Issuing a tender for a travel management company can feel like quite an undertaking if you’ve not done your prep work in advance
So to keep your tender process focused and structured, we’ve thrown together 6 top tips to bear in mind. Follow these guidelines to ensure you come out with the best possible travel management partner for you.
#1 Get the board’s buy-in
Board level sign-off may be the final step in a project to appoint a new travel management company, but if don’t wait until you’ve found one to inform the board. If you’ve identified a need to source a new supplier have the board sign-off at the beginning of the project. That will make them much more likely to view your final decision favourably.
#2 Set realistic timescales
Generally speaking, timescales that are advised at the beginning of a tender are rarely me. Often organisations will underestimate just how much time they need to evaluate all of the proposals that they receive. Thorough research is key to feeling confident in your final decision so, if in doubt, overestimate.
#3 Understand your organisation’s future requirements
Don’t assume that what you’re looking for now is what you’ll want in 1- 3 years time. It’s important to consider your company’s plans for development, and any subsequent future requirements. You want to choose a flexible travel management company who can adapt to your needs. This will eliminate the need to re-tender in the near future.
#4 Conduct pre-tender meetings with potential travel management partners
Meeting with potential travel management partners offers a great opportunity to gain insight in to their process, and to ask any questions. Pre-tender meetings may seem like an unnecessary step, but there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to corporate travel. You may have specific requirements, or need clarification on certain areas. Having a face-to-face is the most efficient way to streamline all those questions and answers. And, if you take the time to fully explain your needs to a potential partner, they are likely to be able to offer better quality solutions.
#5 Be up-front with clarifying questions
Asking incisive questions is the key to determining which travel management company is right for you. Use your time efficiently by asking questions as soon as you are in contact with potential partners. Ask the right things and an effective travel management company will be able to tailor a compelling proposal for your requirements. Avoid wasting time by communicating your needs straight away, and getting clarifying responses.
#6 Visit potential providers’ offices
The best way to understand a travel management company’s real-life culture is to visit their offices. You will get a feel for the team who could be your point of contact on a day-to-day basis, as well as the senior management who will be handling your account.