The process for appointing a Travel Management Company (TMC) can be tough – especially if you’re coming from a ‘DIY’ travel background. With travel being one of the largest controllable expenses for businesses, it’s important to get the tender process right, so that you can effectively seek out the best TMC to suit your needs.
We’ve put together the 4 most common mistakes organisations make when issuing travel tenders – as well as how to avoid them!
Mistake #1: Issuing your travel tender before consulting the wider business
Business travel affects multiple teams and stakeholders within an organisation. Your procurement team, finance team, HR, PAs and board members (to name a few) will each have their own individual requirements and understanding of what they’d like from a travel management provider; it’s crucial, therefore, that their needs are considered when creating the travel management tender.
Ask your staff: What are the pain points your team currently experience with business travel? What are the key services a TMC should offer to make your job easier? What features would you like on an online booking tool?
This will help you to establish the wider picture of what your organisation truly requires from a TMC before going to market.
Mistake #2: Not reflecting your teams’ individual requirements in your tender
A common mistake made in travel tenders is publishing vague specifications or questions that don’t pinpoint your teams’ specific business travel requirements. Use the conversations and information gathered from your different departments to create precise and relevant questions that cover all your business needs.
This will help to ensure the buy-in and inclusion of your individual teams early on in the tender process, and will subsequently make the implementation of your chosen TMC as smooth as possible.
Mistake #3: Forgetting to emphasise your ‘must-haves’ early on in the process
You don’t want to get too far down the line and realise that the TMC you’ve fallen in love with won’t actually be able to support your organisation’s compulsory invoicing requirements.
Establish and emphasise your TMC’s ‘must-haves’ (i.e. your mandatory requirements), and set these out clearly in your tender documentation. This could be in the form of a specification checklist, for example, with YES / NO tick boxes for the responding TMCs to indicate which of your mandatory requirements they can or cannot provide for.
Do this early on in the bid process – for example, if you’re issuing both an RFI followed by an RFP, publish your mandatory requirements in the early RFI stages. This will instantly filter out any TMCs who cannot meet your compulsory needs, which will help you to action an effective bid process – and avoid potential disappointment!
Mistake #4: Not revealing that your organisation is growing, or has plans for significant future change
If you’re a growing organisation, or perhaps a business with plans to go global or undergo a merger in the next few years, publish this information in your travel tender. Why? Because you’ll need a flexible and experienced TMC who will be able to support your organisation with its plans for future change.
Ask questions in your RFP that give TMCs the opportunity to showcase their ability to support your growth with their services and innovations. This way, you’ll be confident in appointing the right TMC who can help you to achieve your organisation’s goals not only at the start, but throughout the life of your contract.
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