As small-medium enterprises (SMEs) expand their businesses and look for new sources of revenue, it becomes inevitable for both employers and employees to embark on overseas business trips. Usually, the first instinct for SME business owners is to handle the travel booking themselves, fueled by the misconception that it would be cheaper that way.
However, many SMEs underestimate the task and end up spending way too much time, money, or both. Furthermore, travel is more than just a mere procurement process as it deals with people’s lives and time spent time away from home, family, and friends. This brings about additional considerations such as safety, health, culture and other personal preferences.
Instead of taking matters into their own hands, a simple solution is to work with a travel management company (TMC) that can help optimize travel spend, and consolidate buying power as the business grows.
Here are three tell-tale signs that you should consider outsourcing your business travel management:
1. You always spend more than you budget for
Air and hotel pricing are mostly dynamic, meaning that they fluctuate on a daily basis and typically gets more expensive as yield demand increases.This is something that can be easily averted by engaging a travel partner. Not only can you leverage their purchasing power to negotiate better rates, they can also give you complete visibility on how, when and why you purchase travel with detailed reporting, analysis and recommendations.
2. You are the one doing travel bookings for your employees
Businesses are continually looking for ways to run their operation in a leaner, more efficient fashion. While it is common for both employers and employees to double up on business roles, travel booking is one area you can easily outsource with minimal costs. Travelers spend an average of five hours searching and booking their flights, accommodation and other services such as ground transportation. Instead of stretching your resources even thinner by handling these bookings yourselves, a travel partner will be able to assign a dedicated travel consultant to your company who will act as an additional resource with expert knowledge. They are able to handle the entire end-to-end travel needs of a business, including flights, hotels, transport, visas, insurance and even a 24/7 helpline that travelers utilize when overseas.
3. You don’t know what “Duty of Care” means
When employees travel for business, employers have a “Duty of Care” obligation to fulfill. Simply put, the employer is responsible for the health and safety of their business travelers and must take all necessary precaution to make sure that their employees are protected from the inherent risks of travel. This obligation goes beyond the purchasing of travel insurance. Duty of Care should be part of an overall travel management policy that acts as a guideline of best practices to be followed whenever someone travels on behalf of the company. This not only protects the traveler but also the employer. A good travel partner will also be able to provide solutions and advice on how to manage this, and have systems that can assist a company including traveler tracking, and crisis management processes.
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