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‘Self Booking Tool’ is the New ‘Savings by Technology’

For business travellers, the SBT is a customised platform developed in-house or sourced from a professional TMC’s

Photo Credit : Yatra Blog

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Corporate travel market in India is growing at a phenomenal rate to reach over $40 billion by 2019. Emerging technologies are therefore playing a pivotal role in this transformational journey. 

A recent study indicated that majority of finance leaders in the corporate world were not confident that their employees comply with the travel policies. This is again where technology plays a vital role and travel management companies relying purely on human intervention are finding it increasingly difficult to keep pace with this growth while organisations embracing technology clearly have the upper hand. Today, if travellers are completely at ease booking their leisure travel online, adoption of technology in business has started with self-booking tools (SBT) forcing Indian business leaders to rethink the way travel is managed.

Self-booking tools offer businesses the three most important features in any travel program - Control, Compliance & Savings.Compared to conventional models, SBT enables travel managers to have real-time view of their travel costs enabling quicker decision making and also guarantees 100% compliance to their travel policies whilst providing complete transparency. It is estimated that using a self-booking tool can result in savings of about 10-12% due reducing the delay in selecting the itinerary and ticketing.

The Do It Yourself Principle: The central theme of SBT is based on the “Do It Yourself” principle where the user gets access to information on travel services provided by service providers (i.e. airlines, hotels, taxi service providers etc.) through a real - time user-friendly online interface, allowing the user to select, book and manage travel services as per his/her convenience. No matter where they are and what time of the day, making a booking is possible without waiting for office hours.

Customised to specific needs:
For business travellers, the SBT is a customised platform developed in-house or sourced from a professional TMC’s .

Businesses customise an SBT by incorporating elements, such as travel policy requirements, compliance and integration with other MIS systems, thus developing a corporate SBT, that can meet the business travel requirements of the organisation.  
 
Analysing spends and making smarter decisions: SBTs have enabled travel managers to have more visibility and check the effectiveness of their corporate travel programme. The scope of visibility includes costs, compliance, traveller behaviour and identifying potential optimisation areas. The advantage of having real-time analytics helps them to make smarter decisions or do course corrections on the go.

Globally, travellers have graduated to virtual assistants and chatbots which intuitively manage your travel, staying a step ahead of your plans. And while Indian business travellers also get more demanding, embracing SBT is no longer optional.

There are no set rules or principles to enhance SBT adoption, it is imperative to understand travellers’ behaviours, preferences and ‘tech attitude’ apart from its user-friendly features expected from an SBT to drive its adoption and continuous usage.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Tags assigned to this article:
travellers travel Corporate Travel Management Platform

Vikram Kohli

The author is President & Country Technology Leader, FCM Travel Solutions

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