Everyone likes the idea of travel, well the majority of people do. With business or employee travel, what comes to the mind of most people is luxury hotels, business class flights, wonderful experiences at corporate lunches, and dinner, and elegantly dressed up in business suits.
But this in actuality can be far from reality. Often business trips can be a painful affair both on the part of employees as well as the one administrating them. However, with the use of technology this issue can be easily dealt with.
And Employee Travel Management software is just for this very purpose. The seamless solution helps in avoiding outdated processes and unnecessary expenditures and saves time & resources.
This corporate travel & expense management software automates travel & business expense reporting, streamlines approvals, gains visibility, and takes control.
It allows the companies to reduce the cost and complexity by leveraging a single, global expense management app and reduce the administrative work through leveraging workers, organizations, roles, & security policies.
ETM software consists of Defining Travel Plans and getting them approved, creating travel requests and booking hotels, and tickets, and also submitting claims & reimbursements.
All in all, this software can be customized as per the business processes in a particular organization and peculiarities over there.
Sneak-peek into the Market Stats
At the present moment, employee travel management is one of the largest segments globally and is a great invention in the modern digital world. In the year 2016, it enjoyed a share of 1.3 trillion USD, and it is predicted to be at 1.6 trillion USD by the year 2023.
This is the reason it is worth getting an employee travel management software developed and reaping its benefits. This way you can actually decide where your means go.
Globalization of business and increased infrastructural investments lead to constant travel growth, mainly in the business travel market. And as per the services offered, the global market is segmented into transportation, food & lodging, and recreation spheres.
Now, the highest growth was noticed in the food and lodging sector, owing to affordable hotels and the growing prominence of online booking.
This leads to a decrease in the cost of the stay. Not just this, but IoT penetration also helps in managing several business travel-related processes and it brings benefits for both the agents & travelers.
Also, earlier the Employee Travel Management software was just considered apt for large enterprises.
However, that has changed now with small to medium scale businesses also understanding the huge benefits of booking and managing travel with software designed for the businesses, rather than booking on the consumer websites and later scrambling to track the invoices.
In case you are someone willing to enter into the market by developing an employee travel management software for your business, then in this article, we have discussed in depth the many aspects of creating such a solution.
What is Employee Travel Management Software?
Basically, Travel Management Software is useful for booking trips, managing upcoming trips, and tracking and reporting previous trips. It also consists of automating corporate travel policies, and the ability to consolidate travel invoices & vendors.
Back in the past, in small businesses, employees used to read the company’s travel policy on a PDF document handed out, and then use any website for booking their trip, and then they would get reimbursed.
Whereas, in the case of large businesses, they would use the travel agencies with massive markups, commissions, & support call fees.
Well, now the modern way for businesses of any size is about Employees booking themselves with the use of Travel Management software that consists of company travel policy inside (in order to block or seek approval for trips out of this policy).
The travel software also contains the company payment details. This way, no reimbursement is needed.
Best Employee Travel Management Software tools available in the Market
Today there are a number of Employee Travel Management Software out there in the market that helps in tracking and reporting on spending, thus helping in making budget decisions, but they also include everything needed in terms of taxes & accounting purposes.
In the case of Employee Travel-management software, they should be integrated with your expenses system, whereas these are tools that help in managing travel and helps in reporting on expenses.
First, let’s discuss the top Tools to book & manage travel.
Airbnb for Work:
This is not a complete stand-alone travel management solution, but it offers amazing features that businesses require to safely & easily allow travelers to stay with Airbnb for their business trips. It consists of streamlined payment & duty of care integrations. Some of the travel management software, such as TravelPerk even enable booking with Airbnb for work.
For those who like the idea of a travel agency but at the same time desire modern software along with it, then Flightfox is what you need. This Travel Agency Management software provides an online tool where it is easy to review upcoming trips, download reports, and do a lot more.
This software is great for sales teams & consultants using Salesforce as it allows them to track & manage travel at the CRM level. This way, the business can assign trips to various customer accounts.
This offers the world’s largest travel inventory along with robust travel management functionalities that help travelers/managers easily book trips for themselves and others within policy.
This tool also provides travel budget owners & finance teams with all the features required, such as expense reporting, travel spend tracking and integrations, & compliance insights. These tools are top-rated by travelers & administrators and it also offers a version of the software.
Tools to manage Travel Expenses
Fyle offers corporate cards & mobile expensing and it has robust expense management features, comprising approval workflows, travel spend advances and spend analytics.
The advice here is that whichever employee travel management solution and expense management solution you choose, you must ensure that it is able to integrate.
This software is mainly used by small businesses where it allows uploading receipts and recording expenses so the accounting teams have all information they require.
This comes with spend management software and credit card offers, helping companies to track and control their spending. Here the companies can have real-time insights into all the spending that can be sorted and categorized easily to assist with budget decision-making.
This corporate credit card is great for both startups & well-set businesses. It offers higher limits in comparison to most cards, better rewards, and allows easy tracking and managing spending across all the categories, even including travel.
This solution offers a mobile app to facilitate easy expensing. One can simply take picture of the receipt and the app enters the data for you. This also has a credit card offer now, so the employees don’t need to be concerned with the receipt uploads for their transactions.
Why do you need an Employee Travel Management Solution?
There are a number of problems that an Employee Travel Management software can solve, such as:
- Helpful with the time-consuming booking process: ETM software offers a quick & simple booking process through direct & real-time access to several booking services. This way, the employees can reserve flights, hotels, and necessary services in one single place. In this software, all the travel itineraries & the booking details are stored in one place, so it is easy to access, manage, check & use.
- Helpful with hassles of employee travel policy implementation: It is not that employees always intend to violate the company’s travel & expense regulations, however, there at instances when it happens. Often the policies can be confusing, complicated, and very long, and while searching for a reduced rate, unintentionally a worker might book a flight/hotel outside the establishment’s preferred provided list and then face a not approved travel report. However, with an app solution with embedded functionality of alerts, they can notify the users when a wrong provider is chosen. This prevents going out of the policy and will be beneficial for both the employees as well as the accounting department.
- Helpful with lack of travel expenditure insights: This software allows tracking each and every dollar that is spent on employees’ business trips. Once knowledge of the leakages, it is possible to reduce the costs in a reasonable manner. Like, advance ticket booking solves the issue of high prices. Also, the most preferred hotel by the company can be approached for better rates.
- Helpful with late expenditure report submission: Often employees forget to submit expense reports. For this issue, the time limit can be set and automatic reminders in the solution. Also, the accountants would be able to create pre-costing with the use of data for previous periods.
- Helpful to deal with the difficulties with workflows: Often enterprises have difficulties setting dates, reducing costs, ensuring policy compliance, and managing payments. With the help of completely automated procedures, it is easier to eliminate chaos and make necessary estimations. For this, the software can be customized as well as corporate requirements.
What features are necessary to be integrated into Travel Management Software?
The employee travel management software offers end-to-end solutions covering everything from traveler data management to booking to policy creation to automatic expensing and a lot more.
Hence, these certainly are the best solution in the market. However, they greatly vary in terms of functionality so here let’s discuss the many features that can be integrated into the solution as per your particular requirements.
Booking for Administrators:
The software allows easily book for the administrators, including everything from flights, hotels, conveyance, and whatever is needed.
There is a self-reservation option provided for the Travellers, so they can have their pick of hotels, and flights, falling within the corporate policy.
Comprehensive access to all airline & accommodation inventory worldwide: While making arrangements for the travel, employees can be offered comprehensive access to the entire airline and accommodation inventory all across the world. This way, they can easily make booking as per their liking.
Automatic Policy compliance:
This functionality is greatly useful as it makes travel booking easy for the employees as well as the administration. With automatic policy compliance, the system will automatically notify the traveler each time they go off-limits to the company policy.
Manage business trip schedule:
This feature in the Employee Travel Management System will help in managing the business trip schedule of every single employee along with the entire team.
Ensure Proper Documentation:
Often the last-minute visa trouble can happen and it leads to big losses for the company. So, this functionality will help in ensuring that the workers have all the necessary visas & travel-related documents so there are no last-minute hassles and they have a convenient and uneventful traveling experience.
With everything being handled by the software, it is easy to make the most of frequent traveler discounts offered from time to time by the airlines and hotels.
Automate Expense Reporting: This feature makes it easy for the employee to easily enter their expenses into the software and administrators can easily track them.
Automated Timesheets of Employees’ working hours: This functionality in the employee travel management software keeps track of the timing of employees’ working hours during their travel.
Travel Agency Support:
This feature allows the employees and administrators to have travel agency support whenever needed while making travel arrangements as well as during the travel. So in case of any issue, they can have instant help without any additional charge.
Political & Social Updates:
It is a useful functionality to integrate as having political and social updates can be helpful during travel. So, the person can ensure their safety by being aware of the happening around the world and at the same time simply stay updated.
Detailed road maps:
When traveling to a new place, detailed road maps can be of great help, hence it is a good idea to integrate this functionality.
Detecting potential danger areas:
This is a must-have feature to ensure employee safety during travel. When traveling to a place, it is essential that the traveler is aware of the potential danger areas, so they can stay away from these spots and keep themselves safe.
Free 24×7 Support:
This is necessary functionality to have for the employees. They must be offered 24×7 support during the travel. This will be around-the-clock travel support that includes the direct line, chat, and email.
Travel Spend Reporting:
Whatever is being spent during the travel, the employee can keep updating the software, so the company is in the loop of the travel spending.
These are some of the functionalities that can make the Employee Travel Management app very effective and highly functional. You can choose which features can benefit your business and choose to integrate them into your software.
As simple as travel management may seem, in reality, it is far from simple owing to many aspects. However, an effective Travel Management System can make things rather easy and straightforward.
This customized corporate travel management and expense tracking software offer financial and operational benefits to the business so that everything can be managed in the best possible manner.