Managed vs. Unmanaged Corporate Travel

As companies grow, so does their global presence in many cases. They also tend to have ever-expanding corporate travel ventures. This often raises the question of whether managed or unmanaged corporate travel is the right option for their organization.

There are advantages of managed corporate travel, but it may not be the right option or every company.

The following are some things to consider when comparing managed versus unmanaged corporate travel.


Keeping Up with Compliance and Global Regulations

For companies with international business travelers or an international presence, keeping up with taxes and regulatory requirements can be a challenge. However, will a managed travel program help with this? Maybe, but maybe not.

Sometimes, it’s better for companies to choose a sophisticated expense management platform, because that can automate many things related to taxes, compliance, and regulations. For example, if a company chooses the right software, it’s very easy to stay up-to-date with things like global taxation baselines.

You don’t need to hire a travel manager just to take care of these issues, with the right technology and automation.

Risk Management

While compliance and things like taxation regulations might not require a dedicated travel manager, risk management can be a different story.

Modern business travelers can often face significant threats, especially depending on their location. For example, there are threats of natural disasters, terrorist events, and even cyber attacks that can occur if a business traveler is, as an example, using an unsecured Wi-Fi connection.

A travel manager can create a comprehensive duty of care plan for employees, and work on ways to help keep them safe when they’re abroad. Travel management professionals and also travel management companies can put in place the right plans, but also the right communication tools. They can also regularly update policies, plans, and tools used as the need arises or as threats change.

Employee Overspending

Employees overspending when they travel can be a big problem for companies of all sizes. It is something many companies strive to change, but they find it difficult to do so. In terms of a travel manager, there are both pros and cons to using one when it comes to overspending.

First, there are pros because travel managers can keep an eye on spending and create tight controls to prevent employees from going overboard.

At the same time, there may be resistance from employees because they feel like business travel is more burdensome when they don’t have a sense of freedom.

For some companies, rather than going the route of managed travel (or even if they do have managed travel), it’s better to gain control over spending with technology and automation. An expense management platform can provide an automated sense of control and visibility into spending, but employees won’t feel as restricted or as resistant to this idea. In fact, with an expense management solution, it’s easier to give employees more control over their booking and traveling experiences without worrying about spending spiraling.

Overall, a travel manager can work well in some companies, but automation can too. Some companies have a travel manager and automation in place simultaneously.