By Carmen Stinson on Aug 15, 2018
3 min read
It’s natural that with time and effort a company will grow, and with ever-increasing geographic boundaries, ambitious CEOs will plan for increased corporate reach. The question is How to Know When You Are Ready to Work With a Corporate Travel Agency?
As all of this unfolds, business travel expenses escalate. In some cases so quickly that the company loses the ability to track and manage them effectively.
Situations like this can rapidly spin out of control, and in some worst-case scenarios, it can become a slush fund for personal indulgences masked as fraudulent travel and entertainment expenses.
Luckily, as with many business challenges, there are numerous solutions. For most, the implementation of a corporate travel policy is the first step, followed by the use of a corporate Travel Management Company (TMC).
What is a TMC? Think of it as a travel department for a company. It not only secures bookings for hotels and airlines, but it also helps to control travel expenses by negotiating corporate rates on travel services. Other tasks include providing logistical support for business travelers, and 24/7 emergency management in the event of canceled flights or any other logistical complications that may arise during business travel.
How to Know if I Need a Corporate Travel Agency?
While having a travel policy can help you keep things under control, sometimes it’s not enough. If you answer yes to a few of the five points below, it is time to start looking into a TMC:
Is Travel planning leading to lost productivity?
Business travelers are usually busy people with no time to book flights, hotels, and transportation. Imagine if a change of plans occurs? Consider the research on unknown destinations? If you add booking requests for visitors, more time as a ‘travel coordinator’ is spent than the traveler’s actual job. That’s precisely the reason why TMCs offer 24/7-customer support by phone, email and live chat.
Do you have group travel?
Coordinating one business trip is hard enough, but when it involves people scattered all over the country, it can seem impossible. Travel plans like these can take days or weeks to come together. Save time and efforts with a dedicated agency to cross-reference everyone’s schedule, and finally get everyone to the same place at the same time. Let the agency worry about the details, so you can focus on what to do when everyone arrives.
Should I be getting better prices given the volume of travel I generate?
Leverage volume-based discounts! Also, as your company grows, the more need you have to set cost-control measures. The trip is the 2nd most considerable unmanaged expense, yet easily controllable. For example, a travel policy should identify hotels around the corporate office, or main destinations and your TMC should contract rates (usually 30-40% savings). Reports will show top vendors, or advance-purchase patterns versus exchange costs, aiding TMCs in finding opportunities for savings.
Do travelers complain about the booking/expense process? Do I have a competitive travel program that attracts stellar candidates?
Today’s travelers require efficient methods for booking and expensing. There are several technologies available on the market which allows travel to be scheduled and expensed easily. Your TMC will be able to manage the online booking.
Do I have a Travel Manager dedicated to reducing costs and increasing employee experience?
When you realize that you don’t have the budget nor the tools to efficiently manage travel, you will find that TMC services come at a fraction of the cost to you. They often charge per booking (no booking, no fee!), and still offer Account Management Services such as reporting, travel policy review, vendor negotiations, etc. Find a TMC that matches your culture and needs, and provide flexibility.
Are you experiencing any of these situations? It may be time to get a helping hand with your travel management. Remember, the right Travel Management Company can help you save time and money while making the entire process hassle-free.
Ready to learn more? Contact us and take your corporate travel to the next level.
Director, Global Corporate Travel