Everyone is looking for ways to “do more with less.” Becoming more efficient and productive means establishing priorities and setting aside specific times to tackle each one. “Blocking” is a term used to refer to strategically setting time aside to perform a task with maximum efficiency, whether it’s email, meetings, business tasks, or travel. The key is to make a plan that ensures that you will fully maximize the timed you have blocked off.
Blocking for travel is an area where many companies and their employees can grow. Efficient travel blocking simply means planning multiple trips or business appointments with other appointments in close proximity. This could even take the form of combining appointments or even errands to save time and expense. Most people do this well when it comes to personal travel. We combine trips to the supermarket, the bank, and the doctor. We take the shortest route to optimize travel time and fuel consumption. We even map out the stops for the sake of efficiency.
When it comes to business travel, many American workers fall short. By some estimates, inefficient travel blocking costs companies across the country millions of dollars annually in lost productivity. With the company paying the travel expenses, employees often have little incentive to maximize the efficiency of their travel. But with the rising costs of travel, it’s crucial that your organization maximize its time and money through travel blocking. Here are three tips to increase travel efficiencies:
- Prioritize Proximity When Scheduling Business Travel
When working we tend to do the most important things first. In sales this might mean working on opportunities that will close the fastest, which makes sense. However, we need to broaden our focus and look for other opportunities that are in close proximity regardless of where they are in the sales cycle. Why take a separate trip to meet with a company close by when you are already there? Of course, there will be those times when retaining an account is necessary and a single trip has to happen. There needs to balance between seizing opportunities and waiting to schedule more meetings in the same time frame or general area.
- Establish Structures that Support Efficient Travel
Some companies can end up incentivizing inefficient travel without even realizing it. Consider a sales rep that receives cents-per-mile reimbursement. When sales are slow, he might strategically take longer routes, knowing he’ll be compensated for the extra driving. What this employee needs is a sales target that he will only meet if he travels more efficiently, along with a different approach to reimbursement. Accountability for efficient travel blocking is essential. But so are training and tools for efficient travel blocking.
- Give Employees the Right Tools to be Efficient
How can reps be more effective and efficient? How can you maximize their time in the car, by seeing more customers on each trip? Someone has to put in the time to think through all the appointments and trips and how to schedule them as efficiently as possible. The time spent on planning may be worth it, but most employees would probably rather be on the road than planning out routes and scheduling appointments for maximum efficiency. The key is to find ways to facilitate or even automate these tasks through tools such as software or mobile apps that can empower your reps to block travel time as productively and efficiently as possible.
Being efficient at business travel takes time and tools. Incorporating travel efficiency into your business processes is an important key in business travel ROI. If you want help automating this process to increase your organizations efficiency and productivity contact us today.