When people think of travel, they usually associate it with fun. Even company travel (the term “expense it” anyone?) can be fun.
Company travel expense management, on the other hand, can be significantly less enjoyable, not to mention difficult. It’s no wonder that travel is one of the largest company expense categories and often goes unaddressed. According to research from the Aberdeen Group, it accounts for 10% of a typical organization’s budget.
Trends in business travel are always fluctuating. For example, over the past few years there has been an increase in people looking to include some degree of leisure in their business trips. With more leisure on business trips may also come higher spending and added difficulty from a cost control standpoint. It’s understandable that organizations could be concerned about this type of business travel trend, but with the right tools in place it’s possible to track expense changes to a point where they are no longer a concern—no matter what the new travel trend.
More now than ever, companies are looking for the optimal way to improve their travel program in ways that not only guard against prodigal spending, but also encourage savings. If you are a company that is concerned about monitoring or improving your employee travel program—which most are—and minimizing company expenses dedicated towards travel, pinpointing trends in employee travel could just be one more way to accomplish that. But in order to identify and analyze factors that drive spending, you’ll need to first get an overall sense of the scale of travel expenses at your company.
Enter strategic key performance indicators (KPIs). These are your best friend and essential for tracking progress against long-term objectives related to employee travel. KPIs allow you to set strategic goals, identify high level travel and entertainment (T&E) metrics, and ultimately control your company’s travel costs by having a set of gauges that can show you where your travel expenses are at, in comparison to where they need to be.
Even if you are already familiar with KPIs, it’s essential to know exactly which ones are going to help you maximize your savings and determine where that may not be happening, and why. So don’t be afraid to get your digital hands dirty and brush up on your KPI know-how, because you’ll thank yourself in the end.
If you’re a CFO or another type of key stakeholder, travel management shouldn’t be the task holding you down. It should just be one more thing that you’ve got covered.