A Smart Booking Tool is a Business Travel Must

By Jessica Larkin

We live in a world dominated by smart—smart phones, smart watches, smart televisions, even smart refrigerators. Not to be left out, when it comes to business travel, smart booking is an absolute must for businesses today.

As noted by the Global Business Travel Association, “Automation of the travel booking and expense reporting process is a growing trend as businesses seek to streamline and increase efficiency. The economic benefits found in automation are prompting organizations all over the world to make travel and expense management initiatives part of their strategic plan.”

What is a Smart Booking Tool?

A smart booking tool enables employees to book hotels, flights, ground transportation and more via an internet-based system. In addition to providing a simple and hassle-free way to book travel, it also has built in company travel policies. Travel management companies, or TMCs, that provide smart booking tools also provide visibility for the business into employee spend, duty of care, and compliance.

In a nutshell, and as we’ve highlighted previously, “TMCs assist with the day-to-day operations of your business travel program, and provide dedicated resources and technology for all stakeholders within an organization, including CEOs and founders, employees, and of course finance departments. These services and tools help streamline both expenses and travel management to improve efficiency for business professionals.”

When it comes to smart booking, there are three key areas where we have found managed travel has the largest impact: employee happiness, policy compliance, and insight into spending.

Know Thy Traveler

For many road warriors, the ability of a corporate managed travel program to store key information is a huge plus compared to life before smart booking. TravelBank keeps tabs on frequent flyer numbers, hotel loyalty program information, and known traveler IDs for systems like Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. This expedites the booking process as travelers no longer need to enter personal or business information and ensures accrual of rewards points.

Policy Configuration and Enhanced Compliance

Corporate travel booking systems go beyond the basic offerings of consumer travel outlets that simply scour the internet for rate options, flight routes, and facilitate transactions. For instance, TravelBank’s multifaceted solution links traveler profiles to the actual booking process and applies rules that encompass budget, airline seating class, and more. As an example, parameters can be based on the employee’s level in the company, the team they work on, or if a company has negotiated rates with specific hotel chains. With policies built-in to the booking tool, businesses can ensure enhanced compliance and increased adoption across all levels of the company.

Visibility into Spending

For many businesses, life before managed travel and smart booking was rife with budgetary unknowns. Were employees spending company money wisely? Were they booking within policy? How were travel expenses tracking against budgets or specific projects? Prior to smart systems, this was a largely manual process involving spreadsheets and tracking down receipts. It also left a larger margin for human error, with the potential for negative budgetary impacts.

Customer Spotlight at a Glance: Clearlink

Clearlink combines the best people with the smartest technology to provide intelligent marketing, sales, and data science solutions for the world’s leading brands. However, the company lacked an efficient way to track compliance with travel policies and hold people accountable. Its employees were also individually booking their travel online, resulting in minimal insight and control.

Clearlink selected TravelBank due to the user-friendly platform and the ability to reduce travel costs, as well as the lack of any implementation or annual fees. The company experienced a quick and easy launch and is enjoying the ease of use and flexibility of TravelBank.

“We have found the system to be extremely user friendly, intuitive, and easy to navigate. TravelBank’s goal is to have you book a flight from start to finish in under a few minutes, and the process is streamlined to take the headache out of booking travel. Aesthetically, the software is clean, well-organized, and visually pleasing,” stated Kandi Phillips, Office, Perks, and Events Manager, Clearlink.

To find out more about Clearlink’s results and the benefits of implementing smart booking through a travel management company, click here to read the full case study.

Book Smarter with TravelBank

When it comes to business travel, smart is the name of the game. By arming employees and your finance departments with technology that will streamline processes, enhance compliance, and take the stress out of booking, everyone wins. At TravelBank, we are focused on changing the entire business travel experience. If you’re ready to get started, we would love to chat. Schedule time with our team here.

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