So, you’ve been given the mammoth task of fixing the tangled business travel situation in your organisation.
You know you need to go out and speak to some travel management companies and get the ball rolling with the procurement process, but in our experience, it’s best to hold those horses ever so slightly and first make a checklist of all the information you need to know before picking up the phone.
[Catch up! We covered the first part of this checklist right here]
Step 4: Research the Market
There are tons of TMCs out there, all vying for your business – so you need to whittle out which ones are going to be a good fit for you. The right travel management company should also be interested in understanding this, you don’t want a company to sell you the world, and deliver a plant pot full of soil.
- Who? – Is the TMC you are considering a good cultural fit for your workers? Do they have an account manager who you trust? Are their reservations team part of the TMC or are they outsourced? Does the TMC you are considering stand out in the industry?
- What? – If you need rail, flight and hotels, and they only provide hotels, then you can strike them off straight away. Do they have high online adoption rates? Is this coupled with a dedicated offline team?
- Where? – Do you require a TMC who can help your travellers book flights, rail and hotels to and from anywhere in the world? Do you need multiple languages or would this be unnecessary?
- How? – There are multiple ways to find a TMC: Google Search; talk to your colleagues (TMC’s get a lot of new business from referrals, and if someone has used them before, it aids that process nicely); read BBT/TBTM; attend the Business Travel Show and social media.
- Money? This is not always a top priority for organizations, but can your considered TMC save you money? What is their fee structure like? Do they ask for upfront costs, or are you only asked to pay for what you use?
Step 5: Know what you want to find out
Phoning a list of potential suppliers can at times seem like a black hole and all too often you can emerge from a phone call only to realise that you’ve still got a list of unanswered questions.
- Who? – Who else do they work with, get some case studies or anecdotal feedback about how companies in a similar situation to yours, have succeeded with this TMC.
- What? – What is their mission statement/niche – do their strengths fit with your priorities? Do they provide aggregated content to ensure that there is no leakage?
- Where? – Are they UK based? Can you viably meet with them a few times before signing a contract?
- How? – How does their process work? How can this company help you achieve your objectives?
- Money? How do they make money? How do they charge you? How do you pay? – Does this fit with your needs?
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