Around the World in 80 Days

Does your company’s travel and expense management hold up on the go?

In Business travel, Spend management by Heather Lohmann7 Comments

In Jules Verne’s classic novel Around the World in Eighty Days, Phileas Fogg attempts to win a very large bet: To collect more than $1.5 million (today’s dollars), he must circumnavigate the globe in eighty days.

With so much money at stake, Fogg takes on a valet, Jean Passepartout, to help during the journey. What ensues is a wild adventure during which an unexpected elephant ride takes place, Fogg is mistaken for a bank robber, and other perils are overcome on the way to a big payday.

Today’s business travelers journey around the world under dramatically different (and less fictional) circumstances, but they still need logistical support in the field. Personal valets aren’t in everyone’s budget, of course, but effective travel and expense management practices can offer similar guidance and protection.

Just as the trusty Passepartout helped Fogg win his bet, the right corporate travel management practices and tools can keep travelers out of harm’s way and moving toward their own trip payoffs. Here are 5 questions to ask of your travel and expense management system to determine if it holds up on the go:

  1. Does your travel policy address the safety of employees in the field?

Keeping employees safe has to be priority #1 for any organization. Make sure your travel policy addresses duty of care “watchfulness” guidelines.

The company should be ready to monitor current travel conditions, be aware of employees’ itineraries, and get travelers out of any unsafe situations – just like the dependable Passepartout!

  1. Can employees book or change travel arrangements in the field?

Unforeseen events, from bad weather to a delayed meeting, can throw a wrench into the best-made plans. Not having a Passepartout on hand to make last-minute changes can leave travelers to fend for themselves.

When you implement an easy-to-use mobile interface, employees adjust travel arrangements on the go. And a missed connection doesn’t have to mean commandeering an elephant.

  1. Can travel and expense reporting be done on the go?

At the end of his journey, Fogg was not forced to provide a detailed summary of expenses or turn over a top hat full of receipts to collect on his wager—but that’s exactly what today’s business travelers must do upon arriving home.

When you equip travelers with mobile tools to scan receipts and submit expenses from the field, you remove a significant hassle and barrier to productivity. Bonus: Mobile-friendly T&E automation lets expense reporting begin before the trip ends while allowing managers to quickly review and approve reports.

  1. Do travelers have tools to surface preferred rates and discounts?

Preferred rates are particularly hard to find on the road, potentially leaving employees to stress over whether they’re in compliance with your business travel management policy.

Making it possible for travelers to access vendor-negotiated rates and discounts on mobile devices makes their lives easier, and the company benefits big with T&E savings.

  1. Do your company’s travel policies keep employees comfortable on the go?

While not all business travelers can rely on their own Passepartouts to develop personalized itineraries, they still have their own individual travel preferences. Having the right travel and expense management tools can take the headache out of keeping your employees comfortable on the road.

Whether it’s reserving a window seat towards the front of the plane or booking a room in a specific neighborhood, frequent travelers should—within reason—be able to customize trips to suit their tastes. Help make your employees’ travels more enjoyable by giving them the tools they need to book flights, hotels, and ground transportation according to what’s best for them and for the company.

Help Travelers Achieve Road Wins …. Sans Passepartout

Companies may not be able to provide their travelers with personal valets, but having an efficient travel and expense management system at the service of employees is the next best thing.

An on-the-go, integrated T&E package won’t help carry an employee’s bags, but it can free your road warrior to focus on company business while controlling costs. At the same time, you can fulfill duty of care obligations to travelers across town, across the country, or half a world away.

Get in touch with one of our experts to learn more about how you can make sure your travel and expense management holds up while your employees are on the go.

About the Author
Heather Lohmann

Heather Lohmann

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Heather Lohmann is a Content Marketing Manager at Deem and has been working in the SF tech industry for over 4 years. She received a bachelor's degree from CSULB and an MFA in creative writing from the California College of the Arts.