Keep your operation lean: outsource business travel

Companies founded during a recession are more profitable than those founded in boom times studies have found. But what at first seems counterintuitive, upon reflection makes perfect sense—from the start, companies born into tough economic times had to be lean in order to survive.

Lean is a popular buzzword these days, and while it sounds good when batted around the conference room, what does it actually mean? The most basic definition is doing more with less. In other words, being lean isn’t just about cutting costs—it’s about using the resources you have in the smartest, most efficient way possible. For travel programs, that means increasing return on investment while maximizing employee productivity.

How lean is your travel program?

To find out, ask yourself these questions:
• Do you feel like your travel expenses are out of control?
• Do your employees spend valuable time booking their own travel?
• Do they overspend on last-minute flights and high-priced hotel rooms?
• Are you losing money by not taking advantage of negotiated contracts and corporate loyalty programs?
• Does your travel program suffer from a lack of visibility and accountability?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, it’s time for some lean thinking.

By working with a travel management company, you allow your employees to concentrate on what they do best - their jobs. 

If we return to the idea of lean thinking as using your resources in the most efficient way possible, does an ad hoc travel program make sense for your company? How many hours do your employees spend scouring the internet for the “cheapest” flight when they could be putting their time and effort toward something more productive? How much money does your company waste by overspending on flights, hotels and car rentals? How often are your travelers stuck in an airport unable to work because of a bad connection or canceled flight? If you don’t know because of poor visibility, or you’re unhappy with the answers, perhaps it’s time to consider some strategic outsourcing.

You might wonder how adding an extra expense to the books is an example of lean thinking, but by working with a travel management company, you allow your employees to concentrate on what they do best—their jobs. Partnering with the right travel management company can bring invaluable transparency and accountability to your travel program, the effects of which can be felt across the board. 

How a travel management company can make you leaner:

• Well-written travel policies encourage compliance and rein in excessive spending
• Online and mobile platforms make bookings and expense reporting easy and efficient
• 24/7 travel managers quickly step in when unforeseen circumstances arise
• Negotiated contracts, low-fare monitoring and unused ticket tracking save money
• Accurate data analytics help you cut costs and plan for the future

Interested in learning more about how a travel management company can help make your company leaner? Check out our article Guide to Making the Move to Managed Travel.

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 improve employee productivity.