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5 things you should know about your business travel costs

When procurement and operations teams look under the hood of their business spend, they tell us it’s often corporate travel that makes them wince. Unlike other outgoings, travel flexes, it’s frequently organised late in the day at additional cost, and it regularly falls to the employee themselves to organise their ground transportation – so it’s an unmanaged spend.

The traditional practice of filling out and processing expense claims is outdated in many businesses, and it’s costing them an eye-watering amount of money and time. Here are four things you should know about the business benefits of using a managed platform for your ground travel.

1. Expensed cabs aren’t cheaper

According to recent research1, the majority of taxi users opt to pay with cash – a reported 65% of customers prefer this method. The survey also found that 36% of taxi drivers give their customers a blank receipt to fill out themselves, with 51% of customers admitting that they’ll round up their claim by 25% – so the costs pile up, especially if you’re managing a medium to large business with multiple employees travelling nationally and internationally. Their journey is untraceable within a digital system, and having your staff travelling around with cash in hand also isn’t ideal from a safety and security perspective.

2. Surge means splurge

When employees order taxis on an ad hoc basis, either through an on-demand app or by hailing, there’s little control over pricing. At certain times of the day, fares will peak – and if employees know they’re expensing a ride, they won’t feel inclined to shop around for the best rate. According to Gett’s internal research, this can increase the cost by more than 1.6 times on average. With a managed platform, you can be sure there’s a control in place that means that employees have the chance to choose the best, and most cost-effective, vehicle option.

3. Expenses take human hours to process

More research conducted in 20172 found that 60% of workers fill out their expense claim forms at work, spending on average one hour per month on them. Add this up over a year, multiplied by the number of staff across the whole business, and the cost can be astronomical.

It’s not just the form filling that’s wasting precious work hours – it’s also the time that’s required to process every claim. On average, finance teams deal with seven taxi receipts a month, with 20% handling more than 11. It’s not hard to see how the hours can snowball without a set process or offering in place. And that’s not even considering the potential of misuse, which can be mitigated if a set travel policy is put in place.

Despite the existence of managed platforms for businesses that allow procurement teams to manage all ground transportation from one digital portal, 55% of companies still don’t have a defined taxi expense policy, even though 54% of them use the same provider for every journey.

A box full of receipts and expenses

4. Data makes for better decisions

One of the most valuable aspects of a managed platform is how much you end up learning about your employees’ travel habits – who’s travelling most often, the most common routes taken and where money could be saved. You can see where cancellations or waiting times have nudged prices up, as well as which accounts and routes are making heaviest use of the business travel budget.

5. The potential costs aren’t just financial

All businesses have a duty of care to their employees – even when they’re not working from the office, they need to be safe. Using a single provider via a managed platform means rides can be booked in advance and tracked – all without the employee having to organise or pay for anything themselves.

The way companies organise corporate travel is changing, with more and more deciding to use a streamlined digital system, eradicating the need for cash payments, inaccurate receipts and valuable staff time being spent on unnecessary admin.

For more stories on business, innovation and productivity, head to the Gett blog home page. To trial our Gett Business Solutions platform, click here to book a demo.

Image credits: iStock, Getty Images