Travel bookers and business travellers often find themselves misaligned in terms of their priorities. The former are focused on cost optimisation while the latter prioritise travel experience and productivity. Bertrand Saillet, General Manager of FCM Travel Solutions South East Asia, has debunked the misconception that managing business travel is all about cutting costs. He urges companies sto shift their focus to compliance and duty of care.
Saillet urges travel managers and business travellers to communicate to make the travel experience more seamless and satisfactory. "It is clear that by establishing a mechanism that regularly and accurately captures the feedback of business travellers, travel managers can be more attuned to the travellers' preferences," Saillet says. He adds that this could also lead to cost savings for corporations.
The influx of business-centric mobile travel apps and websites has lead to tech-savvy business travellers searching for and booking travel, regardless of whether they are compliant with their organisation's travel management policies or not. "Technology should play an equally important role for travel managers due to the resulting efficiencies it delivers," Saillet says. "This can enable them to better connect with travellers and enhance the overall efficiency of travel booking - from identifying the appropriate travel plan to closing the loop with reimbursements and reconciliation." This offers a streamlined booking process and allows travellers to better manage their itinerary on the go.
"Simply introducing strict policies with zero tolerance (for example, non-reimbursement for non-compliance) will not guarantee success," Saillant says. To achieve the best results, companies can engage a travel management partner to gain a comprehensive overview as well as to consolidate their travel practices.