Convincing your CFO of the need for an automated T&E process
As an entrepreneur and business owner, you always need to be one step ahead of what’s coming for your company. When the business is growing, at some point you might feel the pull of other countries — perhaps to do business or to open a local office.
Whatever the case, you’re going to travel from time to time. While it shouldn’t be a problem to book the first couple of tickets yourself, this can quickly turn into a hassle — especially when you start hiring and aren’t the only one taking frequent trips.
Previously, businesses often chose to work with a dedicated team of travel arrangers. Depending on the size of the company, these would either deal with employees personally to arrange their trips, or work with an internal system to manage bookings on a larger scale. The downside of this is that it creates a lot of overhead including extra hires and more steps to take before the booking is actually made.
That’s why a new kind of solution has been gaining popularity — the corporate travel booking tool. It’s a piece of software that streamlines and simplifies the entire booking process for your company, while giving employees the flexibility to easily pick their preferred flights and hotels. The market for these tools is crowded, however, and it can be hard to pick one that’s right for your company. This article is dedicated to explaining what you should look for in a corporate travel booking tool, so you can make a well-informed decision.
A great fit with a corporate booking tool starts and ends with defining the services you want to offer to your employees. This all depends on your travel policy — do you want people to take flights everywhere they need to go, or can they also book a train? When they’re staying overnight, do they get a hotel or an AirBNB? Do you want to support more options, like taking a ferry or renting a car? When you’ve figured this out, you can look for a tool that has the options you need.
Now that you’ve defined the services, you’ll need to take a closer look at the product itself. When you’re giving your employees the freedom to book their own travels, they need to have powerful options to manage them. For travelers it’s vital to be able to compare prices on different options, edit their bookings and change or cancel flights to get a quick refund.
Then there are the needs of the financial department — the accountants and bookkeepers that eventually have to deal with all incoming expenses. Ideally, the booking tool would have a direct link with their systems, with trips automatically showing up when they’re booked — alternatively, you’ll need an easy way to export data so it can be imported to their bookkeeping tools.
Something that’s often overlooked when looking for a corporate booking tool is the experience for the end user — the product’s services and feature set are often deemed more important. It’s important to realize, however, that even the most powerful tool can become totally useless in the hands of people who don’t know how to use it.
If you’re implementing a self-booking system, it should be accessible to anyone in the company — and that means being aware of other people’s technical abilities. Unfortunately, lots of corporate booking tools have an interface that picks function over form, leaving users with a jumbled mess of unintuitive menus and hard-to-find controls. Not everyone across a large organization is well-versed in using technology, and this can become an issue when they need to book their own travel.
This is where good design can really make a difference. Picking a booking tool with an interface that’s easy to understand is the best way to make sure it can be used by anyone. If employees are often on the move, the mobile experience should be great as well — either by having a functional app or a website that’s optimized for smartphones.
Every new product has a learning curve, and your team will inevitably spend some time learning how to use it. The problem is that most of their questions will end up with the IT department, which can take up much of their valuable time. That’s why it makes sense to pick a corporate travel tool that has stellar customer support — employees need to be able to send any questions directly to the product’s support team, preferably in a user-friendly way like an integrated chat tool.
Your business might be swimming in money, it might be strapped for cash or it could be somewhere in between. Depending on your budgets and travel policy, you need to decide who gets to approve travel requests. Make sure to look for a platform that allows managers to quickly decide if certain trips are allowed, or has a system that checks requests automatically.
If you’ve used Xpenditure, you already know we take usability seriously. With Rydoo we took everything we learned from building a user-friendly expense platform and applied it to a corporate booking tool.
We’ve built the world’s most powerful way to manage corporate travel, but we wrapped it in the ease-of-use of a consumer booking experience. It’s the best of both worlds, which is why Rydoo is trusted by industry-leading brands like ING Bank, Orange Mobile and many others.
Excited to see how we can upgrade your travel management?
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