Medium-sized companies which operate internationally, need a good travel management and a good security management. The company „EXPO“ in Konstanz offers a service to manage the travel security of this Medium-sized companies and and help to relieve their processes.
„In more than half of all companies, travel-security is the responsibility of the travel management department.“*
Travel security measures are obviously necessary. Security-related or medical incidents can have a negative impact on the success of business trips abroad or even cause them to be interrupted. The consequences for employees and for the company itself are often considerable. Besides individual implications for life, body and health, other factors are the costs of emergency procedures, economic effects and a loss of reputation for the company. Preparatory and supportive security measures and reliable emergency procedures can help to minimise risks effectively, limit the consequences as well as the costs of incidents, and boost employees’ sense of security.
To manage travel risks, large companies set up entire security departments. For small and medium-sized businesses, however, it is a different matter. In many cases, travel management department is responsible for safety on business trips. Although it makes sense to allocate responsibility for this topic to travel management, it is also important that appropriate measures are integrated into the company’s processes for sending staff abroad. But can a travel manager offer the same level of service as a dedicated security department?
To provide employees with information as a precautionary measure before posting them abroad, it is essential to have an exact understanding of the travel risks in the destination country. Having said that, the security situation differs considerably from country to country and is constantly changing. It is not enough to simply refer to the website of the State Department. To address this problem, specialised service providers offer professional country and city databases, guaranteeing optimum support for travel Managers.
However, not every country database is suitable for use by travel managers. The information must always be up to date, and it must reflect both security and medical risks in equal measure. The data on different countries should be exportable and ideally available not only in English, but also in their original language. But above all, the company’s entire workforce should have access to a database of this kind. Registering selected employees by name is not a practicable solution.
And this is the crux of the matter: Travel security management can by all means be carried out by travel managers, as long as appropriate processes and tools are in place to ensure that the cost and effort required are within reason. Travellers and expatriates themselves can also be held accountable; after all, not only are employers responsible for the welfare of their employees, but the latter also have an obligation of due diligence towards their employer. If the employer provides a country database to make sure its employees have up-to-date information, it can expect them to use it. This is under the condition that employees have easy access to the database.
The same applies to measures that offer employees assistance during a trip. In this case, it is important to continuously monitor the development of the Situation in the country an employee is traveling to. If a company has a consolidated Passenger Name Record (PNR) tracking tool in place, then travel information, warnings and other services can be sent automatically. Based on the PNR data, professional providers can ensure full assistance for travellers including monitoring their individual movements. Small and medium-sized companies without PNR tracking can now also benefit from online solutions: Travellers can register for a trip with a provider and can benefit from the same level of support.
In the event of an emergency, all employees should have access to a standard 24/7 emergency number to respond in the case of security-related, medical and organizational incidents. Here again, service providers offer global security assistance services.
To sum up, a security department is not essential to establish professional, full and reliable travel security management in a company. With the help of professional services, tools and processes that can be integrated seamlessly into the organisation’s existing structure, travel managers can cover the tasks of a travel security manager.
* Source: The German Business Travel Association (VDR) – Business Travel Report 2014
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