The Internet can make the world feel like a very small place, implying that there may be no more reason to travel. However, there are still very good business reasons to catch that plane or train, especially if the business is strategic:
- Social aspects of face to face communication are very important in a people driven business world. Especially at the start of a new relationship or if the project is strategic.
- As a result of continued globalization the geographical distance between companies and their customers and prospects are increasing, which could also increase the cultural and social distance. This can be bridged by selected in person meetings.
- Customer care is key in building and developing a sustainable, successful business. People want to meet the people they are entrusting their business to.
At the end of the year travel expenses can be a substantial component of a company’s expense budget, on average between 8-12% of the budget!
Reducing travel expenses will have a direct impact on the bottom line. But the costs of travel expenses to the organization is not only the visible accommodation, tickets, meals and flights. There are in addition the substantial ‘hidden’ costs of the non-value add administrative burden required of the business traveler employee within the life-cycle of a business trip, e.g.
The business traveler has to request a journey, get the approval, collect all the receipts and submit the expense report for proper accounting to eventually get reimbursed – even when this goes smoothly it is time consuming. But how often have we not all experienced queries, missing receipts, follow-ups etc. which adds frustration and wasted time to the whole process!
In order to achieve the best business outcome for individual business trips while at the same time controlling expenses at a corporate level the combination of people, processes and systems need to be considered in your travel management strategy and cost analysis.