As the global economy begins to reopen, corporate travel teams worldwide are planning for how best to restart their company’s business travel activity. Most firms have made it through the initial “triage” stage of the pandemic. Now, teams are taking stock of how their travel programs performed in the midst of the crisis, in order to assess how they should best move forward in the new travel environment with additional safety protocols and security requirements.
The complexion of recovery planning efforts will differ among companies, but having spoken with dozens of travel teams at companies of all sizes, Traxo has identified a consistently recurring theme across all organizations: full data visibility is now imperative.
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, travel and risk management teams tolerated piecemeal visibility into their corporate travel data because (a) the consequences of these data gaps weren’t felt acutely, and/or (b) they weren’t aware of solutions to address these gaps.
The general approach was to rely on TMC data for in-channel bookings and reconcile that data with post-travel expense and credit card data to try to identify the booking activity that occurred off-channel.
While this basic approach may have been sufficient to track spending, it proved unacceptable for travel risk management purposes because important itinerary details for off-channel bookings simply could not be tracked. This reliance on a legacy process left many employees and their companies exposed during an especially critical period.
As this recent insightful Company Dime article highlights, the pandemic exposed this duty of care blind spot in pointed fashion: companies that didn’t have comprehensive visibility into their employees’ itinerary details were unable to reliably identify exactly which employees may have been exposed to Covid-19 or needed assistance with travel disruptions to return home.
Conversely, companies that had an omni-channel data strategy already in place got this right. Because they were able to capture itinerary details across all points of sale, including off-channel bookings, they were able to proactively identify and assist every potentially impacted employee.
As business travel begins to emerge from this lockdown, we are seeing that companies rightly have an uncompromising focus on capturing complete data about employee travel. While pre-trip approvals and policy mandates may be helpful, they will not be sufficient -- as we’ve seen after other emergency situations, out-of-channel booking activity will continue to occur, whether for legitimate reasons or otherwise.
Companies that recognize this need and proactively manage booking activity for all channels, regardless of point-of-sale, will be miles ahead from both a duty-of-care and cost management perspective. Consider the checklist below for guidance on how to craft a travel data strategy that meets the full visibility test:
How Traxo Can Help
With real-time data integrations directly to leading travel risk management services like WorldAware, International SOS, Drum Cussac, Anvil Group, and more, Traxo ensures that business trips booked outside of a TMC can receive the same duty of care coverage that TMC bookings receive -- enabling truly comprehensive travel risk management for all traveling employees.
And because this travel reservation data is captured in real-time at the time of booking, companies gain advance notice if employees book outside of budget so they can course-correct as needed, or even share those booking details with price assurance services.
To learn more about how Traxo is helping corporations modernize and prepare their travel programs for a post-pandemic world, download our free eBook Corporate Travel: The Four Stages of Post-Pandemic Recovery.
If you’d like to learn how Traxo can help you eliminate booking blind spots for good and proactively manage your entire travel program in a single system of record, please reach out to our sales team to schedule a demo.