BUSINESS

Five ways to beat inflation in business travel

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2022 has been another unprecedented year, largely due to rising inflation and the soaring cost of living. The Bank of England is increasing its rates sharply – at a recent review, by half a percentage point for the first time in more than 20 years. Energy costs are also shooting sky-high across the UK; and some could see typical fuel bills rise by more than 80% year-on-year.  

Businesses are sure to feel the pinch, particularly during peak corporate travel season, and rising energy prices will naturally mean that transportation will be more expensive than it used to be. The cost of petrol reached a record high in the summer, and staff shortages in sectors such as ride hailing and aviation are pushing prices up further. Couple this with a higher demand for travel and businesses are suddenly facing much higher price tags. 

All this reaffirms the need for companies to gain proper control over their travel spend, and find ways to reduce costs. The travel industry continues to be extremely volatile, so monitoring expenditure and reducing costs in quick response will be essential. 

Get a grip on data

Data is king – even more so in today’s volatile times. Having access to business travel data can help companies spot patterns and identify any cost drains so they can make informed decisions about their travel policies and take action to control travel costs. Investing in data-driven tools can help keep companies focused on growth, slimming down any unnecessary expenses. 

Lean on automation 

Since the issue of staff shortages moved to the foreground, the application of automation in travel has taken leaps forward. According to Gartner, 69% of day-to-day managerial work will be entirely automated by 2024. This is good news for businesses, as they’ll spend less time on manual admin, and will be able to free up their employees to focus on tasks that matter. One time-consuming task that relates to travel is expense claims; but by deploying an effective travel management platform, expenses such as taxi trips can be automated. By taking away this task, companies can maximize employee productivity and motivation, while reducing unnecessary costs from corporate travel admin.

Book at the right time

Prices of travel fluctuate, so it can be difficult to know when the best time to book is. Prices are typically dynamically changed based on supply and demand; if demand is high and availability is low, prices will be higher. If supply outweighs demand, prices will be lower. Business trips are typically much more last-minute than leisure; experts report this as being around 19 days before travel. It is around this time that prices on popular business routes are likely to be at their highest. So, book early if you can, and you’ll likely save your company money.

Set travel to economy class

One obvious way to save money is to set your travel policy to allow economy flights only. Of course, you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons of this, as the decision may not be popular among employees traveling long-haul for business. However, you may be able to increase the threshold for when employees are able to book business class tickets, saving your company money.

Use a ground transportation management (GTM) platform

There’s arguably no area in travel that’s more fragmented than ground transportation. While flights and accommodation are often unified in a travel booking platform, employees are often left to their own devices when booking ground travel. By unifying the whole travel journey – including ground transport – under one platform, companies can gain better visibility over their costs, identify invoice errors, and set spending limits for staff travel.

A GTM platform like Gett’s can give companies far greater control over employee ground transport bookings.  Companies can set guidelines, compare supplier costs, and set limits on who can travel and how much they can spend.  Businesses can also break down costs by team, location and date range to see where money is being spent. A GTM platform like Gett’s can also integrate with companies’ main travel management platforms, helping to further save on admin time.

So there you have it!  We hope this guide gave you a few handy ideas to keep your costs down.  There’s no doubt that demand for corporate travel is returning – and that’s a positive sign. But we must remember that travel is now different – so keeping a close eye on costs will be key to making things work.

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