Sector fragmentation: how to fix your ground travel issues

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Looking at different travel industry sectors, you see innovation where suppliers meet the buyer’s changing needs. But when you look at ground transportation, it’s an entirely different story; it’s been a neglected sector for many years. 

Organisations are forced to create complex internal operations to move their teams around cities and between countries. You probably think it’s time for a change, but what does change look like?

The issues

You might be surprised to learn that ground travel only accounts for 5% of travel spend, but causes 90% of the headaches for travel teams, which is eye-opening. This disproportionate statistic should be balanced out or entirely irradicated.

Although there are many suppliers, they only cover specific parts of the business’s full needs, with zero global coverage. Herein lies the roots of fragmentation.

When it comes to getting around town, business travellers usually have two transport options to choose from – public transport or private hires and taxis, and depending on your circumstances, either is a great option. 

But the travellers who are time-sensitive, need to work on the go or are navigating new terrain, would benefit from private ground travel solutions. So, if your business traveller is more suited to private hire or taxis, what are the options currently available?

– Hail a taxi on the street. The issue: you don’t know how safe it’ll be and you have to wait outside amongst crowds.

– Pre-book a ride over the phone. The issue: you can’t track driver progress or contact the driver.

– Different ride-hail apps for different purposes and locations. The issue: using multiple apps is confusing, making the traveller’s experience more stressful than required.

As if those issues weren’t enough to contend with, when travelling internationally, booking rides can be hindered by a language barrier; adding more stress to the traveller who doesn’t speak the language. Another source of frustration is expensing. Expensing is a pain for everyone (businesses and employees), and with many employees forgetting to collect receipts from their trips, this makes expensing even more of an unpleasant experience.

All of the above results in two outcomes: frustrated employees, and lack of control for the employer. Lack of control can take many forms: you lack visibility around spend, there’s a lack of safety regarding driver and employee tracking, there’s no option to optimise cost and travellers are increasingly booking out of policy to find better, cheaper alternatives. 

If that isn’t a plea for innovation, what is?

How to fix the issues

Just think about when you book a flight or a hotel room. You type in what you’re looking for, and you’re presented with a wall of options from multiple airline carriers or hotel choices, not just one. You then filter your options by price range, service, category – shouldn’t you be looking for a ground travel solution that can offer you the same experience?

Ground travel should be better, and it can be with end-to-end ground travel management software. Why? Because it’s designed to cater to specific business needs.

You need a ground travel solution that offers the best mobility providers in one platform. Whether it’s riding and booking or invoicing and analytics, you need visibility across your entire ground travel programme. A SaaS (software as a service) ground travel provider can offer you that. 

Which issues does a platform like this fix?

You regain control of your travel programme, and this means ultimate visibility. You have visibility across all areas: expensing, traveller tracking and unmanaged spend, to name a few.

Booking rides is flexible; book quickly on-demand or pre-book to suit your schedule. Vehicle choice is varied and travellers can pick the ride best suited to their needs. Escorting clients to a meeting? Book an executive car – need a reliable ride to take you to the airport? Choose from one of your integrated preferred suppliers. A SaaS ground travel platform gives you a full range of vehicle types to suit all types of business travellers. 

A SaaS solution like this means you’re no longer restricted to local travel, you can have an international strategy for ground transportation. Wherever your employees travel to there is consistency and familiarity with the same booking app.

And let’s not forget traveller safety, it’s paramount. Working with a solution that only integrates alongside vetted and licensed drivers, your employees are in safe hands. There’s no language barrier to contend with, open your only ride-hailing app and choose your preferred transport. And without the need to carry cash and with a helping hand from automatic monthly invoicing, your traveller’s sole focus is on closing the client deal.

Make 2021 the year you make your corporate ground travel frictionless, accessible and cost-effective.Read next: Habits that make a successful travel manager in 2021.


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