Where is the “just right” in corporate managed travel vs unmanaged?

Manage travel

We all know the quest of Goldilocks searching for the porridge that is “just right”.  As your small business starts to grow, you could find yourself on a similar quest to find a way to organise your company’s travel that is “just right”.

So…you’ve experienced positive growth (Congrats!), and now all your employees need to jet off and start expanding the business in different markets. What approach do you take to figuring out how to get everyone from A to B, without massive stress on your operations and admin processes?

Until now, companies have had to choose between the lesser of two evils: Corporate Travel Management or Unmanaged Travel.

Corporate Travel Management

A Corporate Travel Management System is implemented in businesses to set travel parameters, making budgeting and getting insights simpler. There are some benefits to having a corporate travel management system, such as efficiency, transparency of spend, savings or policy advice from consultants. Despite this, large corporate travel management systems tend to be rigid and a bit outdated now for the type of travel many employees actually do for a company. The cost and time to set up corporate travel management software is sometimes just not realistic for a small medium business with neither on their side. It also reduces the feeling of autonomy, growth and trust in employees. Studies have found that over 40% of managed business travellers don’t comply with their companies’ booking policies.

So…while being great at adding structure and providing reputable information on employees’ travel habits, there is something lacking in corporate travel management systems. They essentially do not cover all the scenarios or all business trip related services, meaning travellers are left frustrated, and sort out a large portion of their trip themselves.

Unmanaged Travel

On the flip-side, there are a bunch of companies that champion Unmanaged Travel. Employees are allowed to book their travel independently, and manage their own expenses. Using booking channels such as Skyscanner, Google Flights and Kayak to plan the trip that is perfect to their own needs in terms of times, layovers and meetings – this type of travel gives employees complete autonomy. The main benefit here is the idea of empowering employees by giving them trust, which in the current digital-native world, isn’t as scary a prospect anymore.

Being able to shape their itinerary according to preference and individual needs rather than be hit with rule-based booking, can alleviate stress and increase employee satisfaction. However, it can also leave room for employees who run rogue with their freedom. It also makes controlling spend, and staying on top of invoices, expenses, and travel data a complete nightmare.

What about “Just right”?

corporate travel booking system with Ahoy

Clearly, both approaches in the corporate travel space have their own pros and cons…but isn’t there a solution that can provide a middle ground and might be “just right” for fast growing and small/medium sized companies?

Ahoy has launched a SaaS option, where your employees get some independence, but there is also a level of structure, management, and less admin fumes for you. By taking the pros of both, and creating a new way of managing travel, we aim to empower employees, and provide overview and peace of mind to managers at the same time.

It is the “just right” travel booking solution for growing companies and SMEs, giving travellers some independence, and managing travel spend & admin in a simple way. To try out our lightweight travel management tool, sign up to Ahoy today.