Last Updated: 06 Oct, 2020

Corporate Travel Management Companies: How to Choose the Best Provider for Business Trips

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While several business travelers and corporations feel that better airfares can be found online, the cost does not continually indicate value or total savings. In order to constantly reduction travel spend and enhance productivity, a managed travel program is required. A travel management company (TMC) can give solutions that will enhance the management of a company’s travel program and allow corporations to attain greater service, expense savings, and maintain duty of care obligations.

Successful travel management company selection is all about following a series of basic but critical steps. And just like anything else, preparation is key. Time invested upfront will save so much more time, and money, in the end. Most importantly, a well-planned process will vastly improve your chances of signing the TMC that fits your needs best. 

Implementing A Managed Travel Program

 

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Selecting the perfect TMC for your business should begin not with the TMC itself but your own individual travel policy. Setting out a clear travel policy provides that the TMC you choose aligns with the exact needs of your company. You must also consider where most of your company’s travel is regionally and what kind of budget your employees have on these trips.

Your industry and size should also dictate the type of TMC you search for. If you are a large company that puts on events and will consistently be on the road, you’ll need a TMC equipped to secure a large number of bookings and adapt to sudden changes in itineraries.

A final key component to finding the perfect TMC is to make sure that they’re a good cultural fit for your company. They’ll be working closely with your employees and contributing to how their time is spent on the road. If your company values work-life balance or the ability for travelers to have flexible schedules when traveling, you’ll want a TMC that can deliver on that culture.

Use the expertise of a TMC can provide substantial process enhancement and savings, which allows companies to reduce one of the three largest controllable expenses. A corporation must, at a minimum, experience the following benefits after implementing a managed travel program:

Generating return on investment: A TMC can obtain, observe, and examine travel expenditures in order to proficiently recognize and understand available program savings.

Developing A Travel Policy: Experts to advice corporations on optimizing policies to require use of the TMC and suppliers, and top methods to increase productivity, online booking tool adoption, and travelers’ reinforcement.

Managing crisis: Duty of care compliance is one of the main values of a managed travel program. Partnering with a TMC will reduce risks for organizations and employees via traveler tracking tools, 24/7 crisis support, and effective communication.

Leveraging preferred vendors: Through favored partnerships and negotiated contracts, a company will see upfront savings. Also, benchmarking assists with vendor negotiations to find suitable contract savings that meet the corporation’s requirements.

Improving travel solutions: A managed travel program gives companies the capability to be informed on leading-edge tools, safety procedures, efficiency behaviors, and industry developments.

Enhancing efficiencies: With a managed program, productivity is developed and a TMC can make recommendations to improve employees’ satisfaction and compliance to the program. Quality control systems search for favored seating and flights, and lowest fares during pre- and post-ticketing.

Consulting and account management: Dedicated and proactive professionals to combination of each travel management aspect to achieve top client objectives and provide program optimization plans.
 

Global TMCs

 

Investing in technologies and develop reach into smaller companies.

Top 5 Travel management companies

 

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A travel management company is a company that specializes in providing travel management services for clients or customers. In the vast majority of cases, their clients will be businesses, organizations or groups that want to outsource responsibility for travel management, although individuals might also turn to a travel manager too.

TMC companies will usually charge for the specific services you use. Businesses turn to travel management companies for convenience, industry expertise, time saving and comprehensive management of travel requirements. This can be especially important in large businesses, with many business travelers.

1. Expedia Group: 

Corporate travel from Expedia Group is reimagining business travel management to keep business travelers happier and corporate travel programs more successful.

Expedia group offers more personalized experiences through curate access to the world’s most relevant travel options. Putting their customers at the center of everything we do, Expedia Group provides exceptional customer care and innovative travel manager tools to increase savings and compliance. Expedia group serves businesses large and small all over the world. 

Travel management is the system of controlling, tracking and reporting on a company’s travel-related expenses. Business travel can be handled by external corporate travel agencies, an in-house travel manager or by an admin professional, sometimes those charged with office management. 

Regardless of the role in charge of managing travel, most businesses also depend on a corporate travel platform to track business travel expenses, among other key features.
Today, business travelers demand quick self-booking and greater travel options.  Simultaneously, companies want to decrease costs and improve the ROI of corporate travel.

2. Booking Holdings:

Booking Holdings (BKNG) is the world leader in online travel and related services, offers to customers and partners in over 220 countries and territories through six primary consumer-facing brands. The mission of Booking Holdings is to make it simple for everyone to experience the world.

Booking Holdings operates as an online travel company. The Company offers a platform that allows making travel reservations with providers of travel services, as well as offers accommodation reservations, rentals cars, airline tickets, and vacation packages. Booking Holdings serves customers worldwide.

Booking Holdings formerly The Priceline Group is a provider of travel and restaurant online reservation and related services. The Company, through its online travel companies (OTCs), connects consumers prefer to make travel reservations with providers of travel services across the world. It provides consumers an array of accommodation reservations (including hotels, bed and breakfasts, hostels, apartments, vacation rentals and other properties). 

3.BCD Travel:

As the first travel logistics company, BCD Travel facilitate us to simplify and streamline travel services and provides strategic business management for the benefit of our mutual client organization relationships. The goal is to offer the best travel program that is possible for your company. Integrated travel logistics solutions are designed to maximize savings, gain efficiency and consistently deliver outstanding service.

Executive Travel is a proud affiliate of BCD Travel and they share a dedication to service excellence and stand resources around the globe. BCD offers the global reach and buying power of one of the largest travel management companies in the world.

BCD Travel delivers together the in-depth knowledge, proven capabilities and commitment to service excellence that have been part of its culture since its exception. Market best travel companies from the around the world have joined together to provide this unique, consolidated delivery system that brings great value to all our client relationships.

4. American Express Global Business Travel (GBT):

A Business Travel Made easy initiative is being released by American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) to support small and medium-sized businesses. The aim is to provide ‘travel management in a box’ for any company looking to quickly deploy a UK-based managed travel program. Businesses rise supplier discounts, streamlined booking, robust reporting and around the clock traveler support.

Travelers have more choices and cheaper rates, perks and loyalty rewards, automatic rebooking and 24/7 multi-channel personalized service pre, during and post-trip, according to the travel management company.

The all-in-one solution includes:

The highly popular American Express GBT products, technology, services and travel inventory.

  • An optimized, end-to-end customer experience for both travelers and travel buyers
  • Assistance to help buyers gain leadership and drive user adoption
  • Ongoing travel buyer and manager guidance to ensure continuous programme success
  • Streamlined implementation for a faster route to savings
  • A simplified, standardized pricing structure and contract

TMCs have a responsibility to make sure staff from these companies can travel in the safest, most efficient and cost-effective way possible.

5. CWT

CWT provides an array of web-based tools that make the challenge of managing business travel easier. From business travel reporting to automated messaging and traveler tracking, we believe in always on, 24/7 accessible travel management tools that help you be productive and gain new insights easily.

To productively manage your organization’s business travel program, you need travel management software and business travel tools that help you and your employees be productive and efficient. CWT offers award-winning, web-based tools that give you greater visibility, insights and capabilities as well as business travel tools that keep your travelling employees focused on the business of their company.

Whether it’s taking advantage of post-booking price drops on hotel and airfares or getting an important message to your travelers, their innovative travel management system helps you discover new insights and possibilities. They can help you and your employees save money and time, delivering tangible value back to your organization. CWT is the business travel device you can’t do without.

If you are one of rapidly growing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in India, CWT have developed a specialized product, CWT For You, just for SMEs. This online booking tool delivers savings and is easy for you and your employees to use.  

Corporate Travel Booking Platforms

 

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Choosing a corporate booking solution for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) requires a lot of thought. It is not just about being content with a solution that offers the best functionality or choosing a solution depending on the capabilities or content offered. It is also about understanding what the small and medium scale enterprises are expecting from the tool and whether they will find the tool to be useful.

If your corporate customers don’t find the tool to be useful, it is pointless for you to offer a corporate booking solution as a travel agent. Moreover, the tool should also adhere to business rules and be easy to use from the travel agency’s point of view. Things like responsive designs (offering a corporate travel solution for mobile customers), affordability and approval processes also play a huge role in your decisions.

Basically, the ideal corporate travel plan should be focused on simplicity and efficiency. It must offer you with all the necessary business travel features and also be efficient, flexible and cost-effective at the same time. Those looking for a free corporate travel solution to start with can always enjoy the benefits offered by corporate booking systems, which also offers a free version.

Smooth booking process:

You want it to be simple and straight forward for staff to book their travel, otherwise the time they have to spend making travel arrangements will cost your business. A streamlined booking process that makes use of state-of-the-art online booking tools is the foundation of any good TMC.

Transparent fee structure:

You don’t want to be dealing with hidden costs when you’re working with a TMC. Make sure their fee structure is transparent and you know exactly what you’re being charged for. It’s also a good idea to ensure that when you cancel or change travel bookings, their online booking tool (OBT) displays any penalties or fare changes so you always know what you’re up for.

Built-in approval process:

The approvals process is one of the differentiating features of corporate travel over personal travel management. Find a TMC with approvals workflows integrated in their online booking tool, so you can have the whole approvals process automated and save time.

Reporting on travel spends:

Keeping track of travel costs is the best way to stop them getting out of control. A good TMC will be able to provide regular reports on your travel spend, so you can stay on top of your budget.

All TMCs are unique, just like your business. It’s important to find one that’s a good fit. The right TMC can save you money on your travel costs, keep you within budget and find the most efficient logistical solution. They will have a workflow that suits your requirements and help you set up a travel policy if you don’t have one. They will also provide immediate support if something goes wrong.

By taking some time to find the right TMC using these criteria, you can stop worrying about travel and focus on developing and running your business.

What Does a TMC Do?

 

A travel management company is used by professional organizations to manage business travel. Beyond simply booking and rescheduling flights, experienced TMCs ensure you and your employees are getting the best rates and the highest quality service while also protecting individuals and your company around the globe. By managing disruptions to reduce friction and mitigating risk with advanced services, the most competitive TMCs go above and beyond to bring you the best corporate travel experience. 
 

Why Do We Need a TMC?

 

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When traveling for business, you know the logistics are much more complicated than simply booking a flight and hotel, especially for those who travel internationally. There are many pieces that need to fall into place in order to provide a safe, stress-free travel experience. 

Many businesses find that they simply do not have the man-power to manage all the moving parts of corporate travel. To smooth out the process and erase time wasted on rate shopping, many are turning to TMCs. 

Experience can make a huge difference in how successful, enjoyable, and affordable your trip is, so working with professionals who understand the in and out of the industry can reassure that you are always getting the best deal. Leave the contract negotiations to the pros so you can focus on your duties to your company. 

What to Look for in a Travel Management Companies (TMCs)?

 

When choosing a TMC, you want someone who can do more than just schedule flights. Working with the most competitive, advanced TMCs will provide you with opportunities to improve travel and protect employees in ways you might never have imagined. 

Services You Should Look For:

1. Automatic Rebooking Services

Much of the frustration of traveling comes from unexpected delays. Especially when flying, anything from a bit of rain to systems malfunctions can completely throw off your travel plans. 

Having a TMC constantly monitor your travel options takes the frustration out of finding another flight. Advanced monitoring systems mean that your employees will be booked for the next available flight before they even realize their original plans were changed. Taking the stress out of finding transportation options reduces much of the stress of traveling, meaning your employees can focus on the task at hand.

2. Rate Shopping

The next time you need a last-minute rebooking, don’t worry that you’ll be stuck paying a last-minute price. Perpetual rate shopping from TMCs mean that you are always getting the best option, even if you have already made a decision. 

If a TMC finds that there is a room available for a better price, or better accommodations available elsewhere, you will automatically be rebooked for the better option. 
Not only do you save money, TMCs always ensure you are providing the best experience possible. Just because it’s corporate travel doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be enjoyable! 

3. Risk Management:

One of the greatest responsibilities of a manager is to guarantee employees’ safety at all times; one of the greatest roles of TMCs is to help managers provide the best travel experiences for employees. 

With new risk management technology, TMCs can track employees domestically and internationally. Whenever there is a threat nearby, advanced TMCs can contact the employee and provide services to get them to a safe place. Professional TMCs can quickly contact local embassies and governments to implement crisis plans and local support. Whether it’s adverse weather or local crime and violence, TMCs will take your employees out of harm’s way no matter where you do business. 

4. Travel Reporting:

The only way to know if your travel management strategy is effective is by tracking and reviewing data collected from your travels. 

TMCs can track corporate travel data to inform expense trends and inconsistencies in travel patterns. By knowing exactly how well your travel plan is functioning you can make changes to optimize your strategy. 

Besides simply reporting data regarding your travel patterns, the best TMCs will give in-depth analysis into your data. This ensures you fully understand what is being reported so you are able to appropriately make adjustments that will improve your strategy. 

5. Corporate Meeting Management

The best TMCs don’t just abandon you after finding a flight. TMCs can assist with every step of your business trip, including finding the best locations for meetings and conferences.

Want more than just a hotel room? Find the best rates for cruises with professionals who know how to negotiate corporate contracts. Need transportation between locations? Schedule air and ground transportation no matter where you go. 

TMCs can do so much more than just manage travel schedules. Once you gain on-site, some TMCs offer audio/visual assistance, signage creation, activities management, and meeting materials design and creation. 

Take all the stress out of putting together a great business event by handing over the most difficult aspects to professionals with the experience and skills to get the job done. 

From booking the location to finding catering services to designing and running a fantastic event, competitive TMCs can take your business events to the next level without going over your budget or adding to your stress. 

Basically, who you choose to work with will be a company that melds with your goals and values. By researching and comparing available options, you are more likely to find a company that will work well in your current strategy and help you expand upon your current corporate travel program. 

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