There are dozens of technology providers to choose from, which often makes the process of finding the right technology partner drawn out and difficult. Solutions that answer today’s needs may not support tomorrow’s requirements. You need to feel confident that your technology partner not only has the capabilities to support your needs today but has expertise and market leadership to fuel travel innovation that places you in a position of advantage in the years ahead. In Part 2 of this series, we examined the importance of choosing a technology partner with their own strategic partnerships that complement and enhance the value they provide to the customers they support. Here in Part 3, we’ll look at the importance of choosing a partner that understands that one size does not fit all when it comes to corporate travel programs, offering configuration controls and flexibility to maximize policy compliance and savings. #3 – A commitment to helping you achieve your travel program goals Travel policy is the foundation of effective travel management. The travel technology partners you’re considering should fully understand that travel managers are challenged with balancing traveler expectations and experience with maximized efficiencies and policy compliance, all while achieving their cost management objectives. With the disruption of new technologies and channels challenging existing traditional travel policies, travel managers today face a more variable role than past corporate travel managers. Business travel is an essential business-building activity; it can also put pressure on the budget and on the traveler. According to the global Frictionless Travel study conducted by Sabre in partnership with the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), 40% of travelers say business travel impacts business results to a great extent, while 32% state business travel impacts job satisfaction to a great extent. The study additionally revealed that job satisfaction is influenced by the following: an organization’s travel policy, booking and reservation process, safety and security policies and initiatives, employee well-being policies for travel, expense reporting process, and even the pre-trip approval process. In addition to having the acumen, travel technology partners must be capable of providing solutions designed for managing business travel from booking to expense to duty of care with a consumer-like user experience your travelers desire, which is key to ensuring higher traveler satisfaction and compliance. On top of that, the solutions they deliver need to be reliable and flexible, with the ability to scale and grow while keeping pace with you and your travelers’ changing needs. Likewise, their solutions should seamlessly integrate with booking, itinerary and messaging, virtual payments, expense reporting and travel risk management. Your travel technology partner shouldn’t only provide a functionality rich environment with a sophisticated travel policy engine with flexible controls, customized rules, and parameters to ensure policy compliance but a solution that is easy to navigate and guides the traveler on the right choices with messaging that clearly communicates your travel program throughout the entire experience. Modern corporate booking solutions should do more than just enable your travelers to shop and book travel – but provide access to comprehensive travel options and negotiated offers, improve supplier and contract management, automate processes, clearly identify in-policy and preferred options while maximizing policy compliance and savings. One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to corporate travel programs. You need a technology partner with the expertise to help you configure your travel technology for your unique travel program requirements today with the flexibility and scalability to evolve with your growing needs. Next week, we’ll cover Part 4 — considering a technology partner that that serves as a strategic advisor with technical expertise to achieve your business goals. –
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