How does your organization utilize its online booking tool? Does each traveler use it to book their own travel or do you have one travel coordinator that books travel for all employees? Maybe you have several executive administrative assistants that are each assigned to book travel for their own select group of employees. Whichever approach your organization takes, you should factor in the role of the majority of employees that travel, the size of your organization and your company culture.
Some companies require all employee travel to be booked through one travel coordinator. The reasoning behind this is that employees are hired to fulfill specific job functions and booking travel isn’t one of them. For example, a company may require their sales people to request trips through the travel coordinator, so as to free up their time to attend to sales activities. There may also be other categories of employees whose time value is so great that it just makes sense for their time to be focused on their job function, as well. Booking travel for the entire organization is often a full-time job for the travel coordinator, so this approach requires an additional head count, but when balanced against the factors mentioned above, it can be the right choice for many companies. Of course, implementing this approach to using the booking tool requires a strong company culture of structure and executive support in order for it to succeed. When done correctly, the efficiency payoffs are great and adherence to the organization’s travel policy more easily enforced.
At the other end of the spectrum is allowing each employee to book their own travel via the online tool. One of the benefits here is that an extra head count is not required to book travel for the company’s employees. Also, your company may have a culture of independence in which your employees are accustomed to booking their own travel arrangements and sending their travel requests to a central travel coordinator would not be palatable to them. You’ll want to be sure the online tool is configured in such a way as to provide quick and simple booking, as well as having the company’s travel policy integrated into the travelers’ search results, so as to clearly indicate what is in and out of policy. This provides for a high level of ease of use and goes a long way toward promoting a high online adoption rate. For companies concerned with monitoring the types of trips their travelers are booking, partnering with a travel management company that can provide reporting around trip types per traveler would be the first step to take. They should also be able to configure the tool to your organization’s exact specifications.
There are numerous variations of the previous two approaches: having an administrative assistant, for example, be in charge of booking travel for a few employees (often executives), while the rest of the employees book their own travel, or having a group of administrative assistants book for their own core group of employees, and so on. Each company is unique and the way they utilize the tool is dependent on their culture and goals.
If you’d like assistance with setting up an online booking tool for your organization or restructuring your current set-up, contact Travel Leaders / Destinations Unlimited.