The Ultimate Guide to Travel Management Systems

Travel Management Software: An Overview

InFlightTravel management systems are used by mining, oil & gas, commercial construction, and other industries to simplify travel logistics, expenses, and compliance adherence. Employees can view schedules whenever they want and from wherever they are through staff scheduling software. Workforce travel management systems also utilize roster management software to manage both roster seed date and employee start date to automatically sync rosters. The best travel management software makes travel administrators’ day-to-day work more efficient and effective, leading to significant financial and morale improvements throughout the organization. These cloud-based and mobile systems also integrate with any third party 3rd party programs already being used to help travel administrators boost efficiencies and reduce redundancy. Perhaps most importantly, travel management systems ensure workforce emergencies are handled quickly and without harm to staff. Put simply, travel management solutions improve productivity and reduce costs by managing all rosters, travel and accommodations in a centralized, mobile enabled system.

Challenges of Managing Workforce Logistics

Keeping rosters and accommodations organized while ensuring available employees are scheduled for appropriate travel is one of the top challenges in managing workforce logistics. Using crew planning and accommodation software helps address challenging travel logistics while keeping staff up-to-date on schedules in real time. 

Travel administrators must also be ready to deal with and communicate unplanned schedule changes, whether they’re a result of work demands, quarantine, site evacuation or as part of emergency travel management to keep employees safe. 

Finally, keeping updated versions of travel documents, details on changes, and other factors that could affect protocol audits can be a challenge without the benefit of digital travel document storage. These factors, coupled with the very real risk of human reservation errors and the need for comprehensive staff scheduling software is clear.

Fly In Fly Out Management 101

Deploying all-in-one shift scheduling software enables travel administrators to manage everything FIFO worker-related in one place including rosters, flights, camps, accommodation, and housekeeping. Due to the temporary and ever-changing nature of fly-in-fly-out travel, it’s critical to have a management system that accounts and solves for every potential situation. Using a comprehensive FIFO worker management solution simplifies the process for managers, employees, contractors, and internal operational support teams. FIFO worker management encompasses every facet of travel situations, needs, and operational deployment. Companies with robust and highly sensitized travel schedules must be able to sync calendars between travel plans among teams, locations, and rosters. The best travel management systems should automatically flag a host of comprehensive issues both at the time of booking and throughout the itinerary, giving administrators and teams time to prepare for corrected planning. 

The Benefits of Travel Management Systems on Workforce Safety

Workforce safety is critically important and often overlooked as consideration for a company’s travel policy management. While efficient and effective scheduling, travel coordination, and project goal alignment are key factors in travel management, keeping teams safe comes second to none. 

Workforce safety takes on many forms including physical safety, emergency travel management, document security, and team member tracking. A comprehensive travel management system ensures all of these factors are aligned and that data is available in one location with access from anywhere at any time. It also signals to employees that traveler safety and security management are priorities, putting them at ease as they travel to further company goals. Transitioning to roster management software from a spreadsheet-based system can also significantly mitigate risks in shift or travel scheduling. 

While systems like Excel or other spreadsheet software could be good applications for specific tasks, they don’t offer the integrated or comprehensive management capabilities of travel management systems. Version inconsistency, human error, and weak analytics mean companies using excel are putting their travel management and staff at risk. Upgrading to a comprehensive system will keep data updates and track travel management compliance for potential oversight or audit activities.

Itineraries, Alerts & Reminders

Travel management systems are designed to address specific company, team, and traveler needs. Critical elements of this include travel alerts and reminders. Generating master itineraries and enabling individual schedule management both must be accomplished in order for travel administrators to ensure all rosters, schedules, and accommodations are aligned. This functionality also allows travel management systems to coordinate schedules among team members. Auto-generated alerts go one step further, helping manage cross-team and cross-country travel when conditions change, whether they be safety or business-related. For ongoing travel needs, the ability to have “favorite” lists help complete bookings efficiently as a group, saving significant time and frustration for both management and teams. 

Improve Productivity & Reduce Costs with Centralized Employee Scheduling Software

The impetus for deploying a travel management system is often aligned with productivity and cost goals. The human element should never be removed from a robust travel management solution; rather, a travel management system’s digital and automated capabilities should enhance both the travel administrators’ deliverables and enhance company travel experience. The most basic way travel management software enhances efficiency and effectiveness is by aligning booking with tracking/reporting. The same holds true for camp management and camp booking; the data is centralized which makes tracking changes and reporting much more efficient. A digitized travel management solution also aggregates travel tracking for ongoing or end-of-year tax payment and reporting. With these alignments streamlined by rostering software, travel administrators can focus on working with teams to enhance travel and better address company goals. 

Evaluating Travel & Workforce Management Software Capabilities

While there might have been a time when travel management capabilities were simply measured by getting people to and from a destination, today’s complex business needs require more advanced functionality.  Mining, oil & gas, and construction scheduling software is a critical element for these industries; understanding which capabilities are needed in a centralized travel management system is an important decision to advance business goals. Key capabilities should include:

Centralized Travel Management Software

Improve productivity and reduce costs by managing all travel requirements across rosters, travel and accommodation in the one location.

Digital Tracking

Manage flights, accommodations, and roster at once without the use of spreadsheets

Comprehensive Rotation Management

Manage both roster seed date and employee start date to automatically sync rosters.  

Mobile Enabled

Travel management from anywhere in the world at any time.

Travel Change Management

Automatic travel alerts on booking changes and emergency travel requirements.

All-In-One Fly-In-Fly-Out Management

Centralized FIFO worker-related task management including rosters, flights, camps, accommodationS, and housekeeping.

Travel Management Automation

Real time tracking visualization of travel and camp management needs. 

Seamless 3rd Party Integration

Improve efficiency through centralized travel management system coordination.

Cross-Company Solutions

Rostering software that addresses the needs of management, travel administration, traveling team members, and even their families.

Traveler Movement Tracking

Ensures staff and workplace safety. 

Dynamic Tracking & Reporting

Create master itineraries and enable individual schedule management that ensures all rotations, schedules, and accommodations are aligned.

How to Choose a Travel Roster Management Partner

Choosing or upgrading a travel management system is a strategic project that should have input from varied parts of any company. Leaders must identify short- and long-term goals needed for deploying a new travel management system. For example, leadership might look at their top efficiency and effectiveness concerns and how to address them in alignment with company culture? It’s also important to engage other divisions, specifically travel administration, finance, and operations. Including different points of view is an ideal way to get early buy-in and ensure that travel system integration success is a shared goal throughout the organization.

It’s also important to determine how travel roster management partners will be evaluated. Are they travel management experts that can showcase successful deployments? Do they integrate key travel functions – including crew accommodation, rosters, cleaning and booking management – in a central system? Do they offer 3rd party integration, comprehensive travel management system and rostering software training, and an automated mobile system for global travel management? Most importantly, ensure you select a proven, globally trusted leader of fully-integrated environment, health and safety solutions driving the creation of safer, smarter and sustainable workplaces. They should have a track record of employee scheduling software and management success through cloud-based and mobile-capable solutions that address high-risk and complex operations in the mining, utilities, oil & gas and government sectors.

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