If you sweat your employees making their own business travel arrangements, you’re not alone. Many thousands of small businesses don’t have the resources or the staff on hand to maintain a control over travel. Was the flight booked the best deal, or the hotel? What’s the average expense that should be expected? How can you save money but still get business done? A three- or four-day trip somewhere across the country can easily run a couple of thousand dollars when you factor in all the pertinent (and even non-pertinent) expenses that find their way into your employee’s travel plans.
I used to work as a corporate travel agent many moons ago and, having worked closely with many hundreds of employees, not all of them unfortunately had the company’s bottom line at heart. Many were VERY particular about the airline, car rental company, or hotel they wanted to be in, even if it was not in the best interests of their department’s guidelines.
Check out a new corporate travel management solution: SmartTrip. A web-based system, SmartTrip lets travelers enter the details for their trip and will make calculations for it, creating a ‘benchmark’ for the estimated costs that might be involved. What sets SmartTrip apart from the plethora of other travel sites and agencies is that it challenges your employees to find ways to come in under the benchmark that SmartTrip generates. Your employees can continue to use their preferred booking methods, like Expedia.com, and their results can be compared to what SmartTrip generates.
The answer to your “so what?” here is that employees that do come in under the benchmark are rewarded – with gift cards, cash, points towards travel upgrades, or whatever you, the employer, wants to customize. Even with the added rewards, the savings you can potentially accrue will more than pay for these rewards. Rewards equals motivation to continue coming in under SmartTrip’s cost analysis, saving your business time, money, and effort.
What’s more interesting is that you’re not beholden to what benchmarks SmartTrip comes up with on its own; if you want to, you can customize your own benchmarks to meet whatever needs you have. Additionally, all costs are tracked through the SmartTrip application, giving you a focused, one-stop shop for keeping tabs on these costs. It also gives you the structure you need when it comes to enforcing your travel policies.
Giving your employees the motivation to save you money while they get rewarded for their efforts is a win-win situation, especially considering the maddening web of online “travel deals,” flight routings, hotel offers, and car rental options. There’s a lot of savings out there, which can be found if you know where to look. SmartTrip looks like it takes a lot of the guesswork out of your travel-planning efforts and gives your employees a great reason to be happy while they do it.