Top 6 Challenges Facing Travel Managers Today

Travel Managers face complex challenges on a daily basis. Whether coping with problem travelers, changing industry trends, fulfilling duty of care or reporting to support reconciliations and budgets, the demands are varied. Account Managers at Custom Travel Solutions understand these challenges, and work with Travel Managers to support them in staying on top of industry trends, best practices to ensure policy compliance, providing tips and tricks to coping with problem travelers and other strategies to navigate these complexities.  The following provides an overview of the top six challenges facing Travel Managers and suggestions of how to manage them.

Challenge 1: Reporting and Data Management

Travel Managers need access to data for a variety of purposes, some on a regular basis and some ad hoc. These reporting requirements may support the internal travel function, or other departments such as finance, marketing or legal. In order to deliver on corporate needs, reports can be customized to capture specific fields such as Division, Project Codes, Employee Types, Reason Codes and Employee Numbers. The Account Management Team can be engaged for more complex reporting requirements, and when required Custom Travel can engage a team of specialists to develop client specific reporting. Reporting packages can be scheduled for delivery on an Annual, quarterly, monthly or weekly basis, and can be delivered to Travel Managers or other defined contacts within the organization.

Custom Travel recommends a regular audit of the scheduled reports to ensure efficiency in who they are delivered to, and what data is contained. We also offer training for clients who wish to use their reporting program dashboard.

Challenge 2: Changing Fare Options

With so many fare options available, it can be challenging to determine the best option. Some of the top considerations in designing a company policy on fare options include; possibility of making changes, flight distance and time. While some initial purchase prices may offer savings, travelers who supplement their travel with ancillary options or who make frequent changes may generate greater savings in the long term by choosing different fare buckets. It’s important to consider the inclusions and restrictions when determining what best suits company needs. Custom Travel can work to support Corporate choices related to Fare options in the online booking tool and full service.

Challenge 3: Implementing and Managing Policy Compliance

The first step in measuring policy effectiveness is to set goals. Once complete, identifying metrics to track progress towards goals is a critical element to continue to measure and analyze data to determine success. Managing Policy Compliance is an ongoing activity as company policy and employees change. Support of Leadership, Standardization of Process, Communication to Employees and a goal to Revisit and Revise are all best practices to encourage policy compliance. Custom Travel Solutions offers a Policy Assessment Service which is exclusive to the Travel Leaders Network. This service is complimentary for Custom Travel Solutions partners, and provides a policy score card and bench-marking on policy timeliness, support, communication, language, enforcement, approval, booking methods, air, ground and hotel. Contact your Custom Travel Solutions Account Manager today to schedule your policy assessment!

Challenge 4: Duty of Care

Various third party providers offer full integration of medical, security and emergency support systems for mobile workforce’s around the world. Custom Travel Solutions can work in partnership with these companies to ensure travel information is captured. Consolidating bookings to your travel management company allows these sorts of emergency support programs to be implemented with confidence.

Challenge 5: Staying On Top of Industry Trends

In a world of ever increasing communication from various sources, it is important to stay on top of relevant industry trends and updates, while using reliable sources of information. Custom Travel Solutions offers direct communication to partners on issues that may impact travelers or company programs. We also provide three times daily e-travel alerts to stay on top of world events including weather, political, safety and health issues. Our quarterly newsletters provide high level updates of industry activity as well.

Challenge 6: Generating Efficiencies

With frequent and varied demands on time, it’s important to generate efficiencies wherever possible. According to a Topaz International Study, website visits to book travel take approximately 15 minutes. Travelers could spend 37 hours per month booking travel, based on 150 flights per month. Using an Online Booking Tool reduces hours spent looking and booking for travel by 50-75%. That means over 15 hours per month that could be spent on other tasks! Finding these sorts of efficiencies in process is something our strategic Account Managers are pleased to do!

Overall, we understand the complexities associated with the ever changing role of Travel Managers. Our Custom Travel Solutions Team works to support Travel Managers in various industries across the globe, and work in partnership with one another to create reliable travel programs. We welcome you to contact us today for further information.

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