Young female passenger at the airport, using her tablet computer while waiting for her flight

So who should be responsible for managing short term business travellers ?

There are many different shapes and sizes of global companies and they have many many different ways of managing their business travellers.

Larger corporations will have a managed travel programme – usually working with a global travel management company. Travel organisations estimate there is probably only 40% of companies with such a managed programme.

Most travel managers focus on ensuring their travellers are using the correct suppliers and the correct booking tools. For a travel manager ‘compliance’ means – are you booking Hilton when you should be booking Marriot?

When the need arises to track a traveler the manager will usually refer to the travel data to locate the traveler – but there are flaws in this data – for example how would this work if I flew into Dusseldorf and took a cab to a meeting in Arnhem ? Where would you start looking for me ? If there was a security incident in Dusseldorf you would be looking for me there but you would not be if the security incident was in Arnhem.

Below this tier many companies will have a formal travel policy with limits placed on how much can be spent in a hotel, what class of airline travel is acceptable and how much can be spent on meals, subsistence and ground transportation. Travellers are allowed to book their own travel and while this helps companies control expense it fragments the data associated with travel across multiple suppliers.

Other companies will have an ad hoc approach to travel and will again have fragmented data on where their travellers are at any moment in time.

The reality of whatever method of travel management a company uses there are several risks that can occur every single time a traveler crosses a border. Chief amongst these are:

  • Duty of Care
  • Taxation Compliance
  • Immigration Compliance

For HR teams ‘compliance’ has a much wider remit – the risk to the traveler and the reputational and financial damage to the company for any tax or immigration breaches. When problems arise they most often end up back on the desk of a HR or legal team.

As long as there is confusion in organisations as to who is responsible for tracking travellers the ability to react quickly to locate travellers or to mitigate or prevent taxation and immigration breaches will persist.

In the increasingly complex world we live in today it makes sense to track your business travellers for all three of these critical business issues. The ONE constant in any business travel event is the traveller and their smartphone. It make sense to track for all three risks via a single smartphone based App. Travel data can be integrated with real time information and alerts can trigger when critical thresholds are reached for tax and immigration breaches. A similar alert can be sent when a duty of care issue arises – easily locating the traveller.

In this way the conflict in companies over who manages the risks of business travellers can be mitigated.

For a demonstration of the GT Global Tracker contact Liam Brennan on Linkedin or on liam.brennan@going-there.com

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