After watching the latest series of Masterchef, seeing various experts of cuisine perfect their recipes, I got to thinking… what would be the recipe for an excellent travel management company? What ingredients would be needed to produce the best?
We reckon there are a few key ingredients that a TMC should offer you to ensure that you’re effectively managing your organisation’s travel strategy. And it’s safe to say you can trust our recipe as we’ve recently been awarded Best TMC at the Business Travel Awards and Top Business Travel Agency at the TTG Top 50 Awards.
Step 1 – add some high quality management information
Management information (MI) provides a complete snapshot of your business travel strategy, highlighting trends and any potential savings opportunities. Furthermore it allows you to evaluate how effective your travel policy is, and the reasons why your travellers are booking out of policy.
Step 2 – mix in a little bit of proactive account management
Your account manager should have a proactive approach, understanding your organisation’s objectives and how you can achieve them. They should challenge traveller behaviour and drive change to optimise your travel strategy. Moreover they should provide comprehensive review meetings in which they discuss cost saving ideas to lower your travel spend.
Step 3 – blend in some dynamic travel policy
It’s not enough to have a corporate travel policy in place because that can be open to abuse, which is where a dynamic policy that is based upon the best available rates in the open market is crucial. So when prices are low and availability is ample, or when prices are high and availability is low, the policy adapts to give you peace of mind that your travellers are always booking the best value rates.
Step 4 – a dash of an easy to use online booking tool
Having an easy to use online booking tool (OBT) will organically drive your online adoption rate as your travellers will be confident in booking their own travel, which in turn avoids any costly offline booking fees. Also using an OBT that utilises content aggregation ensures that you’re maximising any savings potential by including numerous sources of content from providers like Booking.com & LateRooms.com.
Step 5 – a pinch of a dedicated offline team
But it’s also crucial to have a dedicated offline team that’s available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for their expert consultation when needed, from making bookings to providing travel advice and guidance. They should meet their agreed service level agreements (SLAs), delivering what was promised during the contract negotiation stage and sharing the SLA performances at every review meeting with your account manager.
Step 6 – stir in some duty of care
Every organisation has a duty of care obligation that they must fulfil if they when it comes to business travellers. A first class TMC should provide you with traveller tracking technology that allows you to locate any of your travellers whenever you need to, whilst providing guidance on any emergency situations through crisis management teams.
So if your TMC is missing some of these key ingredients for your corporate travel strategy, maybe it’s time to sample a taste of something different!
To find out more about what you should look out for in a TMC, you can download our complimentary guide to procuring a TMC here: