Inadequate tools and outdated travel management could be costing businesses up to 15 per cent of employees’ time and US$12,000 per year per traveller on admin tasks, according to new research.

A study by Kickstand Communications commissioned by agile travel management company found a “strong correlation” between business travel and business success, but that travel management may need a “rethink”.

Major complaints reported by 714 US-based frequent business travellers included outdated policies and poor booking tool design. This led to 64 per cent of respondents using consumer sites for their business travel management instead. Sixty-four per cent said they felt like they were wasting their time, while 55 per cent saw a negative impact on job productivity as a result.

Respondents said they waste an average of 12 hours per trip on researching, booking, adjusting and cancelling trips, as well as reporting expenses. With the researching finding travellers take an average of nine trips per year, this adds up to 108 hours for a single employee. Staff working at smaller companies spend 70 per cent more time on trip admin than those at larger firms.

Meanwhile, 619 travel managers said the problem lies with the lack of a single platform and support. Half of those surveyed said their companies did not provide any tools. Two in five (39 per cent) noted that if they did have a company-provided tool it lacked support, leading 64 per cent to rely on spreadsheets and documents for travel management.

More than half of travellers (53 per cent) said they felt their companies’ approach to travel management was wasting money, with half seeing it affect bottom lines. More than two-thirds (67 per cent) of travel managers agreed.

While 70 per cent of travellers overall said travel management influenced job satisfaction, 14 per cent more of those employed by smaller businesses agreed. Fifty-nine per cent said inefficiencies made them “less happy”, while 12 per cent more SME travellers said the same.

Furthermore, 44 per cent overall said they might look for other jobs as a result of poor travel management, that number grew by 29 per cent among SME respondents. CEO Mike Volpe commented: “This research interlinks travel with business success. In fact, 94 per cent cited that well-managed business travel is ‘critical’ for their company success. But despite its importance, companies are failing their employees with a lack of tools and support, and these inefficiencies are costing big time and money. In some cases, it is also making it difficult to retain their most valuable talents. All of this is why sees huge potential in helping companies reinvent corporate travel.”

Download the full findings of the survey here

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