Anatomy of the New Corporate Travel Tech Stack
The software landscape in corporate travel is changing, with a greater focus on ease of use, system integrations, and elegant automation. In a recent Skift+TravelBank survey, 40% of travel and finance leaders said they plan to adopt a new travel tech stack in the next year. It’s a critical time to streamline and upgrade the expense management and corporate travel tech stack. Here are six features you should consider.
1. Automated Expense Tracking and Reporting
For employees, prioritize an app or program that allows travelers to automatically scan and record expenses versus inputting manually. Meanwhile, managers need the solution to include automatic routing approvals that notify the person who needs to review and approve, determine what happens when something is not approved, etc.
- Increased compliance
- Streamlined expense reporting
- Fewer corrections
- Saved time
- Lower costs
2. Employee Rewards
Programs that offer gift cards, prizes, or other incentives to business travelers who meet specified company goals around travel (e.g. cost savings, participation in group loyalty programs, etc.) can actually save your company money.
- Brings down costs
- Give employees the opportunity to gain personally
- Employees feel like they are contributing to the company’s well-being
3. Virtual Cards
The tech you use to manage spend should allow your team to provision virtual cards that replace the need for physical credit cards for employee travel and other expenses. (Consumer examples include Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc.)
- Companies can apply travel policy and limit spending to specific items and expenses
- Expenses are automatically synced with enterprise resource planning (ERP) software
4. Dynamic Budgeting
Look for a corporate travel spending tool that automatically adjusts employee spending guidelines based on changing circumstances.
- Alleviates the stress of dealing with unpredictable pricing in the travel industry
- Allows companies to plan appropriately when rates in a given market are higher or lower than a fixed per diem (e.g. if a major event temporarily drives up hotel rates, or seasonal demand means that rates or airfares are lower than usual).
5. Mobile App
Invest in solutions that are available natively across both web and mobile devices so employees’ can access the app on their personal devices to plan, book, adjust, and report business travel and expenses.
- Employees can see all aspects of travel and expenses together
- Employees can scan receipts on the go
- Easier for travel managers and finance teams to track travel plans and manage expense reporting
6. Sustainability Tracking
More companies are interested in having access to an online or mobile tool that helps track eco-friendly or responsible travel, such as carbon reporting, supporting local or diverse businesses, etc.
- Have clear evidence of how companies can make a difference in lowering emissions and benefiting the communities employees visit