A recent survey of 173 corporate travel and expense managers found that they receive more and more bookings via mobile devices. Clearly, business travelers are becoming more comfortable with booking flights and hotels using their mobile devices. To that end, travel and expense management solutions from top providers are becoming more vital components in corporate travel managers' toolboxes.
MOBILE APPS AND ABILITIES IMPROVING
Whether employers provide employee mobile devices or encourage BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), corporate travelers are using more efficient and powerful apps and devices to book their itineraries. Increased expense reporting software sophistication and feature laden smartphones and tablets are fueling the shift to mobile booking. Additionally, Corporate IT advances like employee and travel portals are flooding the workplace with better, faster, and more secure capability to book and verify travel plans and reservations. These features are not only applicable to US corporate travelers, but prevail internationally with increasingly global organizations.
MOBILE DEVICE USE
Statistics show that more employees are using their own mobile devices at work than ever before. The current gap in employer-provided mobile devices versus employee-owned hardware is now 56 to 44 percent, favoring BYOD. Employee familiarity with their own devices increases employees' comfort level with booking flights and hotels. Personal mobile device use in the workplace is likely to continue in the future.
The airline and hospitality industries predict that by 2017, up to 25 percent of all bookings will be made on mobile devices. Surveyed corporate travel managers also rated the impact of mobile apps and services in travel programs at an average 6.8 on a scale of 10. Respondents confirmed this prediction as they believe mobile devices increase productivity while they're acting as "road warriors." Respondents also believe that travel and expense management software will make it easier for their companies to track expenses.
Managed travel, including air, hotel and auto bookings, made on mobile devices is also projected to increase from current levels to in the next two years to satisfy "mobile-hungry" corporate travelers. Travelers ranked mobile device use for air, hotel and auto reservations higher than travel managers. In general, travel managers must keep up with the available technology and wishes of their corporate travelers to employ mobile solutions for travel booking and expense reporting needs.
Our choice of Chrome River EXPENSE was made in part due to the very user-friendly interface, easy configurability, and the clear commitment to impactful customer service – all aspects in which Chrome River was the clear winner. While Chrome River is not as large as some of the other vendors we considered, we found that to be a benefit and our due diligence showed that it could support us as well as any large players in the space, along with a personalized level of customer care.
We are excited to be able to enforce much more stringent compliance to our expense guidelines and significantly enhance our expense reporting and analytics. By automating these processes, we will be able to free up AP time formerly spent on manual administrative tasks, and enhance the role by being much more strategic.