linking the brands they love to your system, so you can see what they’re spending and spot ways to save. You want a solution that shows you every booking detail and all itinerary data, so you know where travellers are and can help keep them safe. You want a provider who can give you control over all your travel and expense spend.

Again, you’re not asking too much. So when you’re talking to suppliers be sure to ask the tough questions.

  1. Do you have experience with my type of product, service, and company size?
  2. Can you show me a demo with my company’s “live” data, so I can see exactly how your solution will benefit me?
  3. Can your system integrate with my company’s other systems?
  4. How much training will my employees need to feel comfortable?
  5. How frequent are product updates, and how do they happen?

And this is just a start, because the last thing you want to do is put the wrong programme in place. With the right automated travel and expense management solution up and running, companies like yours have:

  • Saved an average of 122 hours a week.
  • Saved an average of 36.000 euro a year.

This is real money and real time. And you could probably use more of both. To find it (and the right travel and expense suppliers), take a look at this brief buyer’s guide

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