New Amadeus research shows that as business travel restarts, travel managers must rethink travel and expense as part of the digital transformation journey. Rudy Daniello, Amadeus EVP of Corporations, shares the findings with The Business Travel Magazine.
The past year has presented significant challenges not least for the travel industry. Reduced travel and increased cost control has pushed many corporations to delve into their travel and expense management processes, in order to achieve cost efficiencies and business objectives. As business travel starts to open back up, travel managers need to prepare for new ways of working and look at how they can tackle travel and expense (T&E) management tools.
Our new research, conducted by Forrester Consulting, reveals that travel managers need to rethink their T&E technologies to digitally transform, improve the employee experience and enhance the efficiency of financial operations in order to survive in a Covid-19 world.
The study highlights that organisations acknowledge that strengthening their T&E management is key to digital transformation, as many forms still depend on outdated tools such as spreadsheets. The findings show that only a small percentage of organisations have an end-to-end cloud-based T&E management system in place. Lengthy, cumbersome processes not only result in employees feeling frustrated, but ultimately hinders the overall business operations.
Unsurprisingly, there is a great demand for easy and seamless digital tools with three quarters (74%) of respondents agreeing that improvement of T&E management processes and tools is critical to reducing costs, increasing efficiency in business operations and improving the employee experience. By digitally transforming these processes or adopting modern T&E tools, employees can reduce their time spent on long-winded tasks and finance teams can access real-time information to manage payments more efficiently.
Paving the way to digital transformation
As business travel starts to pick up, the backlog of T&E and booking payments will also return. The research found that corporations without an integrated platform for T&E receive a higher level of complaints from staff. For finance departments to digitally transform they should opt for an integrated, single-platform travel and expense solution to tackle longstanding challenges. It can improve the user experience, increase efficiency, and enhance the use of data and analytics for better planning and cost control – eventually saving money and improving employee satisfaction.
Travel, digital transformation and business sustainability will continue to be important items on corporate agendas as they resume activity and move in a Covid-19 world.
Travel managers need to understand the important role technology has to play in this and recognise the opportunity it presents in delivering a brighter future for the travel industry.