As you consider partnering with a travel management company, many questions will arise from colleagues in your company. How can you sort through the concerns raised by multiple stakeholders? Travel Leaders Group, comprised of travel experts with decades of experience engaging with clients ranging from new boutique firms to established corporations, has compiled these five questions to help you ask the right questions internally.
1: What does my business need in a travel management company?
The first step is to know thyself. Every business has different travel needs.
• Emerging businesses can benefit from a travel program. One of the most tangible benefits is a dedicated booking portal for all business travel. Travel Leaders Group offers clients of all sizes usage of our proprietary booking tool, Travel Leaders CONNECT. It’s a mobile solution that gives business travelers instant notification on disruptions and flight cancellations, as well as 24-7 access to an expert corporate travel agent who can keep your travelers moving.
• If you have any employees who currently handle travel for multiple “road warriors,” ask them if the company’s travel budget is being spent efficiently. Is there a lot of last-minute booking, or loyalty to airlines that are not the most cost effective? Chances are, your company could benefit from some professional advice on how to handle this large and somewhat mysterious variable expense. Travel Leaders Group can offer insight into how maximum value can be realized from every travel dollar.
When you’re ready to sit down and evaluate what your travelers are doing, take advantage of the Traveler Scorecard from Travel Leaders Group. It gives every traveler a ‘grade’ based on their business travel habits, letting you easily track who is traveling within policy.
2: What do we want in a travel program?
Now comes the fun part…what do you want in a travel management program? One of the main reasons to find a partner is the cost savings. What makes this goal achievable is the proprietary booking tools with rules in place to maintain employee compliance. Keep in mind, a well-connected and attentive partner will often be in a better position to negotiate pricing with your suppliers. Once you track your spending data for a while, your partner will gain leverage to negotiate with vendors for preferred rates and discounts on your behalf.
If service is just as important as managing your travel spend, you will want access to experienced agents 24/7. You also likely have a few executives that may require high-touch, white glove service. Travel Leaders Group can assist you in developing a customized solution that best fits your company’s needs and culture.
3: Can you help keep my team stay safe while on the road?
Duty of Care is a top concern of many small and mid-sized companies. Knowing where your travelers are and helping them (or even removing them) from a dangerous situation is an area where the right partner can help. Duty of Care is a crucial part of compliance, risk management, and human resources policies. It applies to both the personal safety of your travelers and to protecting valuable corporate assets. Setting up policies to include Duty of Care and providing the right tools and training for travelers is an area that requires expert guidance.
Compliance of your travel policies is an important, trackable metric that could mean the difference between safe travelers or significant problems. Travel Leaders Group serves as an outside subject matter expert to craft well-written, carefully thought-out Duty of Care policies to protect businesses and travelers.
4: What’s our budget?
Before you start interviewing potential partners, you’ll need to gather important details on your business travel spending. Make sure any travel management company you consider has experience in working with companies of your size. Start-up costs associated with ramping up to a new, managed program are quickly returned with immediate cost savings. The right partner will continuously hone your program to realize further ROI.
Travel Leaders Group works with businesses of all sizes and levels of travel spending. There’s no doubt that we can help cut your business travel costs no matter the size of your budget.
5: What can I do for my frequent travelers?
Business travel can be hard, and you’ve probably heard a few complaints in your time. As you select your partner, don’t forget that the company isn’t the only one with needs—your travelers have them, too. Did you know that you can “gamify” your company travel and offer employees rewards for staying in policy? “Bleisure” (business + leisure) is also something many travelers, especially Millennials, are clamoring for. These perks can go a long way toward increasing your employees’ overall satisfaction. And the best part? Personal travel purchased through the company portal counts towards negotiated discounts with suppliers.