How to cut ground travel costs and operate more efficiently during periods of high inflation
Today, booking and managing travel for employees can be a daunting task. It’s both expensive and time-consuming with companies struggling to find the best ground transportation solution to integrate. During times of high inflation, the process can be particularly challenging.
Research indicates that inflation within the United States has reached a record high with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rising to 8.5% percent in 2022.
Some of the impacts of inflation on the transport industry have been increased transport and fuel costs. At the same time, we’ve witnessed a subsequent increase in travel demand following the pandemic.
As a business owner, you will want to implement strategies to enhance your corporate travel program and internal booking process. At the same time, with prices rising and high inflation, it’s more important than ever to cut ground travel costs and operate more efficiently.
Define Your Corporate Travel Policy
The first step towards enhancing efficiency in your company’s ground travel program is to create a corporate travel policy.
A travel policy basically refers to the rules and procedures that dictate how workers book and pay for business travel. These typically cover things such as the required precautions before booking travel, travel frequency, and the length of business travel activities.
Your company’s finance department should create corporate travel policies to effectively manage ground transportation spend.
The things to consider before implementing a travel policy for your company include:
- Identify your preferred suppliers
- Define the employee expense process
- Differentiate between essential and non-essential travel
- Organize corporate travel insurance
By defining your corporate policy, you enhance fairness for all, streamlining your ground travel solution. In turn, reducing ground transportation costs.
Invest in Ground Transportation Technology
The second strategy is to invest in in ground travel technology. Technology has been vital in revolutionizing ground transportation by allowing companies to solve travel-related problems. Technology can streamline the major processes in a way that enhances your ground transportation program.
With HQ SummitGround we provide our Fortune 500 clients with a seamless experience to handle all business ground transportation, all in one place.
Key Features include:
- Easy ride booking experience across all suppliers customizable to your requirements, consistent across devices – locally, regionally and globally.
- A user-friendly app so employees and executive assistants have the flexibility and freedom to find and manage a ride on the move.
- Supplier billing validation, verification & invoice review tailored to your company’s processes and requirements.
- Supplier payments from within the platform with various payment options including credit card, direct bill, and more.
- Scheduled & on-demand detailed reports, dashboards, and business analytics.
Ensure Policy Compliance During the Booking Process
You should also ensure your employees comply with your company’s corporate travel policy when booking ground travel services.
With HQ SummitGround our booking platform ensures your corporate travel policy is embedded in the booking process. This ensures employees have the autonomy and flexibility to book their own rides whilst adhering to policy compliance.
Key Features include:
- Require Trip Information
- Define Payment Type
- Limit Premium Choices
- Booking Permissions:
Our clients have control to update and amend existing travel policies or build new ones based on particular business functions, team members, and office locations. This includes the functionality to control which employees can choose certain vehicles based on their position, trip purpose, and journey length.
Track and Monitor Corporate Mobility Spend
Given the current reality of the post-pandemic era, there have been varied changes to mobility trends. Today, many people work remotely, which impacts mobility preferences.
Other companies have been adopting hybrid working models that have reduced the number of trips to work made by employees. Whatever the case in your company, you’ll want to track corporate mobility spending to minimize unnecessary expenses.
HQ Summitground provides access to detailed reports and business analytics so you can easily track and monitor ground transportation spend. With our data dashboard and scheduled reports, you gain the deepest level of ride data granularity in the market. This translates into actionable insights based on granular insights related to frequent routes, employee usage, supplier activity, split by geography, office, and much more.
Reduce Invoice Errors and Discrepancies
Invoice errors are another major problem that modern companies have to deal with. Inaccuracies and blunders during invoicing are costly and time-consuming. For instance, employee transport costs can be exaggerated when incorrect dates, spelling errors, and wrong locations appear on your invoices. It also takes time to correct these errors, reducing overall productivity. The solution is to replace manual, time-consuming reporting with an automated process.
The HQ SummitGround system reviews and validates all the invoices and rides submitted by suppliers prior to payment being made. The billing validation process quickly identifies and safeguards against invoice discrepancies and errors, including incomplete or incorrect invoice data, duplication of rides/ invoices, incorrect charges within ride price, and more. In the case of an error, the system automatically requests the supplier to correct and resubmit the invoice.
Streamline Employee Ground Travel Expenses
You can also lower employee ground travel expenses by streamlining their travels. The process can be realized by using automated services to control internal processes and enhance travel management.
One way to streamline employee ground travel expenses is to use mobility companies, such as HQ SummitGround, that manage ground travel activities on one platform. The integrated ride-booking platform, central payment systems, expense management tools, and insights can help improve accuracy, reducing expenses in the process.
Report on Employee Ride Usage and Travel Behavior
Last but not least, you should use your corporate transport policy to track the nature and frequency of employee ride usage. This process requires a close connection with the HR department.
Whether your organization allows workers to use company-designated transport or reimburse them for the same, you should have clear guidelines on employee ride usage and frequency.
Once you have met these conditions, you can then create regular employee ride usage and frequency reports to ensure adherence to corporate transport policy guidelines.
Given the current inflation trends, it is critical for organizations to continuously cut ground travel costs and operate more efficiently.
It’s essential to define your corporate travel policy and invest in a ground transportation solution similar to HQ Summitground. From here, you can leverage transportation technology to ensure policy compliance during the booking process. At the same time, actively track and monitor corporate mobility spend, reduce invoice errors and discrepancies, streamline employee ground travel expenses, and regularly report on all corporate travel activity, include employee ride usage and travel behavior.
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At HQ, our business model is based on transparency for our clients and supplier partners. At a time of changing market dynamics, recession fears, inflation, and market volatility, this transparency is now business-critical. In particular, providing your employees, and travel managers, with access to the right information at the right time to make informed decisions. It’s about empowering your employees so they have the freedom and flexibility to manage their ground travel arrangements autonomously. At the same, proactively ensuring they are mindful of ride prices. That is why accurate ride price estimations are essential.