Let's talk about something that we in the corporate travel business are all VERY excited for: getting BACK to work.
In order for travel teams (and traveling employees) to feel comfortable getting employees back on the road, companies need to ensure comprehensive duty of care coverage. We've developed a Data Readiness Checklist to assist travel and risk management teams in making sure they have a robust Data Strategy in place to achieve this.
While the corporate travel landscape may be forever changed, we will soon find ourselves and members of our team back on the road for sales calls, client meetings, or other critical reasons. We’ll be back to booking flights, hotels, and ground transportation to catch up on critical priorities that were put on hold as we collectively muddled our way through the early stages of the pandemic.
In speaking with travel managers during this time, stories have emerged around the wonderful support they have received from their TMCs. Many travel management companies have sprung into action, helping to provide resources and tools for their clients in order to determine, who, if anyone, might be impacted.
However, one area TMCs and risk management providers struggled with during the pandemic was their ability to track bookings that employees made or modified outside the TMC: the employee who booked the conference hotel via the hotel website; those who changed their flight directly with the airline to get home sooner; or employees in regions where certain inventory (like Low Cost Carriers) is unavailable via the TMC and must be booked directly with the airline.
Regardless of whether companies have strong program mandates or not, they all have some amount of data gaps from these off-channel bookings. And in this new world of post-pandemic business travel, it’s imperative that your internal travel team, TMC, and risk management provider have complete, 360-degree visibility into each and every travel segment -- no matter where it was booked.
So how can you as a travel manager evaluate your current travel program to ensure your travel program is “Data Ready” to meet duty of care needs going forward? In addition to your Risk Management, Expense Management, and Compliance Management strategies for your program, you need a comprehensive Data Strategy.
The Traxo Duty of Care Data Readiness Checklist is designed to be a starting point for your team as you begin to evaluate what changes need to be made to your corporate travel Data Strategy.
In order to help you gain a complete picture of your travelers whereabouts, we’ve designed a checklist, broken down into each stage of the itinerary, to help you evaluate your travel program against the standard Duty of Care protocols and most common data blind spots. This will make it easier to identify the gaps in your existing travel, duty of care, and data management strategy, so you can quickly address them -- and be better prepared for the next emergency. This list isn’t meant to be all-inclusive, but instead to provide you with a guide of steps to consider as we all return to work.
As members of your team come together in order to address these very concerns and restructure your travel program going forward, different stakeholders may have varying opinions on what direction to go. While the travel manager will certainly lead the endeavor, you’ll need input from risk management, human resources, legal, employees, and your Executive leadership, as well.
Treat this Checklist as a living document to help guide, review, and update the most critical element of your corporate travel program: the data you use to manage it.
Download the checklist here, and share with your company's corporate travel stakeholders.