We work with many small and mid sized companies who are ready to get a handle on their T&E spend. Sure their people can book trips a variety of ways but how do you know that you agree with what they have selected and they haven’t left some significant opportunities on the table for the company’s budget? Many don’t. They have no idea what they spend in many of these expense categories and don’t know how they stack up to others or even those within their organization. As a result they cannot quantify their missed opportunities and they cannot define what the company should expect them to do when making choices for travel. And you don’t have to be the travel gestapo to spot check and clarify expectations for big savings. By making sure that the company’s and traveler’s desires are respected, big money can be saved, expense processing can be streamlined, the volume the company spends can be leveraged for deals, and support and emergency care can be enhanced.Here is where you can find some of this data.
- Travel Management Company. When you direct all travel to one travel management company (we all have online and call in booking opportunities if we are focused on the business travel marketplace) you can access what was booked, policy compliance data, lost opportunity data, spend by department or customer or person , available unused non refundable tickets, and more. If you are assigned an account manager and have a corporate agreement with your travel company also, most of us will even help you benchmark your travel spend to determine treasures.
- Credit Card. With one central card system you can have a great deal of the data mentioned above but you will see actual spend versus what was booked (what the agency has). In addition entertainment costs also come into play here also. The data from those who book outside of your travel system can also be secured if you make them use your card system at least so you can compare how they are doing as rogues versus managed travelers.
- Expense Systems. Popular today are automated expense systems that are pre populated with booking data from your TMC’s bookings tools and data sent to it by your travelers. These systems too have extensive amounts of actual data in many T&E categories.
- Itinerary Management Apps. Trip Case and Trip It for example have upgraded versions that allow companies to aggregate data for trips booked and sent to these apps for you to review.
- General Ledger. If nothing else this data has to fall into your accounting system somehow and some way even if spreadsheet expense reports and rogue travel is your norm.
T&E is the second largest controllable cost for the average company and it makes me nervous when I hear companies don’t know what they spend and cant easily get this data. Its my experience that when data is collected and the opportunities are assessed, treasures can be found is easily managed places.