Understanding The Total Cost of Business Travel

How much is your company spending on business travel? Probably a lot. And for many, it’s much more than they realize. The key to understanding the bigger picture of business travel expense is knowing what goes into a single trip. In recent months, COVID-19 has forced many companies to effectively halt all business travel. But as industries begin to recover and businesses begin to reopen, travel is poised to return. Now is the time to begin looking at how to manage your business travel expenses.

The trip cycle can be simply condensed into 4 aspects. First, there is the need to travel, then the employee books a trip, they take the trip and lastly, they return from the trip. That’s easy to understand and most likely the general direction that any given individual business trip will take. As we delve deeper into this equation however, there is a lot more that goes into it than we may realize. For many companies, the aspects of travel that we do not address can mean increased expenses, unrealized savings and an incomplete picture of the total cost of travel.

The Bigger Picture

At first glance, air, hotel and rental car may be the only areas that seem necessary to focus on during an employee’s business trip. These are the big ones and they’re a good place to start, but it just isn’t enough. Zoom out and look at the bigger picture and everything else that goes into a trip, most of which are missed by many companies. From food in the airport and shuttle tip, to tolls on a highway, parking and even client dinners and hotel mini bars, these seemingly insignificant expenses go unaddressed and unreported. When you add them however, it becomes a pretty sizeable expense.

business travel

It is understandable why many of those expenses go unnoticed. In utilizing a virtual card payment program, you’ll be able to recognize and encrypt credit card numbers in non-credit card fields. Grasp Technologies is the only company to be able to do this automatically and, on the fly, taking PCI compliance for the industry to new levels.

Solving The Travel Puzzle

As a corporation, your second most controllable expense is your T&E spend. It involves endless amounts of time planning, creating policy, and policing and most are still not happy with the results. The biggest reason for this is that T&E data is incredibly disparate and disjointed. T&E is an industry with very little to no data standards and wrought with different platforms used to manage T&E, many of which do not connect or integrate easily. Furthermore, each and every corporation is different in their strategy on how to manage and get the most ROI out of T&E, so no set method for success exists that can be portable from organization to organization. Making the most out of a T&E program is incredibly intimate and specific to that program.

It all starts with the data. If a corporation cannot bring together all of their spend data (TMC(s), Expense, Credit Card, Corporate Hierarchy), then they are already at a disadvantage as they are missing the relationships between the data sets and thus the real opportunity to manage T&E.  Those that try, do it by trying to piece data together from disparate systems manually.  Manually doing this typically takes an enormous amount of time, energy, money and for most is not timely enough to action the data. Also, since it is a manual process, you have to deal with human error.

The next part of the problem is timeliness. If you cannot get data timely enough to make decisions which can actually turn into ROI, then too much time is wasted and no significant improvement is made. Lastly, there is the challenge of marrying a corporation’s specific travel policy with the data to make sure policy is being followed.

Ahead Of The Curve

Business travel has virtually come to a halt as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. With at-home work orders and companies looking for every possible way to stay afloat; Many feel powerless in the face of the current crisis. But low times can often provide opportunities for unprecedented growth.

business travel

Businesses are beginning to open. Air travel is finally starting to see an uptick, the world is moving towards recovery. It may be intimidating to face a post-coronavirus reality, but there is an opportunity here to be a better business than before. Take this time to audit your systems and practices. Look at what can be improved and make those corrections now, while everything is on the mend. If you find discrepancies or even simply just better opportunities to save in your business travel expenses; There are solutions out there that will help you make the most out of your travel data.

Grasp Technologies Travel Management

With Grasp Technologies makes travel management effective and easy. Through automated data processing, we eliminate the need for manual data uploads. Data is controlled and standardized across disparate platforms. We allow collection of data with unlimited partners, vendors and data sources. We also allow for data management across unlimited sources as well as control of user access to specific data.

With GraspIQ, data issues are easily identified, and corrections are made to improve operational processes. It cleans, normalizes, and enriches data through regionalization, vendor normalization and enrichment, and recalculation of data points for accuracy. Our data consolidation tool and proprietary dual-sync technology and data ecosystem can push/pull any data to and from any data source. This can be from credit cards, expenses, back office, GDS, and telephone, to social media, meetings management, and even CO2 emissions data.

Grasp Technologies is the world leader in providing global data consolidation solutions and services. Our unique experience and technology allows clients to see the total picture and tell the true story of their data. We work with corporations to bring all of their data, from any number of sources together into one place, as well as utilize proprietary logic to stitch together data elements from disparate data sources. With Grasp Technologies, your business will gain the right insights from a complete picture of the total cost of travel.

If you would like to learn more about Grasp Technologies and what we can do for you, please visit www.grasptech.com.

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