People in general aren’t typically too keen on the idea of someone tracking their every move. But when it comes to business travel, tracking can be an essential part of travel management. This especially holds true when employees are traveling to areas known for civil unrest, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, weather-related disruptions and disease outbreaks.
Buying Business Travel reports many firms are using travel management companies (TMCs) as well as security firms to keep tabs on their employees as they travel across the globe. And the companies are not doing it to be annoying or invasive. Business traveler tracking lets the company help out with travel arrangements as needed while doing what they can to keep them safe and secure as part of the company’s duty-of-care obligations.
Technology’s Role in Tracking
Advances in technology are offering more ways to track business travelers with greater ease. One example is social networking and mobile tracking, which make it easier and more likely travelers will communicate their locations.
Itinerary tracking is an option offered by many TMCs. Here employers can enjoy mapping tools that showcase their employees’ current locations as well as areas they’re expected to go, offering a comprehensive overview of the location of their staff. Rather than relying on GPS, such systems gather data on flights and accommodations.
Other systems take it a step further, giving companies the ability to see the location of their travelers as well as company assets, such as offices or distribution centers, in any given location. Locations are ranked from 1 to 5 based on their risk, with companies receiving alerts when employees are traveling to high-risk areas.
Taking the Next Step
Combining GPS tracking on mobile devices with itinerary tracking would be the next logical step, but employees are still hesitant to embrace that intense level of tracking. Additional options include “card swipe” services, such as the one offered in the US by American Express, that combine info from corporate credit card use with employee itineraries.
Smartphones and data feeds can go a long way, but they may not serve as a stand-alone solution. Satellite phones and land lines are still part of the equation as backup if networks or Wi-Fi goes down. The most advanced TMCs will have all the bases covered, with the overall goal of knowing where your employees are, keeping them secure and getting them home safe.
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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.