What is so special about your company’s travel and expense (T&E) data? T&E spending is not only a company’s second or third largest expense, but also it’s a complex category to fully comprehend. Without getting full visibility into a travel program, organizations will struggle to understand the true cost of a trip, and they won’t have the right insights to negotiate fully advantaged supplier agreements.
Why Smart Companies Are Investing in Travel Data
Organizations that do not integrate travel and expense data only have a 60-70% view of their travel program. Not only does this translate to lost opportunity to make cost-effective decisions, but also they could harm the business and their travelers if they make decisions based on incorrect or incomplete data.
Organizations that do not integrate travel and expense data only have a 60-70% view of their travel program.
It’s all about understanding the true cost of a business trip. The total cost combines the big-ticket items like your flight and hotel with extra expenses. For example, an itinerary might indicate that the trip costs $1,250, but then the company receives an expense report for $1,850 - an increase of 33%. The “true” cost of that trip is $1,850, but a company wouldn’t be able to use the information hidden inside that extra 33% without a complete grasp of its business travel data.
Having that complete grasp gives you true insights into your company’s travel spend, trends and traveler behavior. You can then turn those insights into actionable information that empowers your company to see the big picture and make positive changes.
How to Determine the True Cost of Travel
The first step is to dive into your overall business travel spending, such as airlines flown, city pairs, hotels booked, and cars rented. Behavioral insights also come into play here, such as when travelers book, how they book, what cabin class they book in, how often they change their tickets, and scorecards to grade this behavior.
Next, analyze your credit card data, zeroing in on what airlines, hotels and cars may have been booked outside of agency-negotiated agreements. Reducing your out-of-program spend ensures that you’re getting the lowest negotiated rates, reveals the true volume of business by vendor for better RFP leverage, and identifies out-of-program travelers not getting Duty of Care benefits.
The final step is to take a comprehensive look at all expensed travel information. This will uncover new insights that illustrate the out-of-pocket spending that factors into each trip’s true cost, as well as other aspects such as personal credit card charges, mileage and late expense reports.
In the right hands, this data can be strategically leveraged to drive down overall travel costs, as well as give you a better understanding of how your travelers’ personal expense decisions are affecting your bottom line. Find out what you could be saving on business travel expenses.
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