The challenges and opportunities of SMB travel

Brought to you by SAP Concur

A large portion of the UK economy isn’t being serviced when it came to business travel.

SMBs make up over 99% of private sector businesses in the UK and employ over 60% of all private sector workers. However, the business travel industry is mostly designed to meet the needs of the enterprise-size organisation, even though it is now far easier and cheaper for SMBs to travel.

Why do SMB companies need specific travel solutions?

Small businesses need extra flexibility, which is something not often found in enterprise-focused travel services. This can be fixed with travel solutions such as Triplink, which allows spend to be captured from a huge array of sources. This helps companies to save, remain compliant, provide duty of care and be more productive.

Another challenge for small businesses is that they don’t often have a dedicated travel manager to oversee processes, meaning that employees themselves are tasked with finding and making appropriate bookings.

Additionally, SMBs usually travel within the country, instead of internationally. This poses an additional risk, as domestic journeys are often not paid as much attention as they should, potentially entailing a lack of duty of care.

What challenges are faced by smaller businesses when travelling?

Companies without an effective travel solution generate a huge amount of administrative work. Small businesses are often the most time-constrained, so this can result in more stress for the employee involved.

Additionally, the booking habits of SMBs are often fragmented and booked late, which creates a problem for visibility.

Duty of care also suffers without appropriate technology in place, you might be able to track a flight and find out when someone has checked into their hotel, but there’s a gap between these two points (more often than not in a cab) where that visibility is reduced to zero.

How is SAP Concur looking to tackle this?

Triplink allows businesses to capture spend across many different partners, allowing a full picture of the trip and its spend. Triplink has partnered Booking.com, making a huge difference to smaller businesses and their travel enabling users to book in much the same way as they would at home while also capturing spend.

The spend capture can be analysed to know more about the financial health of a business and this data capture also positively affects duty of care usage. For example, if an employee uses Uber, the organisation can track the journey to ensure safety, with the bonus of the direct expense integration. This means that an employee can be easily reached in case of an emergency, respond and even be pulled out by a security team if need be (take a look at our recently launched Concur Locate solution for more information).