Benefits of Using Online Booking Tools for Business Travel

Are you looking to improve the efficiency of your company’s travel policy? Perhaps you’re seeking a way to reduce your corporate travel spend?

Whilst the travel industry has been in some kind of hibernation since March, here at Business Travel Centre we have been as busy as ever, working away behind the scenes to benefit our clients, renegotiating rates and fares and making additional developments on the tech side of the business. We are pleased to announce we are ready to relaunch our Online Booking Tool (OBT) as well as a new Traveller Tracking tool. So, what are the advantages of using our OBT as opposed to using the expertise of our Travel Consultants? Firstly, OBT’s do not suit every client, it is very much dependant on the type of travel you have, it’s certainly not for more complex, multi-sector travel but for simple point to point travel and hotel bookings especially it is probably in your interests to move some of your travel online. The reality is, a mixture of online and offline bookings works best but today I want to focus on the benefits of using an OBT. I am currently offering demos of our tool so if you would like to know more please do get in touch and let’s explore whether it could work for you!

A centralised travel booking process provides significant advantages for businesses to improve their productivity and drive greater cost savings. Studies show that on average, business travellers carry four devices. Therefore, it is increasingly important for companies to invest in travel technology that meets the needs of their business and travelling workforce. Whether you’re a travel booker, approver, traveller, or all three, an online booking tool (OBT) can provide the perfect solution to your travel management needs.

1. Save time and money

Purchases made through OBTs incur lower fees than those made through the office. In addition, travellers are more likely to opt for a cheaper airfare if the cost difference is visually represented before them. This concept of ‘visual guilt’ can drive airfare savings of up to 10 per cent for businesses. Furthermore, some OBTs require travellers to submit a reason for choosing an airfare if it isn’t the cheapest available. The user is then accountable for any lost savings. OBTs also save time by streamlining the booking process.

2. Increase employee efficiency

An OBT eliminates the need for an in-house travel booker, allowing PAs and EAs to focus on their day jobs. We provide training to ensure everyone knows how to utilise the OBT’s features, so companies can be sure they are getting the most value from their travel management solution. Inbuilt approval features ensure no time and money is wasted on unapproved travel. This can be set up to allow different levels of authority for different users (bookers, approvers, travellers). Intuitive technology means all user information is stored within the OBT, leaving less room for error when it comes to entering frequent flyer numbers or spelling a traveller’s name correctly.

3. Bespoke service offering

Corporate OBTs have evolved over the last few years and are now offering a personalised experience from top to bottom. Our tool stores the required personal information for each traveller, such as frequent flyer information and preferred suppliers. Different filtering options allow for customised content display options. You can personalise your display to what best suits your company.

4. Ensure the duty of care

Pre-trip approval features ensure any risky or unconventional travel plans are shut down before they can be booked. Companies can designate different levels of approval and functionality to users. Responsibility is then delegated appropriately and decision-makers are held accountable for their travellers. Traveller tracking and risk alerts allow companies to easily locate and contact their people in a timely manner so as to warn them of any potential threats. Our OBT is highly configurable and can ensure 100% mandate to in-policy buying, such as airlines and hotels that meet your duty-of-care commitments.

5. Travel policy compliance

Complete configuration of your company’s travel policy restricts users from booking travel that is not compliant. This may involve only showing content from preferred suppliers or removing options that are above price limits. If your company has negotiated rates with a supplier, we are able to upload these and any restricted bookings into your OBT. If required, it will trigger an approval request if the in-policy options have sold out or don’t meet the specific travel needs.

6. Book on-the-go

You no longer need to worry about spur-of-the-moment changes to travel arrangements. With the development of the app, you can now take the functionality of your OBT on the go, with the full OBT experience replicated on your mobile device. The ability to complete end-to-end bookings on your mobile device means that if delays prevent you from making a connecting flight, you can immediately book a later alternative no matter where you are. You can even book your connecting flight before you land with your carrier’s in-flight Wi-Fi service. Travel arrangers can book after hours via the app, saving time and money and in-app notifications keep the traveller informed while on the go.








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