In 2019, it took an average of 134 days to review an existing provider or appoint a new one.
So while your business may not be travelling right now, you may want to start thinking about it.
Whilst 2020 was a year when companies had to scale back on their travel activities, the pandemic has emphasised the true value of having a reliable Business Travel solution in place. Whether your solution is a Travel Management Company (TMC) or otherwise, it needs to be one that can support you and your employees throughout a crisis.
A dip in service levels?
The travel industry was one of the hardest hit. As a result many TMC’s were forced to make a number of staffing changes, including the need to furlough some of their workforce and sadly going through redundancies as well. As a result, in places there has been a shortfall in the support and availability for those who still have a requirement to travel.
With this impact on service levels, many key workers have experienced agonising wait times to speak to consultants and were even faced with messages not to try calling during peak times.
Management fees but no travel?
TMCs usually include management fees when they assign a fixed or dedicated portion of their workforce to servicing a client’s needs. So in some instances organisations are still being billed for a service that they aren’t even using, which seems unfair. Unlike a transaction fee based approach, which offers a more scalable pricing model that can still offer value during periods of unforeseen reduced travel volumes.
At a time when Business Travel transaction model reform is a hot topic anyway, the management fee approach has certainly come up short and this poses questions that any future pricing based models will have to answer.
Despite the lack of travel, we have witnessed these experiences in particular sustaining a relatively level of interest in changing business travel suppliers throughout the pandemic.
How long do you need to change supplier?
Our data shows that the average time taken to either review an existing provider or appoint a totally new provider took an average of 134 days in 2019 . That extends to 163 days if following a formal tender process.
The good news is in the absence of high travel volumes, the process can be a lot quicker right now. With the recovery roadmap in place and the relatively optimistic outlook from the government, now is the best time to start reviewing existing corporate travel programs in order to have a better solution ready for when business travellers are on the move again.
Most businesses’ travel patterns have significantly reduced or even stopped completely, so the current hiatus creates a perfect opportunity to reevaluate. In the coming months there will be very little or zero disruption to your employees. It’s a chance to skip past any confusion on who to call or where to book, with no crossover of bookings. Just a quick and easy fresh start. So that as business travel volumes start to pick up again your new solution will be tested, implemented and ready to go – exactly when you are.
For some quick hints and tips on what to ask for when requesting a proposal form a Business travel solution, check out our FREE DOWNLOAD – Guide to Writing a Request for Proposal