An online booking tool provides an effective way for companies to monitor travel spend and to encourage the appropriate travel behavior. In addition, these tools can provide transaction fees that are 30 percent to 50 percent lower than the transaction fees for booking through an agency call center.
Organizations typically select an online booking tool provided by their travel agency or select a third-party software provider. Once implemented, due to the savings potential, companies aim to achieve a high percentage of eligible trips booked online. Companies take a variety of approaches to increase compliance with the online booking tool, including communicating the benefits of the tool, training key users on the tool, offering incentives to booking with the tool and identifying non-compliance.
Organizations take advantage of many features that online booking tools provide. Online booking tools support the establishment of traveler profiles, which allow organizations to set controls applicable to the employee's travel needs. In addition, the online booking tool allows for pre-trip approvals and can be used to monitor compliance with preferred suppliers.
The incorporation of corporate cards into online booking tools further improves a company's ability to increase compliance with travel policies. In addition, data from corporate card travel bookings can be integrated into expense reporting tools, automatically pre-populating expense reports to streamline the reconciliation process for travel expenses.
- Control and Compliance - Online booking tools provide the ability to recommend specific travel providers and/or lower cost itineraries. Communicating these options results in an increase in travel with the preferred suppliers and compliance with the travel policies
- Cost Savings and Process Efficiency - There is a reduced transaction fee for trips booked using the online tool. In addition, employees often select a lower-cost fare when presented with all the options through the online tool
- Spend Visibility - The online tool provides more comprehensive reporting on travel spend as it allows companies to identify non-compliant travel purchases or bookings made outside the online tool / preferred travel agency
- User Satisfaction - The online tool provides an easy and user-friendly method for employees booking travel. The ability to book travel at their convenience and select from a variety of options improves the overall travel experience