Enterprises often lack the expertise required to manage non-routine and non-core business activities. They overcome the expertise constraint by working with business consultants. The business consultant helps them increase process efficiency and reduce process costs by providing services, assistance, and advice.
Companies and startups work with corporate travel consultants to streamline a cost and time-intensive process like corporate business travel management. Consultants help employees accomplish business travel goals by providing destination information, preparing travel itineraries, and making travel arrangements.
Plus, they assist employees in mitigating business travel risks and overcoming business travel challenges. At the same time, the consultant helps employers reduce the average business trip costs in several ways.
We can understand how the corporate travel consultant boosts business travel efficiency by discussing some of his major roles and responsibilities.
10 Important Roles of a Corporate Travel Consultant
- Pre-Trip Assistance
Employees these days travel to various business travel destinations. Also, many employees engage in business travel for the first time. A corporate travel consultant helps each employee engage in business travel by sharing destination information, planning business trips, and training etiquette.
Also, the professional helps employees obtain and update passports, visas, work permits, national IDs, and other essential travel documents. The assistance makes it easier for employees to travel for business purposes without neglecting their professional responsibilities.
- Business Travel Arrangements
The consultant boosts business travel experience and safety by booking the right travel products. He keeps in mind the choices and preferences of each employee while booking flights, accommodations, car rentals, and other important travel products.
At the same time, he saves money by booking in-policy travel products, prioritizing fully flexible tickets, and avoiding last-minute bookings. Hence, it becomes easier for employers to meet employees’ expectations without escalating costs.
- Business Travel Concierge Services
Some employees need specific or additional support to accomplish business travel goals. The corporate travel consultant spends time with a work traveler to understand the services required by a work traveler.
Also, he ensures that the work traveler can get the required assistance using a business travel concierge service provider. The business travel concierge services help employees save time and remain stress-free by getting the required assistance in minutes.
- Travel Risk Management
Corporate travel consultants help employers mitigate various business travel risks by providing expert advice. They minimize business travel risks by booking the appropriate travel products and providing training.
Also, consultants use sophisticated tech tools to deliver real-time information like flight status and travel guidelines to each work traveler. At the same time, they provide relevant information and assistance to work travelers by becoming the first point of contact.
- Duty of Care
Enterprises must meet an important obligation like duty of care by ensuring the safety and security of each work traveler. A corporate travel consultant helps them keep employees safe and secure across business travel destinations.
In addition to providing real-time information, the professional tracks the real-time location of individual work travelers. Also, he ensures emergency assistance to each work traveler by partnering with global health and security risk management firms.
- Policy Formulation and Compliance
Well-crafted travel and expense (T&E) policies help enterprises reduce business travel risks and costs simultaneously. However, entrepreneurs and managers lack the skill and expertise required to formulate comprehensive T&E policies.
A corporate travel consultant helps them prepare and implement granular T&E policies by sharing templates, ideas, and expert advice. At the same time, he ensures policy compliance by booking the right travel products and making employees avoid non-reimbursable expenses.
- Process Automation
The new tech tools create opportunities to increase the ROI of business travel through corporate business travel automation. However, enterprises often find it challenging to choose and implement travel management tools and solutions.
Business travel consultants facilitate end-to-end business process automation by recommending the right T&E management software. Further, they help companies boost process automation by customizing, configuring, and integrating the travel management software.
- Travel Expense Management
Travel management consultants streamline travel expense management by making employees submit digital expense claims. In addition to eliminating errors, digital expense reports help the finance team speed up travel expense management.
Also, many consultants these days focus on expense management automation. They help companies implement special-purpose software that helps the finance team track, process, reimburse, and audit travel expenses without putting in extra time and effort.
Also, they ensure that employees can use the same software to produce automated expense reports by scanning various invoices and receipts. Automation helps companies speed up reimbursements and control business travel costs.
- Travel Data Analysis
A modern corporate travel consultant focuses on helping companies leverage T&E data. He helps managers make informed decisions by generating custom reports using various parameters and metrics. At the same time, the consultant analyzes the T&E data regularly using sophisticated data analytics solutions.
The data analytics solution helps him gain and share actionable insights. The actionable insights help decision-makers make informed financial decisions, find cost-saving opportunities, and detect emerging business travel trends.
- Cost Reduction
In addition to streamlining corporate business travel management, the consultant helps companies reduce the average business trip costs regularly. Firstly, he saves money on business travel booking by negotiating with suppliers for corporate rates and discounts. He negotiates with new vendors to get better rates and deals.
Secondly, he prioritizes booking options that employees can cancel or reschedule without paying hefty fees or penalties. Thirdly, the consultant shares data-driven insights that help decision-makers curtail business travel costs without impacting the experience and safety of work travelers.
The expert services and advice provided by a corporate travel consultant help companies increase the ROI of business travel. However, the roles and responsibilities of the consultants vary across organizations. Some companies make business travel consultants work as in-house travel managers.
At the same time, many companies work with them as freelance consultants. Also, new-age T&E management software creates opportunities for companies to use virtual travel consultants. Hence, a company can streamline corporate business travel management using a human travel consultant or virtual travel consultant.