Business travel often falls within the job specification of the procurement department. But it’s very different from buying stationery. Travel is an emotional issue. Employees don’t care about the type of paperclips their employers buy, but they do care about the type of travel, so it’s important to create a clear set of guidelines.
When creating a travel policy, make sure you navigate the seven Cs:
Culture – every company has a different set of shared values and practices. It’s important that a travel policy reflects your corporate culture
Care – the best way to ensure Duty of Care towards your travellers is to ensure that your policy works and travellers comply with it.
Content – include all travel elements. Air travel gives you the greatest potential for savings, but also for overspending. Hotel rates should include extras such as breakfast and wifi. Rail travel is prone to leakage. Ancillaries such as car hire, transfers, and visas will be more cost-effective if booked in advance
Comprehensiveness – a successful policy covers everything – how to book, approval processes, designated class of travel, how many hotel nights are allowed per meeting, expense allowances, payment methods, advance booking requirements, and travel documentation
Communication – ensure that you have a solid communication plan in place, backed by a senior manager. Don’t just rely on the staff intranet. Never underestimate the importance of winning the hearts and minds of company executives, so that they buy into the policy.
Control – approval processes need to be stringent and manageable. Work in partnership with your TMC to ensure compliance by travellers and bookers
Compliance - make sure bookers and travellers stick to the policy and book within its guidelines. Use your TMC’s expertise and MI reporting to show compliance on a cost-centre and individual level
No one likes being told what to do, but a well thought-out, clearly communicated travel policy is the only way to achieve savings on business travel spend, however large or small.
This post was written by Jo Greenfield, General Manager, FCm Travel Solutions UK.
For further information visit www.fcmtravel.co.uk