Caravans are manufactured by Australia’s companies that deal in making high quality industrial caravans. They are made to be of very high strength that withstands harsh environmental and climatic conditions. The company uses modern technology and designs to provide the best caravans in the region. Caravans Australia manufactures make these caravans for use in classrooms, retail stores, storage, food vans, parks, mobile accommodation and office suites and facilities.
Caravans made are efficient and environment friendly and ones that have extra durability and strength. They can be custom made to incorporate the needs and designs that the client wants. All of the products made are of very high quality and a reasonable price.
The caravans are engineered and designed under heavy construction to make them have the strength to challenge the unpredictable climatic conditions. They are made for both temporary and long term usage. There is each for everyone, being or small that will suit any one’s budget. For quality and durability, the materials used are outsourced from the best manufacturers. They all exceed the customer’s expectations and needs.
Among the many products manufactured in the caravans are axles, brakes, lights, tyres, spare wheels, floor covers, roofs, doors, windows, frames, clinics, recreation rooms, air conditioners, showers, microwaves, fire alarms, toasters and fire extinguishers. The products are made to withstand all types and strengths of its users. They are easy to clean and maintain too which makes them the most ideal materials to get for your home or business. These are strong, dependable and tough products that are recommended for everyone with needs.
The work environment is good for both workers and clients. The place is safe, clean, highly maintained and with good services. It is one that looks to the need to satisfying the clients and achieving its own goals and objectives. Examples of these caravans are the Windsor caravan, Jayco caravans and Olympic caravans among many others. They are a luxurious, easy and comforting way to relax and enjoy.
If you are planning on taking a vacation, going on a tour or spending some quality time with friends and family, get one of them today. They have enough room for everyone and have all of the necessary amenities that you may want. It’s just like traveling with a house, everything remains the same, or even better for they are also self contained with a toilet, shower, gas and refrigerators. They save on money and time that could have been used in checking out hotels or looking for alternative accommodation.
Running a Florida business requires understanding your contract rights and how to protect and enforce them under Florida law.
If you know that business travel is not without its risk and the potential for crisis, then you need to read this article. In this article we are going to talk about the management and containment of crisis as it relates to travellers and travel managers. The objective of this article is to share with you the collective knowledge on managing crisis and significantly improve your ability to identify and manage a crisis but also improve your business travel efficiency.
During this article I am going to discuss travel risk myths, crisis management, plans and options so you can immediately compare or improve your own travel risk management system for your travellers or travel management department.
Crisis by definition is something you didn’t have a plan for or something in which you are unprepared. Additionally, it can be a series of events that in concert create a crisis. Events or issues that occur, to which you have a plan and strategy, is merely an incident.
The first thing is to clarify what is the difference between crisis management and leadership. More importantly, which one is the more important?
Crisis management relates to the response to event/s that threaten your business, travellers or travel activity. The event leads and you follow with plans, decisions and actions.
Crisis leadership, on the other hand, is more about getting ahead of the events and issues to prevent, management and even contain the impact to your business or business travel activities. While management is a portion of the leadership demand, your actions and involvement lead the outcomes rather than a more passive wait and act approach with pure crisis management.
Crisis leadership is the less practiced of the two, but the most significant in terms of results and reduction in risk and impact. If you take nothing else away from this session, it should be that your focus should always be on Crisis Leadership, not crisis management.
There are many myths and half-truths about crisis, disruption and threats within the travel management sector. Much of this misinformation has originated from travellers themselves, media, travel managers, friends and family or so called “experts”.
For example, many travellers and planners are focused on terrorism. The reality is, you have a very, very small chance of being exposed or affected directly by a terrorist act. It doesn’t mean you should discount it as a threat altogether but it shouldn’t dominate your plans or processes if not a proportional threat to you and your travellers. Conversely, almost everyone overlooks motor vehicle accidents. Yet, they happen far more frequently, can have devastating affect on travellers and are the least common plan contained within company travel management departments.
Travellers and travel managers must be prepared, educated and have supporting plans for any event that has the potential to delay, disrupt or harm the traveller or the business.
The most common events include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Airline delays or cancellations
- Airport closures or disruptions
- Transport delays
- Bad weather
- Sickness and illness
- Petty crimes
- Hotel fires
- Political disputes
- Demonstrations and gatherings
Motor vehicle accidents within your own country can be stressful and dangerous but on an overseas business trip they can be 100 times more challenging and dangerous. Consider language, local authorities, first responder, standard of healthcare, families and support in your plans and initial response.
Airline delays and cancelations. They happen all the time but they are not just an administrative response. You may need to consider safety, transport, quarantines, security threats, government response and wide spread suspension of services to overcome the issue and maintain safety of your travellers.
Airport closures or disruptions. Failed systems, electrical problems, threats, weather, construction and so on can prevent you even getting to your flight. Consider the impact this has on your plans and how your traveller will need to possibly extend stay, move to alternate airport or find accommodation.
All other transport delays and disruptions can create crisis when everyone no longer has access to trains, buses, key roads or even water transport. Have a plan and add it to your immediate decision making process.
2010 and the commencement of 2011 has seen travel of all kind affected by natural disasters and weather. Weather and natural forces have and always will impact travellers. It does and will continue to occur. It is highly concerning how unprepared travellers and companies are for volcanic eruptions, typhoons, floods, earthquakes and general bad weather.
People get sick or feel unwell all the time. This is compounded significantly when travelling. Standard of care, language, access, cost, complications, choice and numerous other location based concerns will determine just how at risk your traveller will be. A single, “one-size-fits-all” plan or solution will fail and you need to be aware of these issues immediately with the onset of an affected traveller.
Crimes are a reality of any city in the world. However, travellers seldom know the risks and may be preyed upon by thieves and criminals. The loss of phones, money, and other items may seem less likely to constitute a crisis but when overseas, injured or not able to speak the local language, all these simple events can create a major concern for your business travellers. This can be amplified if you have a senior executive or a group of executives affected.
Hotel fires and emergencies are more common than most people think. The immediate threat to an individual is fairly obvious but the impact that the lack of accommodation choices can create from the temporary or permanent closure of a hotel is a much bigger concern. This was graphically displayed during the Mumbai terror attacks (as extra ordinary as the event was) when most of the best/preferred hotels were now unavailable in a key part of the city. This removed thousands of rooms for business travellers and forced many to cancel or significantly alter travel plans just because there were a lack of suitable accommodation options, whether affected by the events or not.
Any event that alters the political stability of a location or region or results in thousands of people out on the streets constitutes a risk to your business travel plans and travellers. They can happen spontaneously or take time to develop. The immediate dangers and the ongoing disruption can have a major impact on your business or traveller.
Again, plans, preparation and thought to these issues will greatly reduce the impact and improve your business too.
Now that we have removed the most common misconceptions, let’s focus on the management and containment of a crisis.
The key to successful crisis management is planning, training, plans, decision-making and adaptability.
Given the issues previously covered, you now have a better insight into how and why planning is important to remove the more emotive issues from the realities of real business threats and events.
Planning needs to include multiple departments and perspectives to be truly effective. One of the greatest weaknesses I see regularly is that departments continue to manage the risk of travel through multiple departments with multiple plans. The input and plan needs to be unified. Depending on the company, it may include travel managers, security, HR, finance, marketing, C-suite and operations.
All plans need to be continuously updated, location specific, aide in the decision-making process and modular enough have elements extracted quickly and effectively. Modern, effective plans embrace technology. Rapid, efficient access to information, along with running updates is the hallmarks of a modern sustainable plan, regardless of the size of the issue or the company.
No plan is effective without training and rehearsal. Training, whether through simulations, drills or live, full-scale exercises are vital to the success of any crisis situation. Such sessions don’t need to be boring or overly complicated but must include travel managers and planners along with the more common crisis and emergency managers.
Increasingly, training is becoming a mandatory requirement for key positions and roles. It can be linked to internal HR processes but must support the business objectives and measurable on how it reduces the risk to people, business, brand and travel demands.
While the plan creates the framework for crisis decision-making, teams can learn a lot from training on how and when to adapt their plans. How the team interacts, strength, weakness, leaders, followers, limitations, tools and many more planned and surprise outcomes are possible with effective training.
No plan will completely script all the events, issues and options available for every plausible travel delay, disruption or crisis. You need to be able to adapt and evolve from the original plan and intention. This can only be achieved with planning, plans and training.
Solutions So what do I need in my plan?
Here is the best travel risk management content for your plan:
- Objective(the single most important part of any travel policy)
- Management Authority/ies
Procedure will likely cover:
- Executive Decision making
- Pre-trip admin
- Ground Transport
- Safety and Security
- Health and wellness
- SOP/Actions on
- Travel Monitoring /tracking
- Threat/risk levels
- Shelter in Place
- Management Authority
Don’t forget your risk assessment will need to include the key elements:
There you have it. Now you know what is required, how do you rate your current plans and preparedness?
You now have the most relevant issues and areas to focus upon that will reduce or contain the majority of incidents you may face your travellers will be safer, your business more profitable and your costs will be contained by reducing your exposure to expensive crisis events.
We have debunked popular travel threat myths, identified the difference between crisis management and leadership, outlined plans and options so you can immediately compare or improve your own travel risk management system for your travellers or travel management department. Review your plans and make the immediate improvements.
You will know when you have an effective crisis management system for your travel risk management strategy when you have little to no crisis.
You may have numerous events or incidents but you have a plan, you’re prepared and your decision making is fast and consistent. If not, you have failed and you will run from crisis to crisis on a regular basis.
Small business plays a vital role in today’s economy. It is now easier than ever to establish a new business. According to the US Small Business Administration, small businesses pay over 45% of the US private payroll. Small businesses also employ over half of all private sector employees and provide 60-80 percent of new jobs over the past 10 years. With about 28.5 million small businesses in the US alone in 2005, virtually all financial institutions now offer small business loans to qualifiers for a percentage. So why apply for a small business credit card?
Keep Track of All Your Small Business Expenses
The first and most obvious reason for a small business credit card is to separate personal finances from business related purchases. With your small business credit card, you can make all your transactions by phone, internet or in person. Then get periodic statements detailing all of your business expenses.
Business credit cards are accepted virtually everywhere that you shop. Covering business purchases with employee’s personal money can get very messy. So instead of relying on cash, use a business credit card. Most credit card issuers offer a credit limit for employee cards as well as different methods to monitor how the card is used.
You no longer have to dread the year-end nightmare of trying to track where and when you spent your money. It’s like having all your book-keeping done automatically for you! In a digital world, why should your business have to collect every last printed receipt?
Establish Your Small Business
A credit card with your business name on it gives your business credibility. A business credit card looks a lot more professional than paying from your own wallet. It also gains the respect of financial institutions. Just by owning a business credit card, your business can build credit. So when you need that business loan, you will get the best interest rate and qualify for higher amounts. As your credit builds you might also qualify for a lower interest business credit card.
So even if your business doesn’t have a 6 figure budget, a business credit card could help your business grow. You never know when your business might suddenly need extra money. Office equipment might need immediate replacement. Without a business credit card, financing could drastically interfere with your daily routine.
Earn Rewards with a Business Credit Card
You can also save money and earn rewards. Certain business credit cards give you cash back on all your purchases. Other cards give you varying cash back percentages depending on where you shop: gas stations, grocery stores, office supply stores, etc. A cash back business credit card is a great way to increase your profit margin.
Other cards give you airline travel rewards just for using your credit card. For instance, if your company has frequent business plane trips, then small business credit cards that offer travel miles, hotel accommodations or travel insurance are most suitable. This type of credit card could give you travel discounts, free flights, free companion travel or upgraded flight seating.
Not only does a small business credit card provide convenience and rewards, it also helps to build business credit for the future of your company as you watch it grow! Research the business credit cards available and find the card that best suits your business needs. Finance your business for today and tomorrow.
The city of Tel Aviv has become a paradise for international business travelers seeking to stay in touch with their home offices while they visit the Holy Land. With the many hotspots and free Wi-Fi services offered at hotels, restaurants, fast food chains and cafés, business travelers can check e-mail almost everywhere, make free transatlantic VoIP calls using Skype, and browse the net to keep abreast of the latest news in their respective fields.
The rapid growth in the number of wireless Internet users around the world has created a need for many people to rely on Wi-Fi connections while traveling. The advantage of using Wi-Fi is that it gives business and leisure travelers added mobility and flexibility.
The ability to access the net from almost everywhere has become a necessity for business travelers who want to keep in touch with colleagues and clients regardless of their physical locations, and who want to check e-mail between meetings. Those equipped with smart-phones and other wireless handheld devices, such as Blackberry, can use them all around Israel without difficulty.
A Wi-Fi Alliance survey indicates that 70 percent of current and prospective Wi-Fi users report they are more likely to take their notebook computers when traveling on vacation thanks to the widespread availability of wireless networking hotspots in airports, hotels, parks, and restaurants. Wi-Fi provides a quick and simple means for travelers to change flight and hotel reservations, reserve rental cars and conduct last-minute trip planning. Travelers also find Wi-Fi helps them locate restaurants, gather information about local events and find popular as well as “off-the-beaten-track” attractions.
Unlike Europe and the United States where most places charge for internet use, almost all establishments in Israel’s business capital offer Internet services free of charge. Take, for example, the Atlas Hotel chain. Atlas grants all its guests free, unlimited broadband access to the Web from the hotel lobby, meeting rooms or from private guest rooms using a Wi-Fi hot spot, which is an area that allows high-speed wireless Internet access.
According to a recent survey, there are more than 200 hotspots available for laptop users in the greater Tel Aviv area alone. The majority of these are offered by hotels, restaurants and coffee shops, but visitors to Israel can also access the net at gas stations, hospitals, parks, universities, shopping malls and other places of interest such as Rabin Square in downtown Tel Aviv.
The number of hot spots in Israel has been doubled in each of the previous few years and is expected to continue growing at that pace in the foreseeable future. Any businessman with a laptop computer can check e-mail almost anywhere without having to pay for it.
Here is a list of hotspots in Tel Aviv that offer free high-speed wireless Internet access:
The Atlas hotel chain offers unlimited and free of charge Wi-Fi services in six of its Tel Aviv hotels: Basel Hotel, Tal Hotel, Melody Hotel, City Hotel, Cinema Hotel and Center Hotel. The services is available in the main banquet halls, restaurants, pool area, bar and the hotel lobby.
Arcaffè chain not only offers real Italian espresso in Tel Aviv, but also offers high quality wireless access in its coffee bars, from Ramat Aviv mall in north Tel Aviv to Rothschild Boulevard at the finance center of the city.
Other large coffee chains – including Aroma, Cup ‘O’ Joe, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Coffee To Go, and Ilan’s offer free wireless services, as do Marilyn Monroe Café, Noah Coffee, Coffee Print and others.
Restaurants & Fast Food Chains
Leading American fast food chains McDonald’s and Burger King offer free wireless services in their branches in Tel Aviv. In addition, there is a Wi-Fi spot in the Brasseire Restaurant on Ibn Gavirol Street near Rabin Square, Kyoto Salsa restaurant and Messa, one of Tel Aviv’s most elegant restaurants.
Convenience Stores and Gas Stations
The Yellow chain, located at Dor Alon gas stations and Sonol gas stations offer free Wi-Fi services.
At the trendy Tel Aviv Port there’s no need to enter one of the many restaurants or bars in the area. This prime entertainment center features Wi-Fi Internet access, meaning web surfers and businessmen can take a seat on the boardwalk and connect to cyberspace.
Dizengoff shopping mall in central Tel Aviv and Ben Gurion International Airport also feature Wi-Fi hotspots.
So don’t think twice about taking a laptop on a business trip to Tel Aviv. One is immediately connected upon landing in Israel – not just to the warm, friendly people of the Holy Land, but to all people connected to the net. Home away from home, they call it in the hospitality industry.
Did you ever try out for a theatrical production in high school? Deciding what role you were going to try out for was a big decision, and one that you put a lot of time in deciding. Perhaps theatre was not your extracurricular activity of interest, but as a business owner you will have to study the roles you will be expected to play. Your job does not begin and end with one title; it involves the donning of many new hats – some you may be familiar with from past experience, and some that are completely new to you.
It is not often that you hear of a child having a dream of growing up to be a tax collector or payroll manager, but if you want to start your own business, it will be part of that dream. If your business involves retail, you will be required to collect the appropriate sales tax on behalf of the government and state. If you have employees, you will also be dealing with payroll issues. The payment of employees will likely be your responsibility, unless you have designated this role for a particular individual. If you have an accountant (and you should) you’ll still have to know a lot about accounting; you’ll have to know which records to keep and how to keep them. And, you will want to know how to read and interpret your financial statements. It is always a good idea to keep a watchful eye on the financial practices of your business.
Human Resources Officer
Human resources will no longer be a distant department in the corporation that sends out helpful memos on office etiquette and insurance benefits. You will encompass the HR department, wherein you will have duties that involve recruiting, hiring, benefits information, and layoffs. Honing your organizational and communication skills will be greatly beneficial for this particular area of business. In addition, having an open communication policy can greatly improve the atmosphere in the office.
The Marketing Executive
Before you start your business, you’ll have to find out who your customers are and where they’re located, so that means market research. You may also have to conduct market research at various times during the life of your business, such as when you are considering introducing a new product. The marketing and sales department will also be added to your repertoire. Marketing your company, creating a campaign, writing advertising copy, and making sure all those plans are carried out will be part of your world. Networking with people can be a great practice that will benefit your business and should be a part of your marketing strategy. Make sure that your business builds a solid reputation within the community; this will only further enhance business results further down the line.
As you own your business, you’ll inevitably want to make changes, perhaps to expand the business or add a new product line. If you want to make a change, it’ll be your responsibility to do it. You’ll have to plan it and execute it, and you’ll have to consider all of the ramifications of your decision. Getting outside help here, in the form of a consultant, can be a valuable investment in your business.
Being educated on the legal aspects of running your business will also be one of the new studies that will steal a portion of your time. Even if you have a lawyer, or some form of counsel, it is important to have a general understanding of laws that will pertain to your business. You will be a stronger and more competent leader because of this knowledge.
In your previous position within a larger established company, it is likely that you had some form of assistant. Someone who took care of the details such as scheduling, travel expenses, and filing…Take a long look in the mirror, you are now that person. Most startups lack the funding to take on a full time assistant, thus it is likely you will be your own clerical agent. At some point in the future, when success has given your finances a boost, it will be a feasible expense to hire a full time assistant. However, even at that juncture, it will be necessary to teach them certain functions. In this way, your experience doubling as your own assistant will be a great asset. You will have learned what works best for you, your business, and your personal working style.
With all these roles, you will have to assess your own strengths and weaknesses. There will be some that you see yourself as a company asset, and some that you will have to work a bit harder just to make the grade. In some cases, you will need to compensate in the areas you find yourself falling short. Seeking outside counsel in the form of a lawyer, accountant, or other freelancer is a likely and often unavoidable expense. It is however an expense that will prove extremely beneficial. You can use these outside sources for your own improvement. Pay attention to their practices, question them, and you will forward your own education. Doing all this will only strengthen your larger role of leader.
It can be overwhelming; but keep in mind that it will not always be such an all-consuming job. In the beginning, your startup will take the majority of your time, but this is because a great deal of attention is needed to build a solid foundation. You will be learning all that is involved with the role business owner, so be patient and gather all your determination to move forward. There will be trials and learning experiences, days that are seemingly endless, but you will get through them. Persevere through the hard times and you will likely see the success at the other end, a product of your efforts.
Getting a travel insurance quote is the first step toward securing a safer future. As people begin to travel more frequently on a national and international basis, travel insurance has become a necessity for everyone. If you are just starting to look around for a quote, the task may seem overwhelming. After all, there are numerous insurance companies offering quotes even online. The best way to find the right insurance quote for you is to know how to look.
Look Online To Know About The Insurance Companies
Today, it is very easy to find a travel insurance quote online. In fact, you can literally collect dozens of quotes in just a few hours. This can save you a lot of time, and is generally more comfortable than calling up or going to the company offices in person. Apart from that, you can do your online quote search at any time, even in the middle of the night. While this method may seem to be more convenient, you do run the risk of dealing with shady companies. Make sure that the company you are dealing with is above board, and has a good reputation. Do not hand over any kind of sensitive or personal information. Remember that you are just asking for a quote.
Get Quotes From Insurance Agents
When looking to get a travel insurance quote from an agent, you need to remember that there are exclusive and non-exclusive agents. Exclusive agents deal with only one company. As a result, they know more about what a specific company has to offer and what will suit you the best. Non-exclusive agents deal with a number of different companies. As a result, they will be able to provide you with insurance quotes of different companies. They will also be able to find offers that some insurance companies may not provide.
What To Remember
Whether you decide to look for your travel insurance quote online or with an agent, remember to keep a few things in mind. First of all, make sure that you are working with a well-established and reputable company. It is a good idea to opt for a company that your friends or family trust. Secondly, make sure that all your insurance questions are answered before you sign anything. It is essential that you are completely clear about the coverage you are getting as well as any loopholes that may be present. Understanding your policy completely can save you a lot of trouble should something happen in the future. Last but not the least, do not forget to ask about any kind of policy discounts you may be eligible for.
Having a clear idea of how you are going to approach your travel insurance will make it easier for you to find the best quote. Remember that if you are not satisfied with one company, there are always a number of others ready to make you a better offer on your travel insurance quote.
Being short-term loans that assist your immediate cash needs, personal loans can help finance business startup expenses. Typically personal loans are a single payout loan with a high rate of interest. The borrower usually returns the loan with interest in one go rather than paying monthly installment. In general, personal loans are not recommended due to their high interest rates. A borrower may find it difficult to repay the whole debt in a single shot, however, with business startup’s the case is indeed different! Let us see how different finance options can save the day for business startup’s.
Typical Business Start-up Expenses
Once you have decided to start a business you will most likely have a solid business plan that will detail your initial financial requirements. Typical business start-up expenses can be broadly divided into overheads and variable expenses. One thing that remains constant with almost every new business, is that you need some money to purchase inventory, lease a building, start an advertising program and work towards your first sale. Personal loans are extremely useful in financing those overhead expenses that usually occur at the beginning as a one-time cost. Variable expenses are those that continuously occur in the process of conducting a business and are generally tied to sales projections.
For instance, in case of a software business start-up, the administrative costs, licensing costs, initial infrastructure setup cost would constitute overhead costs. On the other hand client visits, traveling for demonstrations etc. would constitute variable costs that will keep occurring every time there’s a potential client and may not be predictable. Also, irrespective of sales, overhead costs will still remain to keep your setup active!
Before you borrow any money, it is vital to have a repayment plan as well as projected business plan, to understand how your cash flow will operate. Once you segregate your expenditure into fixed overhead costs and variable expenses, you need to sort out the expenses that will be one-time events. A business loan or credit line can help with these one-time costs provided your business is able to afford it once projected sales begin to be realized! You need to anticipate all possible scenarios and ensure enough cash flow over the period of few months before you take a personal loan.
Types of Personal Loans
The beauty of this financing, is that it often can be obtained with or without security collateral. A secured personal loan involves borrowing against an asset such as your property. If you default on your repayment, the lender can claim your asset! On the other hand, unsecured financing, does not need collateral, however, the lender generally protects his loan from possible default by charging you a high rate of interest. In the event of a default, the lender may resort to legal channels to recover the amount.
If you are confident of repayment, it is best to go for a secured personal loan wherein you can negotiate a low annual percentage rate (APR) while pledging your property or car or any other asset.
If your business startup requires funding that cannot be met by a single personal loan, you may even borrow more than one loan. The more you expose yourself to the debt scenario, the more financial risk you’re exposing yourself and your business to. It is important to conduct thorough research and prepare for contingencies. It is always best to dig into your own savings or borrow from close relatives if they’re willing and able however, for those that need instant cash and a huge amount at that, a personal loan could be a lifesaver. In fact, if you successfully repay your personal loan within the stipulated time, you could even get a good credit score which in turn will be better for the future of your business!
In order to make the most of your corporate travel budget, it is critical to plan for leveraging your program for all it is worth. Telling travelers to select the lowest logical airfare is just not enough. Here are the elements that should be considered when planning or evaluating your travel program.
1. Travel policy
A well written and disseminated travel policy is the foundation of any good travel program, and I am consistently amazed that so many corporations have such an outdated and poorly conceived travel policy, if they have one at all. It is not difficult to find a well written policy. One can be found online quite easily. All that remains is that it is edited to reflect corporate culture, and disseminated within the company so that everyone understands and agrees to follow it. For this reason, it is a good idea to have everyone sign a copy of the travel policy to ensure that it is read, understood and owned by all company staff. I suggest that everyone in the company signs a copy of the travel policy, whether they travel or not. They may change positions in the company later and be required to travel. A travel policy need not be long or complex. Some of the best travel policies I have ever seen were only a few pages long.
2. Centralized travel internally and externally
Many companies do not centralize their travel program, and they pay a price in terms of a loss of expense reduction opportunities and internal efficiencies. Many companies that do not centralize travel have a fear of requiring travelers to do something they may not want to do, along with the idea that centralizing travel will require hiring a Travel Manager. Both of these may be legitimate concerns but they do not have to be in most cases. By requiring travelers to book centrally, you are not necessarily causing them to lose flexibility. You can centralize travel while still allowing travelers to book on their own, either with a travel agency of your choice, or online through a provider that you have partnered with and have confidence in. By assigning someone with the responsibility of overseeing travel, you are getting a single point of contact both internally and externally for travel issues. If your company spends less than $1 million in air travel, you probably do not need a full time travel manager. In these cases, travel oversight can be given to the finance department, human resources, or even an executive level assistant. Here is a look at the advantages to be gained by centralizing travel.
When you centralize travel with a single agency, you gain in a number of important ways. You will have a single point of contact for problems while travelers are on the road, and you will have one entity to go to for all your travel needs. This eliminates the problem of consolidating a travel report from among several sources. By bringing travel together, you will gain significantly from economies of scale. If you can measure total travel among various divisions or locations, you can get more for your money from travel suppliers. This will allow you to gain more from airline soft dollar programs, which means more free tickets and upgrades, get a higher percentage discount from our preferred airline, and get better negotiated rates from your hotel and car contracts. Your fulfillment costs will decrease as well, as your travel agency will often discount their fees for a higher overall volume of travel.
3. Mix of online booking and personal service
This is an addendum to the previous element, which calls for centralizing travel with one travel agency. This is important, but in doing so, you need not require travelers to use an online booking system, and you need not require travelers to call the agency directly. By offering travelers the option of doing either, you are accomplishing several goals. You will reduce your fulfillment costs, as online booking is cheaper in terms of a service fee. By giving travelers the option, you are giving them a sense of control, thereby increasing morale and standing a better chance of a high adoption rate. Thirdly, you leave open a best practice of using your online booking engine for less complex itineraries, and allowing senior executives, frequent travelers, and complex itineraries to be booked directly with a travel agent that can offer a higher level of service and a better overall travel experience where it is most warranted.
4. Look under every stone
While the bulk of most travel programs revolve around the air budget, there are several other areas one can investigate to find savings opportunities. There are a couple of more obvious areas to look, such as negotiated hotel rates at your favorite hotels, or car rental discounts with a favored supplier. Often your travel agency will already have discounted rates through consortia affiliations and agency car contracts. There are also some less common areas that should be investigated. For example, if ground transportation is a concern, most suppliers will offer discounted rates and a direct billing option. Direct billing arrangements with hotels and car rental agencies are also a great way to increase efficiencies and make the job of the accounting department easier.
5. Leverage hard dollar and soft dollar contracts
Most major airlines today offer hard dollar discounts as well as soft dollar incentives in exchange for company loyalty to their product. If your travel program is over $1 million in air spend, you can secure a discount off of the lowest fares of your carrier of choice in return for a market share commitment. For your secondary carriers, or if your volume is less than the minimum required by the airline, you can enter in to soft dollar programs for free tickets and free upgrades, as well as traveler status enhancements or airport club passes. These programs require little in the way of volume, but they are not well publicized so you may need to hunt for them or ask Baker Travel or your current agency to point you in the right direction.
6. Do not neglect hotel volume
Hotel volume is sometimes overlooked but it should not be. Negotiated rates can be had through your travel agency or directly with the hotel properties of your choice. Individual hotels near corporate locations will negotiate discounted rates for you in exchange for a minimum room/night commitment. By utilizing a travel agency, you are likely to receive discounts of 5% to 50% on thousands of hotels worldwide.
7. Have at least one car rental contract
Rental car contracts are easy to enter into and require little in the way of commitment from the corporation. Choose a partner that has airport locations and a reputation for excellent customer service. You can save 5-10% very easily and can also negotiate frequent renter membership for all your employees. This will make them more efficient and enhance morale. You can also enter in to direct billing agreements at the same time that can make the jobs of your travelers and accounting staff much less stressful.
8. Understand group and meeting contracts
Airlines and hotels will discount your fares and rates when you have groups traveling together or meeting at a single destination from multiple points of origin. These meeting contracts can bring you airfare discounts of 2-10%, and if you have enough travelers on a single airline, you may be able to negotiate for free tickets to be awarded at contract completion. The minimum requirement is usually 10 travelers going to the same place at the same time. Some airlines have higher minimums so be sure to ask before a contract is generated. Hotels will discount their rates in a similar way with a minimum of 10 room nights. These discounts can range from 10% to a much higher discount depending upon occupancy rate and seasonal variances.
9. Use reporting to consistently improve metrics
Well managed travel programs require constant monitoring and financial controls to be properly leveraged. Insist on timely and customized reports that can be designed to bring you the information you need most. By receiving regular reporting on traveler behavior and provider contract performance, you will be in a better position to fulfill contract obligations, achieve cost reduction objectives and see where opportunities for future savings may lie.
10. Use all avenues to enhance traveler comfort and efficiency
Lastly, any well managed travel program will take in to account the comfort and productivity of their travelers. When travelers are comfortable, they can focus on their main priorities that help propel your business forward. If travelers are happy, they perform at a higher level. Ask if your travel agency can upgrade traveler status on a preferred airline. Look in to purchasing blocks of airport club passes so they can be used strategically during long and complex itineraries. There are many ways to reward travelers for the difficult and often grueling chore of travel. These kinds of rewards generate feelings of loyalty and increased productivity and efficiency.
If you would like to learn more about how your company can better leverage their travel program to benefit your bottom line and the satisfaction of your executive level, feel free to contact me. I am delighted to point you in the right direction.
Those who run a business often have to travel a lot. If you are one of them, make sure you obtain a suitable business travel insurance policy to provide protection to your money that you pay for traveling expenses. However, besides covering travel expenses, you may also get certain other types of coverage, such as problems with hotel accommodation in a small city and other such things. Therefore, it is important for you to research your needs thoroughly and look into each and every aspect while you are shopping for the best plan.
Amount Of Coverage
The amount of coverage must be sufficient enough to protect your money. It should neither be too high or too low. For example, if you are running a small business, a business travel insurance policy with excessive coverage may not make sense for you. Besides that, you also need keep in mind that the more coverage you opt for, the higher premiums you will have to pay.
Things To Consider While Talking To An Agent
While you are talking to an insurance agent, you must provide complete details about your business plan and financial statements. This will make it easy for the agent to suggest the most suitable plan for you. As compared to individual plans, business plans carry much larger amounts of risk. Therefore, you do an accurate assessment of your financial situation.
There are several benefits of buying comprehensive coverage in a business travel insurance policy. For example, your insurance company may offer discounted individual auto and health insurance plans for your employees.
If you have a regular travel route, you can easily find a good bargain on your policy. The insurance company may offer you a very low rate if you have representatives or offices at the places you frequently visit.
You should pay special attention to the liability coverage also. Make sure that the plan you have chosen provides optimum protection to your business as well as individual assets while you are away on a business trip. It is always wise to protect your long-term finances by opting for high financial thresholds for life insurance, medical coverage, and rental car collision.
Travel Interruption Coverage
What if you travel gets interrupted because of some reasons? Your business travel insurance policy must protect your money in such circumstances. For that, you will need travel interruption coverage. With this coverage, you will be able to travel in alternative means of transport without needing to pay additionally for the same. Some companies however require you to pay the expenses out of your pocket first and then submit a claim – the amount will be reimbursed to your account. But, most companies have contracts with several airlines and other forms of transports – so, you wont actually have to pay anything from your pocket.
Do your managers and other employees also have to travel for your business? If so, you had better consider a business travel insurance policy that provides sufficient amount of coverage to all those travelers.