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Time to review your travel and spend policy as over 40% of travel managers said they'd be tightening travel policy as a result of the pandemic

In a recent corporate travel study, over 40% of travel managers said they’d be tightening travel policy as a result of the pandemic

But let’s face it: As the business travel landscape keeps evolving, policies will have to keep shifting to keep pace. That means building in more flexibility to accommodate quick pivots, as well as incorporate more nuanced controls to allow for more focused approvals and more streamlined processes.

Plus, as travel policy has increasingly become a company-wide concern, policies must incorporate the needs not only of travel managers, but also of other departments, such as human resources, operations, and finance.

Fortunately, companies can find the solution to achieving this new level of demand, thanks to the sophisticated tools of modern travel and spend management platforms. Here are some of the benefits.

Better traveler safety

Duty of care is not only a top priority for travel managers, according to the same corporate travel study – it’s also their biggest challenge. Dealing with border closings, COVID-19 hot spots, and always-morphing travel restrictions has created exponential stress for everyone.

A modern travel management platform can track those travelers and those outbreaks in real-time – but that’s just the baseline in helping to ensure their safety. It’s in the nuances around policy controls where the tools really distinguish themselves.

More efficient approvals

Who approves essential travel? What’s permissible travel? What about testing and vaccinations?

Each company will handle these important decisions differently, of course, depending on its needs, size, and culture. And as those needs evolve, so too may the decision-makers and the approval process – shifts that demand quick action. It’s why in-person decision-making is out and automation is in.

After all, those shifts will likely include tweaking policy depending on the destination and the level of employee. And don’t forget about policy additions for new features like digital health passports. Creating rules within a travel policy in order to escalate approvals automatically means less time sorting out details and a more efficient travel department.

Greater compliance and cost savings

“Increase cost savings” is the number one strategic priority for 50 percent of travel managers surveyed in the corporate travel study.

Making it happen begins with ensuring that traveling employees book their travel on the company’s platform and within policy. Yet compliance remains a problem: A quarter of companies struggle to get compliance above 30 percent, while almost half of the bookings for hotels and car rentals are out of policy.

That can happen when travelers get frustrated and confused about what’s in and what’s out of policy. After all, travel costs can vary per destination, and allowable expenses will vary by employee level

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