Even in everyday corporate travel, a centralized system and unit that can help to manage every trip can be immensely beneficial. Better scheduling, monetary benefits, and other advantages become evident when compared to the individualized, non-linear system many businesses use in managing their travel.
But the benefits of corporate travel management don’t end there. In fact, they become especially pronounced in case of crisis and emergencies. It’s the situation no corporate executive wants to think about, but one that nonetheless is an integral part of ensuring safety and security for every member of your business currently flying.
Real-Time Information for All Travelers
What happens when multiple professionals within your company are traveling, and disaster strikes? That’s precisely what countless enterprises asked themselves during the devastating events of September 11, 2001. In fact, the events in New York City that day led corporations to drive toward a more centralized travel system.
The company needs to track its employees and ensure the concerned family of their location and safety. Travelers need to be rebooked to get home (or to their destination) safely and quickly. Typical business efficiency makes way to more human concerns about safety and security.
If this type of event occurs, and each of your employees has booked their travel, tracing their journey can be difficult to impossible. A general crisis turns into one that could very directly affect your business, as families and the travelers themselves come to regard you as unreliable or untrustworthy.
Compare that with a system that tracks the whereabouts of all travelers in real-time. Now, you can quickly reconcile not just locations, but contact information. Safety and human concerns come first, and the tangible and intangible benefits of the more centralized corporate travel management solutions begin to emerge.
Standardized Protocols Through Centralized Policy
A corporate travel management partner will also help your company build a centralized policy for all trips taken by employees. That’s a vital piece of the puzzle at all times but becomes especially important in times of crisis and emergencies.
A policy can build protocols into your employees’ travel to be followed at all times. Should a crisis emerge, each traveler will know how to react and what steps to take to keep themselves safe, and everyone else informed. If for instance, an earthquake is reported in their destination, they can quickly rebook the flight and keep everyone informed of the process.
The same benefits also take place in cases of individual crisis. For example, an employee may suddenly fall ill and have to visit a hospital that throws their travel schedule out of balance. Built the right way, a travel policy can include contingencies that allow for this employee to take the appropriate steps to get healthy and back home.
Of course, these scenarios can only come true if the travel management system and process used is centralized and standardized. That’s another of the many benefits corporate partnerships in this area can provide.
Risk Management Solutions
Safety and security, of course, also matters on the micro level of your individual employees. Natural disasters, terror incidents, and major crises naturally have to be considered. But they’re far from the only instances in which safety needs to be a significant consideration for successful management.
Risk management within your travel policy, in fact, is a crucial part of your corporate social responsibility efforts. According to the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA),
The broader notion of traveler well-being and duty of care issues are not only linked to emergencies and medical incidents. The stress of business travel caused by delays, lost baggage, less productivity (yet consistently high workload) or the simple fact of being away from friends and family should not be underestimated.
This risk management needs to be tailored to your situation, and the environment in which it operates. The type of travel and most typical locations will probably influence its nuances. Travel risk management also necessitates collaboration between your travel office and HR, as well as the travelers’ individual units. Through centralization, that partnership (and the concern for your individual travelers) can be prioritized.
Communication and Adjustments for Every Traveler
Finally, and intimately connected to the risk management solutions mentioned above, appropriate safety considerations within your travel operations also have to include communication and adjustment opportunities for every employee who engages in frequent or infrequent travel. That means availability of on-demand services and adjustments, to be done as necessary.
Imagine traveling to an important meeting, only to miss a flight or lose luggage with your business suit. Would you want to lose time making the necessary adjustments, tracking your luggage, or rebooking a flight? Chances are, the company would be better served by you keeping your focus on your meeting, while a travel agent takes care of the problem for you.
Any frequent traveler knows just how often this type of hypothetical situation occurs in real life. An employee who has booked their trip has no way of making the dynamic adjustment in real-time. But with a corporate travel management partner, it can be done more dynamically, externally, and in a centralized fashion.
In short, then, corporate travel management carries with it significant benefits as related to safety and security. Regardless of the scenario or situation, you want and need to make sure that your employees are safe and protected at all times. That can be difficult if each booked their trip, and your travel occurs in a decentralized fashion. Centralize your efforts, and the benefits will become more apparent.