When it comes to booking business travel for your staff, there’s a lot of choice out there. You might choose to book directly with hotels and airlines; perhaps you book online, or use the services of various non-specialist travel agents. Or, perhaps you’ve already discovered the best option of all: to work with an expert travel management company (TMC). But what are the benefits of booking with a TMC? Let’s find out…
Experienced travel consultants bring greater savings
When you book business travel with a TMC, you’ll be working with airfare experts. They’ll present you with a range of travel options that you may not have even considered, or wouldn’t find online. Through years of experience, Expert Travel Consultants will be able to use their fare knowledge to offer highly competitive prices on a variety of carriers. They can also unlock extra value by combining different fare types – perhaps combining an outbound fare Premium Economy with an inbound fare in Economy for example – giving your business travellers a better experience for the same price. This kind of mix-and-match fare selecting is almost impossible to do online yourself.
Time and productivity gains
Booking business travel for yourself or others is a huge time drain that often involves trawling though multiple websites, waiting for approval to book, and hoping the price hasn’t changed in the meantime. When you book your travel through a TMC, they’ll be working to a service level agreement, typically with a 2-hour turnaround for point-to-point bookings, so you’ll get the support you need quickly and efficiently. That way, you can get on with your regular job and your staff won’t be wasting their time on price comparison sites. Better yet, booking with a single TMC means you’ll receive just one monthly invoice, saving your finance department many hours of processing time.
Greater choice and value
When you partner with a TMC with a strong global negotiation strength, you’ll get access to the widest choice of travel content, including airfares, hotels, ground transportation and travel essentials. You’ll also benefit from highly competitive rates. It may surprise you that by paying a transaction fee to a TMC you’ll actually save money overall. How is this? You’ll be accessing thee TMC’s specialist corporate rates, which have been negotiated on the basis of their large booking volumes with each supplier. These rates will save you money and offer more flexibility than online rates as suppliers understand that corporate customers often have last-minute changes. Examples of unique corporate rates include Corporate Traveller’s SmartFLY and SmartSTAY programmes, which include value-added extras such as free lounge passes, bonus frequent flyer points, and complimentary early check in or late check out included in the price, not only saving you money but improving the business travel experience for your staff as well.
Visibility of your total travel spend
If your staff book travel on multiple websites it’s very difficult to gain a true picture of your total travel spend. This means you can’t easily identify the most popular types of travel or most frequently booked suppliers, making it much harder to see where you could be making behaviour changes to drive savings. Booking through a single TMC however, you’ll have clear visibility of your travel spend booking trends, allowing you to easily identify cost-saving opportunities.
Travel policy compliance
When you work with a TMC, your Dedicated Expert Travel Consultant will be able to help you write and manage your travel policy, ensuring your staff adhere to your guidelines and approval processes.
Waivers and favours
If you’ve booked your travel online, making itinerary changes can be tricky. More often than not, if you amend your dates or change a name, you’ll need to pay the supplier’s fees. However, when you book with an expert travel management company, they can use their relationship and influence with the airlines, hotels and other suppliers, often securing waivers and favours for you, saving you both money and time.
An experienced Account Manager at a TMC will understand your business’s objectives and will regularly review the performance of your travel programme to ensure it continues to meet them. Your Account Manager will provide you with detailed reports highlighting any missed savings, out-of-policy or last-minute bookings, so you can take action and make positive changes.
When you book your travel online, there’s no personal service. You’re talking to a pricing algorithm, with no recognition that you’re a corporate business, or what your objectives or travel patterns are. This can waste many frustrating hours for your staff, and increase costs for you. However, when you bring an expert travel management company on board, you’ll not only be able to book and save on the cost of business travel, but you’ll get access to highly-skilled travel professionals, including a Dedicated Expert Travel Consultant, detailed account management and the benefit of regular reporting and technology tools designed for booking and managing business travel, and supporting your travellers on the road.
If you would like to learn more about our service offering, special deals with preferred airlines and negotiated hotel fares, please fill out the form below. Our travel experts will be happy to help!