To streamline any company’s travel expenses, it is important to design a travel policy. This policy must be properly implemented and communicated to all of the company’s travelling users. The final objective is the optimization of the expense report and a reduction in the travel expenses generated in the company.
Firstly, it depends on the company structure. It is a different ball game if we are dealing with an SME or a large company, or if they operate on a national or international level. We also need to know whether the company has any expansion plans in the medium or long term. Depending on these factors, the expense forecasts are obviously going to be greater or smaller. In the case of a company with internationalization plans, it must have a much stricter control on the travel-related items of the budget.
Based on the above-mentioned factors, a comprehensive and cross-company policy must be defined, as it has to take into account all of the aspects that have an impact on a company’s expenditure on travel, from a taxi taken across the city in which the company is based right through to the extra costs generated in a trip involving different suppliers. It also has to be a cross-company policy, bearing in mind that it must cover and be communicated to all of the different departments in the company. A travel policy would not be much use if it were well interconnected with the Sales Department and, in contrast, not with the Human Resources or Purchasing Departments. Obviously, all of the departments must play their part in achieving a set of targets at a corporate level.
Therefore, the travel expense management policy must be designed and implemented, as well as compliance being monitored. To ensure compliance, the first step is to establish certain indicators for measuring the impact of the policy in terms of success and the degree of adoption across the company. To do so, these key performance indicators (KPIs) must be monitored constantly.
Once all of this information has been extracted, a set of statistics can be developed with the aim of drawing conclusions and taking any corrective measures that might be considered necessary in the event that there are significant deviations from the initial objectives.
Last but not least, it should be noted that, within this policy, a strategic principle must be designed and a schedule implemented for all of the employees to whom it applies. Companies must also be prepared for the policy to be constantly updated as, on occasions, the company is forced to make decisions that involve changing its initial objectives. For instance, if the company originally has a plan to export to Asian countries and it suddenly sees an opportunity in Latin America, it surely has to change its objectives and suppliers. As an immediate consequence, it will be necessary to change the initial travel expense policy.
Communication is another important factor as, in a corporation, we may always be given the excuse that somebody does not know the company’s travel policy and does not therefore comply with it.
THE TRAVEL POLICY MUST BE WELL DISSEMINATED, COMMUNICATED EFFECTIVELY AND CHECKED FOR UNDERSTANDING.
To this end, a range of training activities can be carried out, such as seminars, and incentive plans for users can even be designed. If we reward employees for reaching certain joint targets for the company, they may be more motivated and a greater degree of commitment can be achieved from them.