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The Best Travel Management Software for Your Business

May 23, 2022 No Comments

Featured article by Osama Zahid

Business traveling has started to pick up pace as restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic reduce. Traveling is expected to increase further in the coming months. As a result of the pandemic one aspect of business traveling has changed. 

Previously business trips meant that companies had to go through inefficient expenditure processing. The process would include manually going through receipts, comparing them to the corporate policy and then processing the request forward after a series of approvals.

Luckily, spending and collecting receipts is a thing of the past! Nowadays many companies have opted for a travel management software to keep track of their employees’ travel itineraries and expenses. With a travel management software, the process becomes efficient. Businesses can now manage travel expenditure and have the convenience of hotel and flight booking all on their fingertips. 

Let’s dive in to understand how to choose the best travel management software for your business.

The first step in choosing a travel management software is understanding what your business needs and which aspects of travel you want to manage. Some businesses may only need a simple booking system while others may need something that can track employee spending, manage expenses, and generate reports.

Once you know what your business needs, you can start narrowing down your options by considering the user-friendliness, ease of integration, reporting capabilities, customer support, flexibility and price of the software.

There are many travel management software available that are TripActions alternatives. It is essential that you consider the following factors before choosing the best one for your business.

1. User-Friendliness:

A software that is easy to use will allow your employees to find flights, manage their bookings, see their approvals and track their expenses easily. The software should have a mobile application so that employees can access it while on the go.

Accessible Dashboard

An important aspect of the software is an accessible dashboard that gives you all the information about your trip in one place. The purpose of the software is to help you save time and keep track of your travel bookings with ease. An advanced travel and expense dashboard will break down data by person, transport type, booking type et cetera.

Allows communication

Since having meetings is difficult while employees are traveling, an efficient software will allow managers and employers to remain updated and communicate with each other through the software itself. Additionally, it is a bonus feature if the application can send alerts and updates on health risks, Covid-19 guidelines and tips to minimize risks while traveling.

2. Ease of Integration:

The software should be easily integrated with your company’s existing systems so that you can keep track of all your employee’s travel data in one place. For instance, to allow expenses to be tracked and reimbursed easily, you would want the travel management software to integrate with the company’s accounting software.

Integrating with business tools

Having an open API allows integration with other business tools. An efficient software should also be able to integrate with your company’s email and calendar system. This will allow employees to easily add their traveling dates to their calendar. If you want easy business travel management, you would want a software which integrates seamlessly with important tools such as Zoom, Slack, Bamboohr, Calendar and even Wework.

3. Reporting Capabilities:

The software should have robust reporting capabilities so that you can track your employees’ travel patterns and expenses. The reports should be easy to generate and should be available in various formats such as PDF, Excel, and CSV.

Integrated travel and expense solutions

An automatic expense report should be generated from the travel receipts. The report can then be easily exported to your accounting software, simplifying the entire process.

VAT insights

You need to see your recoverable VAT. It is a bonus feature if the travel management software allows you to claim a certain percentage of your travel VAT and generate reports for your total yearly savings after VAT spent.

Carbon emission reporting

Due to climate change, it has become important for businesses to consider their carbon footprint. In the contemporary world, a green footprint is not a nice-to-have but a must to-do. Therefore, a travel management software that offers carbon emission reporting will help you track the carbon footprint of your business travel and take steps to reduce it if it exceeds the limit.

Real-time reporting

Real-time reporting is also a very important aspect to consider if you want to remain aware of the progress of your business teams. With this feature, you can easily keep track of your employee’s travel patterns and expenses. The report should include the details of where employees are currently, which employees are traveling and their mode of transportation.

Such reporting will allow the upper management to make better informed travel management decisions.

4. Customer Support:

An efficient travel management software will have near zero downtime. In case some questions or concerns about the application arise, the software provider should offer excellent customer support.

Availability of customer agents

It is best to choose a travel management software that offers 24/7 support and has ultra-fast customer support. A quick response time should be an important factor when choosing a travel management software for your business.

Multilingual support

A software that offers support in languages such as German and Spanish is beneficial as you can easily cater to employees with different backgrounds. Even if the customer agents for such languages are available during work hours only, multilingual support is a benefit that needs to be considered when deciding on a software.

5. Flexibility:

Did your employees miss a flight or your company wants to modify plans due to some last minute changes? You need a travel management software that allows for flexible corporate travel.

Ability to cancel easily

Flexibility entails the ability to cancel easily. A great travel management software will return you over three-quarters of the fare back upon cancellations. Even better if the software does not charge anything if you cancel ahead of time.

Editable and customizable policies

A flexible software will also allow the option of customizing and automating travel policies. Editable travel policies are needed to ensure compliance. Additionally, the software should also offer the ability to customize approval workflows (some companies have flexible approval processes).

6. Price:

The software should be priced reasonably so that it does not put a strain on your company’s budget. A software that offers a free trial period is essential so that you can test out the software before committing to it.

To determine if the software has accessible prices, take a look at the implementation cost, subscription fees and budget options.

Implementation Cost

Choose a software with zero implementation cost and an easy setup. Software that does not require much training will have minimal or no implementation costs. Moreover, software with an intuitive UI design will also make the learning process for your employees shorter.

Subscription Fee

Choose a travel management software that charges only when you use their services. You need to save on subscription fees as much as possible. The whole point is to cut down on the expenditure and software with a subscription fee is not the best way to do it.

Budget options

An ideal travel management software is one that has the biggest inventory of hotels, flights, rentals and rail tickets. If you are a company that looks to cut down on travel expenses, you want a software that shows the option of booking tickets from lost-cost carriers.

Imagine the ability to make use of a very extensive rail inventory in Europe instead of booking flights and the option of booking Airbnb instead of five-star hotels for your employees? This will help you stay within your budget and use your funds elsewhere such as on corporate social responsibility (CSR) campaigns.

The software should be able to grow with your business. Make sure to choose a software that offers different pricing plans so that you can scale up or down as needed.

Summing up the ways to choose the best travel management software

In conclusion, the best travel management software for your business should be user-friendly and can be easily integrated with other important business tools such as Zoom and Bamboohr. A software that offers advanced reporting capabilities makes the whole process of business traveling hassle-free.

In addition to that, the travel management software should offer excellent customer support with quick response times. Travel management should be made flexible, allowing easy cancellations as well as offering editable and customizable policies.

Lastly, the software should also be reasonably priced with no implementation cost. Budget options will allow your employees to travel without breaking the bank (which is the whole point of choosing a travel management software in the first place.)

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