Improve Travel Management with Trip Approvals
All those trips being booked, emails flying back and forth between travelers, arrangers and systems. How do you know your travelers are booking what they should be booking? How can you be positive your data is correct?
Never fear. An approvals process is just what you need to stop the madness and bring a little assurance and organization to your travel program.
Natalie McClaskey, Product Manager at World Travel, Inc., explained WorldApprovals™ this way:
“WorldApprovals™ was built to solve two common problems: 1.) reduce the time between trip request, trip authorization, and trip ticketing, and 2.) ensure all information required for ticketing is present and valid. World Travel, Inc. responded to these problems by building a proprietary approval tool that can be tailored to the needs of any customer. You tell us what trips require approval, what the approval emails should look like, designate to whom emails should be delivered and at what frequency, and what data to display on the approver console. World Travel, Inc.’s development team has complete control of this platform, and we are dedicated to continually improving it.”
What kind of program benefits from approval processes?
While just about any travel program can implement an approval program, there are a few types that will particularly benefit.
Higher Education and Non-Profits, and companies like them
Many higher-ed organizations and non-profit companies use private funding to pay for travel, and that funding may have parameters on it. The approvals process helps ensure that travel spend is used correctly (and that expenses are assigned to the right department or project or division).
Government Contractors, and companies like them
Companies that are paid for work by government entities need detailed tracking of expenditures and often must abide by multiple rules and regulations. In many cases, only certain kinds of vendors can be used (see: Fly America Act), and all expenses need to be assigned to the correct department or project or division.
The best way to determine ROI for any initiative is to examine your data, and many companies want their travel spend locked down and highly visible in the benefits analysis.
What do approval programs allow?
Natalie explains how WorldApprovals™ development was scoped.
“It was important for us to improve the overall experience for the travel approver. We streamlined the process by introducing auto-ticketing or cancellation based on an approver’s action and built a responsive web console that allows approvers to view all of their pending requests in one centralized platform. By allowing authorized approvers to update certain trip specific data points, WorldApprovals™ empowers approvers to take control of their data quality.
To put the travel manager at ease, WorldApprovals™ offers transparency into the complete approval process. Through the reporting module, travel managers can oversee when a trip request is generated, when a response is received from an approver, and when a reservation has been ticketed or cancelled.”
Here’s a specific dive into what a comprehensive approval program can provide:
More Accurate Data
Travel managers and approvers can access booked travel via a dashboard and audit trips for correct coding and data. If a traveler has forgotten to key in the correct project code or department code with which the travel should be associated, the travel manager or approver can catch this and update the PNR data prior to actioning the request.
More Spend Control
Many approval programs are initiated to ensure that travelers are making the best decisions when they travel. They may not be required to book the cheapest-possible fare, but approval processes help keep expenses down and keep travelers honest.
Platforms like WorldApprovals™ allows travel managers to run reports directly, including traveler name, request status, request-created date, approver email, and any policy issues. It also provides an at-a-glance view of all outstanding approvals.
Approval programs allow all the benefits above, without getting in the way of travel. The WorldApprovals™ process is automatic – once an approver touches a reservation, the next step happens immediately. It also tracks how long each approval takes, allowing the travel manager to assess if the approver is on top of things or not.
If it doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t work. Approval programs can be built to fit your travel program and process needs and limitations.
Approval processes like WorldApprovals™ help you keep a handle on your travel program, so that you can stop the madness and benefit from enhanced visibility and data control.Approval Processes, economy, travel policy, Traveler Conversations
This post was written by Chesley Turner