booking-business-travel

Are you still booking business travel like personal travel?

Ask any travel booker who’s been at the job for more than a few years – booking workforce travel is in an entirely separate genre to booking holidays.

Unfortunately, there are still many companies that rely on personal travel websites to book business travel. While websites like Booking.com are great for booking a trip to Edinburgh, they lack the functionality that a business hotel booking platform offers.

When you’re booking a weekend away, you won’t have to worry about invoicing or getting the best group rates. That’s why it’s important that enterprises don’t confuse booking personal travel with business travel.

What’s so bad about booking business travel like personal travel?

We know what you’re thinking: Sure we’re just sending a couple of people to a worksite every now and then, how bad can using a personal travel website be?

Issues start to pop up when workforce travel becomes more than an occasional event – such as when it becomes fundamental to company operations. With such a large amount of people on the move, the company has a couple of obligations:

  • It has an obligation to itself, making sure that business travel is booked in the most cost-effective manner possible.
  • It has an obligation to its travellers, making sure that they get the best quality hotel rooms in the right location every time.
  • It has an obligation to its staff, making sure the process isn’t so convoluted and challenging to manage that any savings are wiped away by the sheer effort it takes to oversee booking accommodation.

Book a Roomex demo to learn why business travel software is in a league of its own.

When you can only book one hotel for one person at a time – with a workforce totalling tens or hundreds waiting in the wings – it becomes difficult to meet those obligations. Those burdens and the drive to improve their own policies and processes are why so many companies switch to using business hotel booking platforms.

The functionality that’s built into software like Roomex is specifically designed with travelling workforces in mind. Features that make corporate travel bookers’ lives easier include:

  • In-stay allowances.
  • Parking reservations.
  • Group bookings.
  • Wi-Fi availability.
  • Duty of care assistance.
  • Reconciliation of multiple credit card payments.
  • Monthly, consolidated invoicing.

The kicker to it all? While personal travel sites may say they have the best rates available, that’s actually only true for when you’re booking holidays. Take Roomex for example, which has the lowest rates available for over 1.2 million hotels across the world – all made possible thanks to corporate booking negotiations.

Save money and get better functionality to manage workforce travel? Seems like a no-brainer.

Getting rid of the business travel spreadsheet

Of course, many people will stick to their ways. It’s human nature to stick to what you feel comfortable with.

But by sticking to booking business travel with personal websites, a lot of bookers will only find themselves living in Excel hell. With so many individual trips planned, the only way to put your best foot forward for duty of care – and actually keep track of where everyone is – is by using spreadsheets.

Sprawling rows of names, locations and other bits of data can be a nightmare to look at, never mind manage. When you get past 20 or so members of the workforce who are constantly travelling to client sites, manually updating the spreadsheet can become time-intensive and could potentially even result in incorrect data.

Business travel software simplifies duty of care and overseeing where everyone is located by supplying a handy map which shows where all employees are in real-time.

Managing multiple business travel payments made easy

Any finance team knows that as business travel becomes more frequent, their job grows a little more complicated. The steady stream of invoices only intensifies as each trip produces a flurry of receipts – from hotel rooms to daily meal costs.

Personal travel websites don’t do anything to alleviate this stress. If anything, they only add to it. Each hotel room booked results in an individual receipt, which adds up at the end of every month. It can also make filing and processing those receipts a nightmare depending on how efficient the invoice tracking system is at the company.

A business hotel booking platform will simplify invoicing by consolidating all payments into one invoice. Companies can enjoy booking business travel while knowing all the hotel payments are being paid in credit. This allows finance teams relax knowing that they’ll only have to process one invoice at the end of the month.

Building the basics of a business travel policy

At the end of the day, moving from personal travel websites like Booking.com to robust, enterprise-facing solutions like business hotel booking platforms is a sign of a maturing company. Along with that comes a responsibility to set a company travel policy for employees.

Putting any types of policies or processes in place surrounding business travel would have been impossible previously, with manually updated spreadsheets and employees potentially booking their accommodation like a holiday without any oversight.

By introducing a platform to book business travel accommodation, companies are creating a foundation to provide structure to its practices. Through this, they can set a travel and expense policy that dictates how much should be spent on a hotel per employee, which brands are verified as being OK to work with and what should be included in duty of care. It’s an essential document for any business that regularly books workforce travel.

Looking to upgrade your workforce travel to a business travel platform? Contact us to set up a demo and see what you’re missing out on.

Learn how to save your sanity when booking business travel in 2019.

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