By Lucia Sandin, senior product marketing manager
Travel approval is firmly back on Travel Managers’ agenda. Now that we’re returning to a fluid travel landscape, it will be increasingly difficult and time-consuming to set up travel approval that accurately matches a company’s evolving needs. This environment presents a new opportunity for Travel Managers to refine how approval is used.
Using data to personalise your approval process
There have always been various benefits to setting up a trip approval process. This includes greater visibility and control of out-of-policy travel. However, what needs approval and when, isn’t always straightforward. This is why Egencia’s customers often ask, ‘What do other companies, like us, do? Should we set up an approval process for flight, hotel, car or rail journeys?’
Egencia’s new approval recommendation tool answers these questions and simplifies the approval set-up process. It uses a machine learning model that looks at similar companies in terms of the number of travellers, industry, geographical location, projected annual travel spend and their approval process. This data is then used to determine the best-suited approval settings for your company. The recommendation is optional and can either be accepted or rejected.
The strength of our machine learning model for this tool lies in the vast amount of data that Egencia has access to. We’ve assessed approval settings of over 2,000 customers around the world, across 65,000 approval workflow combinations in use on Egencia’s platform and discovered patterns that identify how customers use travel approval today. It will also identify exactly why you were shown a particular recommendation to help you understand what data has had the most impact on the specific approval setting.
‘Travel Managers often ask us about the best approval practices and whether they even need approval, given the industry or region they operate in. Our goal is to simplify this discovery experience for them and recommend the most relevant approval settings based on their unique company profile’.
– Palak Khantal, product manger, Egencia
Simple, one-click approval configuration
So, now you can set up approval for your travel programme, knowing that you’re basing your process on the best practice of companies like yours. Once you’ve accepted the recommendation, it applies to your default approval workflow automatically. This tool aims to save time on both figuring out the right approval process, and the manual work of creating the approval workflow. And, if you accept the approval workflow recommendation, it will instantly apply to all new online, offline and mobile bookings for your company.
And there’s more to come
This is just one of the ways Egencia is easing the pain of business travel approval. Currently in pilot phase, travellers and those who approve travel on Egencia’s platform will also be able to request and give approval for trips via the professional collaboration tool, Slack, this year.
Integrating this task into a tool that’s used every day by thousands of companies enables frictionless approval — a travellers’ trip can be approved easily and on the go. These new features aim to help you and your company take advantage of the many benefits of trip approval, without the headaches associated with them.