There was a time when companies favored face-to-face meetings to establish, maintain and grow business relations. But when the economic and market conditions became volatile and unpredictable the companies and enterprises were forced to look for green pastures. The advancements in communication technology in the form of internet, email, VOIP, video conferencing, and so on made companies to look at technology as a less expensive replacement for face-to-face meetings. Advocates of virtual meetings considered it as a great time and money saver. But the fact of the matter is however cost effective or time saving option virtual meetings might be, nothing can replace the human elements that is ingrained in face-to-face meetings. These human elements go a long way in developing mutual trust, good faith and confidence, which no amount of virtual meetings can bring about. Hence, in today’s global business environment, business travels are the indispensable tools for building and fostering business relationships.
It is a fact that in a slow economy steps must be taken to cut back on costs but it should never be at the cost of company’ potential growth prospects. Business travel is definitely one of the largest corporate costs but rather than reducing business travel budgets, a proper management of business travel expenses can do the trick. Instead of taking extreme cost cutting measures that impede company’s progress and development, enterprises should look at effective business travel management to facilitate continuous growth and development.
In today’ tight unpredictable economy, most companies and enterprises cut down business travel budgets as a means to tide over financial crisis. Such a move do more harm than good since studies have proved that those companies that increase their business travels during economic slowdown succeed in making new business deals than those who cut down business travels. Hence, what is required is the development of business travel management as a core function of businesses. This would help companies to
· Properly manage company’ travel policy
· Negotiate shrewdly with vendors
· Efficiently manage day-to-day activities of the corporate travel program
· Ensure adequate levels of safety and security for travelers
· Proper credit-card management
· Effective management of travel and expenses (T&E) data
More and more companies are now depending on expense management software for effective corporate travel management. This helps them to lower direct travel costs, to speed up employee’s travel administration, to ensure that internal rules and policies are followed, and to achieve better travel spend analysis.
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