Reinventing SME Travel: The Case For Revolution

07 June 2016

Travel Agencies solved the travel management problem for corporations nearly 10 years ago with purpose built Online Booking Tools (OBTs). OBTs allow travel administrators and travellers to book business trips themselves through a website. For corporates with complex travel policies and deep pockets, the solution works well, but it’s serious over-kill for SMEs who want some of the benefits, but none of the cost.

The status quo for SME travel management is a problem yet to be solved, and why it needs to change.

Travel is an essential part of running a successful business, but the way that SMEs book and manage travel today is fundamentally broken. To minimise wastage and maximise return on investment, businesses need to look at travel management as a business process, like payroll, which is precisely what most businesses don’t do today.

For most small businesses, travel management is an ad hoc process typically managed by an Office Manager/Administrator, Business Owner, or the traveller themselves. For most it’s largely unstructured, unmanaged and inefficient, which it doesn’t need to be. There are typically two methods – book via a travel agent, which is expensive, or book direct online, which is typically cost effective but hugely inefficient from a time perspective.

The ideal solution is a hybrid of the two models – providing businesses with all of the service benefits of a Travel Agent, without the cost. However, up to this point no one has been able to put the pieces together.

Change is long overdue, and these are the questions you need to ask to ensure you’re ahead of the game:

  • Are your staff able to search and book flights, accommodation, hire cars and airport transfers all in one place, quickly and easily?
  • Do your staff have the freedom to book and change their travel itinerary at the click of a button?
  • Do you have the visibility and flexibility to manage cost surprises before they happen?
  • Do you know where your staff are at all times? Are they staying in secure hotels, and getting transfers with reputable partners?
  • Do you have access to a pay-as-you-go Travel Expert service, or are you locked into paying Travel Agents a set fee? 

If you don't have these solutions and want to transform the way your business approaches the entire travel process, check out serko.travel and join the revolution in business travel.

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