“Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.” Benjamin Franklin may have written these words well over two hundred years ago, but they are no less valid today than they were then. Especially in the world of corporate travel management, where the cumulative cost of seemingly harmless actions such as booking a last-minute fare or not staying in a preferred hotel can cost a company dearly.
Of course, having a travel management program that includes a well-written travel policy is the first step toward stemming the flow of needless expenses, but once that’s in place, regularly reviewing your travel data should be your next priority. Gleaned from booking data, credit card statements and T&E reports, this incredible wealth of information will help you control costs, provide you with valuable insights into your travelers’ preferences and habits, and help you make better informed decisions about your program.
Gabe Rizzi, President of Travel Leaders Corporate, wrote about this exact topic in an editorial on the travel management website, The Company Dime. Highlighting the many ways in which travel data can be mined to improve cost savings, traveler satisfaction and safety and security, Rizzi looked at how data analyzation is beneficial to all travel programs, regardless of size or spend. “Your travel data has many stories to tell,” says Rizzi. “If you pay close attention, you can leverage that information to bring greater value to your corporation, reduce risk and benefit travelers.”
What Can Your Travel Data Do for You?
- Bring visibility to hidden costs and hard-to-track spending such as ground transportation and small meetings expenses
- Enable you to negotiate better deals with airline, hotel, car rental and small meeting suppliers
- Reveal areas where travel policy compliance is falling short and identify which travelers are not adhering to policies
- Help ensure the safety and security of your travelers in case of an emergency
- Allow you to glean invaluable information about your company’s business cycles that will help you plan for the future
This type of detailed information is readily available from systems you probably already have in place. Take, for example, this case cited by Rizzi in his online piece: “During the June 2018 quarter, we looked at more than three million reservations booked by our corporate clients. The average fare booked 21 days in advance was almost 27% cheaper than the average tickets booked within 14 days, and the average fare booked 14 to 20 days in advance was about 18% cheaper. Unfortunately, our analysis also showed that only one in four tickets was booked 21 days out. That’s a tremendous opportunity for savings.” He’s right, and by working with your travel management company to analyze booking patterns and expense data, you too can find hidden gold.
Ready to speak with a corporate travel expert about how you can better manage your business travel? Get in touch with us to schedule a free consultation that can help lower costs and get added-value perks for your travel spending.