How to Reduce Your Company’s Travel Spend for 2020

How to Reduce Your Company’s Travel Spend for 2020

Business travel is a known expense and is generally one of the largest controllable expenses for many companies. While airlines are looking to increase their airfares, hotels are consistently merging, and these changes get passed on to the traveler. There are a few ways of controlling these expenses, so you can create balance, accommodate your employee’s requests or preferences, and lessen the impact of these industry changes.

Here are a few ways to reduce your travel spend in 2020:

Align Employee & Employer Interests

Coming up with a rewards-based program to reduce spending is a good way to create value in your travel policy. In essence, this just means incentivizing employees to spend less.

An example of this is creating a budget for various trip styles. Whether travelling for a trade show, meetings, conferences, each trip should have a budget assigned. If the traveller comes in under budget, they will earn points or credit which can be used for upgrades on their next trip.

Re-Evaluate Your Travel Policy

We talked about this in a previous blog, but sitting down and looking at your travel policy will give you a more accurate view of the areas you can improve. Whether it is renegotiating hotel rates, utilizing other technology, etc., knowing your travel policy inside and out can only help.

There should be enough flexibility to allow for some convenience, clarity in booking processes and the spend thresholds.

Encourage Compliance

Take some time to review your company’s 2018 travel spend. Have a look at the areas where travellers are overspending, underspending, or booking outside of policy. If overspending is an issue, why? If employees are booking outside of the policy, why? Answering these questions will allow you to communicate the travel policy clearly with employees and encourage compliance. If this remains an issue, you may want to consider implementing authorization processes.

These ideas, combined with the utilization of technology in simple reporting from travelers will save your company time and money, increase your employee satisfaction and make business travel more sustainable from all perspectives.

It’s not an expense that is likely to go away, but it is one that you can manage through good communication, clear guidelines, and setting realistic budgets.

Promote Public Transit

Encouraging the use of in-destination public transit (over a taxi), not only helps the environment, it reduces expenses. In cities like Amersterdam, visitors can now pre-pay for a digital transit pass before they leave home. When they land, they head to the airport metro station, scan their smartphone, and off they go toward their hotel. Taking initiative before your staff land creates implied convenience, a benefit which can pay for itself as soon as they land.

Some companies are even bonusing their traveling staff for hitting expense targets. For example, a company could buy its staff a transit pass, while encouraging them to stay under $20 (additional local transit) for the rest of their stay. If they hit that reduced target, they receive a $50 bonus. The numbers need to work based on the number of days in destination, but schemes like this tend to generate results.

Good Feelings or Solutions to Problems?

Good Feelings or Solutions to Problems?

As a corporate travel agency, we balance client expectations while leaving extra ‘leg room’ for unique needs, wants, and interests. We recognize that at least initially, our business travel clients come to us with a singular problem – one that requires responsible assistance. Over time, however, we’ve come to recognize that solving these problems at the highest level is not quite good enough and that a client’s problems are often more complex.

They require both a technical solution and an emotional solution, and we need to find the sweet spot between solving travel problems and good-feelings.

When one buys life-insurance they aren’t buying a piece of paper, they are buying peace of mind. When one goes out for dinner they are satiating their hunger, but what they are really buying is convenience, entertainment, and an experience. If you stop to think about it, have you ever made a purchase that wasn’t either a solution to a problem or something that made you feel good? I don’t think you have.

For every one of us at Worldgo, our clients bring travel problems to us. They need to go, to stay, and to do – all within a unique budgetary and accountable framework. It’s here that the most important part of our job occurs. We listen. We then ask What is the ideal solution to this problem?It’s like visualizing the finish line and then committing to work backward from it.

The answer is always the inner space in the Venn Diagram below – that sweet spot between problem-solving, customer service, risk mitigation and needs anticipation.

A recent Inc. article by Ilya Pozin claims that customers are really just buying experiences and that there are 4 pillars to delivering a positive experience.

  1. Focus on the shopping experience, not the buying experience.
  2. Choose quality of service, over speed.
  3. Personalize customer experiences.
  4. Communicate constantly.

Pozin goes on to say that “Delivering a great experience is powerful, and while it’s not always easy to do, it will keep your audience coming back for more“.

Similarly, Hubspot wrote an article that details ‘Service Needs’, and at Worldgo Travel Management, this is where we hang our hat.

  • Empathy – When our customers get in touch with customer service, they want empathy and understanding from the people assisting them.
  • Fairness – From pricing to terms of service to contract length, our customers expect fairness from a company.
  • Transparency – Customers expect transparency when they’re doing business with us. Service outages, pricing changes, and delays, our customers deserve openness from the businesses they give money to.
  • Control – Customers need to be in control of the business interaction from start to finish and beyond, and customer empowerment shouldn’t end with the sale. Where possible, we make it easy for them to change their plans or adjust their terms.
  • Options – Customers need options when they’re getting ready to make a reservation. We offer a variety of options, prices, and terms to provide freedom of choice.
  • Information – Customers need information, from the moment they start interacting, to the days and months after traveling. As a business, we invest in educational, instructional knowledge base content, technology, and regular communication so our customers have the information they need when they need it.
  • Accessibility – Customers need to be able to access our service and support teams. This means providing multiple channels for customer service and support.

Truth be told, our clients aren’t any different than any other business or service provider. They all have problems, and they want an experience that makes them feel good. That’s where the business relationship can flourish.

 

Best City to Plan a Corporate Retreat

Best City to Plan a Corporate Retreat

Corporate retreats are an important part of any large business. Getting scattered teams together to align goals, review past achievements, and set the table for tomorrow are important measures.

Choosing where to host a corporate retreat isn’t as straightforward. Depending on where your team members are based will be your first consideration. Your budget and its limitations are the next consideration, and what you want to offer and/or achieve is the final factor.

In the USA (Chicago)

Chicago Illinois

If you have a team that’s spread out of North America we recommend you consider Chicago as your destination of choice. Chicago’s O’Hare Airport is the 9th busiest airport in the world, and offers you consistent flight options from nearly anywhere in North America. The city is home to 9M residents in the metropolitan area, and there are no shortage of things to do and places to stay. The Windy City also offers retreat planners more budget-friendly options (versus New York, LA, San Francisco). There is great shopping to be had and sporting events t0 attend, and being lakeside is particularly nice in the warmer months.

Runner Up: Denver. The city is a major gateway, it is easy to get around, and is affordable by major market standards.

In Canada (Hamilton)

Hamilton, Ontario

If your organization is spread throughout Canada, we recommend Hamilton, Ontario as a great choice. Hamilton is just an hour outside Toronto and has its own mid-sized airport with daily flights from Vancouver, Halifax, Calgary, and Edmonton. It is served by major highways and is a short drive to Niagara Falls and Ontario’s wine country. Hamilton’s hotel rates are a fraction of that of nearby Toronto, and it is now a ‘cool’ city growing up from its industrial reputation as a former steel-town.

Runner Up: Calgary. The city is home to WestJet which means it’s a domestic flight hub and is affordable when compared to Vancouver and Toronto.

If you are looking for help in planning your next corporate retreat, we invite you to reach out to one of our experts today. We’ll make sure your objectives are met and you are given the right information to make the best decisions for you.

2019 On-Time Airline Performance

2019 On-Time Airline Performance

The Punctuality League has awarded Copa Airlines, the popular Latin American airlines with the highest on-time percentage OTP, marking nearly 90% of its flights arriving at their destination on time. There were no Canadian airlines in the top 20, and only 2 American airlines (Hawaiian and Delta) cracking the list.

What are the criteria?:

To qualify for inclusion in the Punctuality League, the OAG schedules database must have flight status data for at least 80% of all scheduled flights operated by an airline or for an airport.

  • OAG’s definitions of on-time performance (OTP is flights that arrive or depart within 15 minutes of their scheduled arrival/departure times.
  • Cancellations are also included.

How is it scored?:

The scoring is based on 58 million flight records using full-year data from Flight Status modules that create a ranking of the best on-time performance (OTP) for the world’s largest airlines and airports.

Why should you care?:

It’s true that the weather has a big hand in airline timeliness, but so does the mechanical health of their fleet, and efficient check-in and loading processes. An airline with a healthy on-time record is often a result of a collection of factors, some luck, but many by design.

Top 20 Rankings:

2019 Ontime Airline performance

You can download the full report here.