When you think about your current Travel Management Company (TMC), is the thought mostly a nebulous belief of general okay-ness? When pressed harder, and someone asks if they’re doing a good job, would you respond with a shrug, followed by a “no complaints”?
While “no complaints” seems like a positive review, it’s not the best way to value a managed travel program. Because if your TMC is not going above and beyond simple travel planning, if they’re not providing you with the data to measure how successful your program is to your company and your travelers, or you have difficulty articulating the value your TMC delivers - then you should be complaining.
Check to see if your TMC is delivering the goods you need to provide a confident, positive review of your managed travel partner.
Are your employees booking inside or outside the company travel policy? How much are they spending directly on vendor sites versus your approved online booking tool, and at what cost to your company? Having clear visibility on this information is vital to making sure your travelers are staying true to your policy, and if the relevant data is being captured to help you negotiate with suppliers.
How much are your travelers spending, and through what means? Those charging their business travel expenses solely on a company credit card are easy to track, but what about the others? Sure you have an idea thanks to their payment reimbursements, but are you getting a crystal-clear picture of your total travel spending?
One of the main ways a TMC helps companies save on travel is by negotiating lower rates with preferred hotels, airlines and transportation companies. But that advantage is thrown out the window, and your supplier volume quota may not be reached either, when employees book outside your negotiated circle. In their effort to save you hundreds of dollars on a single trip, they may actually be costing you thousands of dollars by booking with non-preferred hotels or airlines.
Those negotiated rates we mentioned were great when you first secured them, but how have they fared in the months and years since? Undiscounted rates fluctuate over time, so you may not be getting the deal you think you are without this key data. TMCs like Travel Leaders Group provide this financial data to your company, so you can determine how your negotiated rates stack up with companies that are similar in size and function.
Gaining visibility into travel management metrics like these goes a long way to ensuring that your company is getting the most out of its business travel budget. If your TMC is only booking travel and not providing you with the insights and details you need, ask why. If they don’t give you a good answer, it’s probably time to say goodbye.