Last updated: 11:52 AM ET, Mon December 14 2015

Expert Delivers 5 Crucial Tips To Ease Business Travel Management

Business Travel | Gabe Zaldivar | December 11, 2015

Expert Delivers 5 Crucial Tips To Ease Business Travel Management

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

The times, as they are wont to do, are changing. Business travelers are increasingly subjected to a pliable travel industry that continues to shift with each new innovation. If only there were a few tips to abide by to ease the ongoing transition.

Thankfully, that’s just what we received thanks to Jessica Patel who serves as the vice president of travel vertical payments for American Express Global Corporate Payments.

What follows are “five tips to adopt emerging technologies for business travel management.”

Now travel managers are eager to explore the great beyond of business travel. However, Patel was nice enough to share a few tips to ensure business travelers are wading through their respective journeys well prepared to an ever-evolving industry.  

1. Update policies. Travel managers should regularly update policies to meet the needs of the next generation of travel providers. Although a company may not always be ready to work with new suppliers, it is important to set guidelines for employees.

2. Be adaptable. The modern travel landscape now consists of fees for services that used to be complimentary. Travelers need direction on expenses for new fees, such as extra legroom. This alleviates confusion for employees and creates consistency across the company.

3. Satisfy employees. Traveler satisfaction has become important for employee recruitment and retention. Employees want to be able to do everything from alternate devices, and offering mobile apps allows travelers to work efficiently from the road.

4. Plan for nonemployee expenses. Many companies do not have a system implemented to manage travel expenses of contractors and seasonal workers. American Express’ vPayment helps manage these expenditures without the hassle of trying to centrally bill these expenses to a single card or cost center or reimbursing expenses from personal payment products.

5. Collaborate with travel management companies. Travel managers should stay ahead of up-and-coming providers or new fees. The right companies consult clients as well as offer the latest travel information and solutions to employees.

Long gone are the days when you can set a lengthy list of procedures and feel confident that it will still be current to the landscape even a year later.

And you can extrapolate legroom and accommodations just a bit further and begin to see a world that features Wi-Fi demands, data drains, Internet accessibility and so much more.

In a sense, Patel is encouraging business travel managers to become immensely flexible, amenable to the latest industry fad in pricing or accommodation that may evolve monthly.

Now if you are wondering how pertinent travel might be to your emerging business, American Express Global Corporate Payments thankfully has a bit more information for you to consider with a survey of middle-market businesses.  

One of the more telling aspects of the linked survey: “Companies remain dedicated to putting employees on the road for work, with the vast majority (97 percent) seeing business travel as a ‘somewhat effective’ or ‘very effective’ way to acquire customers, accounts or suppliers.”

Provided via release, the study also found: “When traveling for work, the majority (62 percent) of mid-sized companies said employees must follow their company's stated travel policies.”

So it is ever crucial to guarantee those policies are current, helpful and pertinent to a business traveler who is not just ambling from airport to airport but making his or her way through an ever-changing market.


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