Why global companies are moving towards self-booking for corporate travel

Everything about corporate travel is stressful: From the confusing booking processes, to the stressful post-trip expense management. Long reimbursement cycles, increasing costs, and travel policy violations add to the already cumbersome trips, thus affecting employee morale too. In this process, policy compliance and T&E budgets go for a toss, thus generating the need for a solution.

In the recent years, the self-booking tool is changing the landscape of business travel globally, making booking policy-compliant transportation and accommodation easier for employees. It leads to massive savings in terms of time and effort for the employees, and travel costs for the company, making it a win-win situation for everyone involved.

The self-booking tool or SBT is an online travel booking software that corporate business travellers use to plan end-to-end work trips. A self-booking tool helps in simplifying business travel and accommodation for employees. Moreover, it can enable the employees to comply with the company’s travel policy while booking flights and hotels. It eliminates the need to toggle between multiple screens for booking and streamlines the approval workflow while ensuring cost savings for the organisation.

One of the biggest advantages of using a SBT is the ease of post-trip due diligence. Generating consolidated reports becomes a breeze, making it easier for the finance teams to identify expense patterns and better control the prices. End-to-end trip management under a single platform can drastically reduce the amount of effort required to plan and execute successful work trips.

It is no longer an alternative for enterprises. In the absence of a SBT, corporate travellers would have to deal with copious amounts of emails for planning the trip, not to mention the manual expense report creation after. Moreover, the management would miss out on real-time spend and visibility of the travel expenses, thus making it more difficult to control the budget.

Importance of customisation

Like with every other software solution, a buggy, inflexible software is worse than no dedicated SBT at all. CXOs spend a lot of thought and effort into designing a T&E policy that enables the employees to work towards the business goals comfortably, without emptying the company’s coffers. A highly customisabe SBT can help implement the corporate travel policy by building in the policy controls at every step of the booking & approval.

Gitanjali Kapur
Head of Account Management, Happay

Quite often, one pays for customisation by sacrificing ease of use. This should be a non-negotiable when picking the right SBT for your organisation. Mobile access to the platform, ease of updation in the policy, etc. are some of the things one should look out for.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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