If your company makes regular business trips, you know that travel can quickly become one of your greatest expenses. Setting up a corporate travel policy is the best way to keep costs down and to get your employees on the same page. A travel policy ensures people have boundaries and guidelines to use when planning trips. In addition, with the correct contracts in place, your company can get rebates and kickbacks at the end of the year. How much you can get depends on the amount you travel.
1. Make a list of the cities in which your firm typically does business. Determine which airlines go to all needed destinations. Contact each chosen airline, and ask a representative about a corporate contract. Using your firm’s previous travel budget, estimate how many trips your company makes per year. Tell the sales representative how much money your company spends on travel. Let him know the number of estimated trips for the coming year. Ask what the airline can do for you if you fly solely on their carrier. The airlines can offer a couple of savings options. Contact several airlines and compare. Do the math, and decide which option would give you the greatest discount. Get your deal in writing.
2. Repeat the negotiation process with car and hotel vendors. Keep at least two each of car and hotel vendors, however. You never know when these things can get over-booked.
3. Write it up. Assign a staffer or your corporate travel agent to write up all the details of your new travel policies and procedures. Make sure all employees know they are expected to honor your negotiated deals. Make it a company policy that trips are booked only from your preferred suppliers. Find a way to enforce this by checking on trips, and have a system of approval in place. You don’t want to overwhelm your employees by being too strict, but explain the reason why this should all be followed for the benefit of all.
4. Keep track.Ask the various travel vendors to supply you with a quarterly report to track usage. Have your accounting department to starts a database logging all travel related expenditures. Meet with any employees who are not following the policy, and stress the importance of the cost savings. Your firm stands to save thousands of dollars per year by adhering to a negotiated travel policy.
5. Make use of a travel agent. If you do not have a travel agent on-site, seek out an agency that specializes in corporate travel. Alert your agent of your preferred carriers and contracts. Your travel agent can then help all your employees when they book corporate travel. This will be appreciate by your employees since it takes a load of work off of their backs, and it will give you peace of mind in knowing that your corporate travel policy is being enforced.