According to the Global Business Travel Association, 1.3 million business trips are taken in the US every day.
This means that there are a lot of travel requests that need to be processed.
And if your organization regularly sends employees on business trips, then it's more important than ever to streamline your travel request approval workflow.
- A study by Concur found that companies that streamlined their travel request approval process saved an average of hours per year per employee on travel-related paperwork.
- Another study by SAP found that companies that automated their travel request approval process saw a 10% reduction in travel expenses.
- A study by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives found that 40% of companies have experienced a compliance violation related to travel expenses.
- In the healthcare industry, the average time to approve a travel request is 3 days. This can lead to delays in travel and employee productivity losses.
- In the financial services industry, the average cost of a travel-related expense report error is $1,000. That adds up quickly for large companies.
- In the technology industry, the average employee spends 12 hours per year on travel-related paperwork. This can be a major distraction.
Clearly, A streamlined workflow can save you time and money, and improve compliance and control over your travel expenses.
What Is a Travel Request Approval Workflow?
It is a systematic process that organizations follow to manage and facilitate employee travel. It facilitates both compliance and transparency.
The steps in the request management system may vary depending on the specific needs of your organization, but they typically include the following:
- An employee submits a travel request email.
- The travel request is reviewed by a manager or approver.
- The business travel request email is either approved or rejected.
- If the request is approved, travel arrangements are made.
- The employee is reimbursed for their travel expenses.
Now the question is what are the benefits of having such a travel approval system in place?
Benefits Of Streamlining Your Travel Request Approval
Look at these statistics first:
- A company that implemented a streamlined travel request approval process saved an average of 15 hours per year per employee on travel-related paperwork.
- Another company that automated its travel request approval saw a 10% reduction in travel expenses.
- A third company that streamlined its travel request approval workflow received a 95% approval rating from employees.
Now, before moving toward the specific benefits, let’s acknowledge the struggles employees face without having an automatic approval system:
The Struggles of A Manual Travel Request Approval Process
- Time-consuming: The manual process of submitting and approving travel requests can be time-consuming for both employees and approvers. Employees may have to spend hours filling out paperwork, and approvers may have to spend hours reviewing and approving requests.
- Error-prone: The manual process is also error-prone. Employees may make mistakes when filling out forms, and approvers may approve requests that are not compliant with company policy.
- Inefficient: The manual process is inefficient. It can take days or even weeks for a travel request to be processed.
- Unsatisfying: Employees may be dissatisfied with the manual process. Not to mention, waiting for approvals and making travel request mistakes can be frustrating.
It’s time to shed light on the benefits of streamlining your travel request workflow.
- Save time: It helps save time by automating the process and eliminating the need for manual paperwork.
- Reduce errors: It helps reduce errors by providing clear instructions and guidelines for employees and approvers.
- Improve efficiency: It helps improve efficiency by making it easier to track and manage travel requests.
- Increase compliance: It helps improve compliance by ensuring that all travel requests are reviewed and approved in accordance with company policy.
- Improve employee satisfaction: It helps improve employee satisfaction by making it easier for employees to get the approvals they need when they need them.
Now that you are assured of the importance of a travel and expense automation system within your organization, let’s unveil the steps to streamline your travel request process.
Steps to Streamline your Travel Request Approval Workflow
Here are some steps you can take to streamline your travel approval system:
- Set clear goals for your travel request approval system: What do you hope to achieve by streamlining your workflow? Do you want to save time, and money, or improve compliance? Once you know your goals, you can start to develop a workflow that will help you achieve them.
- Create a well-defined travel request process: The first step in streamlining your workflow is to create a well-defined travel request process. This process should outline the steps that must be taken to submit, approve, and process a travel request.
- Use travel management software to automate your process: Travel management software can help you automate your travel request approvals. This can save you time and improve efficiency.
- Simplify the travel request form for employee templates: The travel request form is the first step in the travel request approval process. Make sure the form is clear and concise, and that it only asks for the information that is essential to the approval process.
- Set clear deadlines for each step in the approval process: Setting clear deadlines for each step in the approval process will help to ensure that travel requests are processed in a timely manner.
- Communicate effectively with employees and approvers: It's important to communicate effectively with employees and approvers throughout the travel request approval process. This will help to ensure that everyone is aware of the process and that there are no delays.
- Monitor and improve your travel request workflow approval regularly: Once you have implemented a streamlined workflow, it's important to monitor it regularly to make sure it is working as intended. You may need to make adjustments to the workflow as needed.
This is where Titan Workspace can be your ideal partner.
From travel request approval emails to confirmations, everything can be automated. You would be happy to know that its automation tools offer multiple ways to approve every step, including digital signatures.
At each approval step, the system allows approvers to select appropriate actions, such as approving the current step, forwarding this for someone else to review, returning it to the initiators or previous approvers, and maintaining the history of all actions.
Once the process is complete, the entire form, along with its approval history, can be converted into a PDF.
In short, Titan Workspace provides a pre-configured travel request approval workflow that can be customized to meet your specific needs. You can rename labels, modify steps, or add conditions to make the workflow more suitable for your organization's travel policies and procedures.
You can explore the other process: Ready to Use Workflows
- Deepak Kapoor
- Sep 19, 2023