A business travel management company provide numerous benefits to large and small businesses. From travel cost savings to arranging multiple itineraries, no company or corporate traveller can afford to bypass the services of a business travel agency, especially if they travel often. But given the huge number of business travel management companies out there, how does one select the right company? Read on to find out.

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What is Business Travel Management?

The function of business travel management is to manage a company’s employee travel needs, the related costs, and adhere to corporate travel policies.

A dedicated business travel management company is responsible for managing all aspects of business travel for the company’s staff, from signing contracts with airlines, hotel chains and car rental companies to arranging other related services. Larger organisations usually employ in-house travel agents while smaller companies outsource their business travel needs to external business travel management companies.

Why Use A Business Travel Management Company?

After salaries and bonuses, travel and its associated expenses are a company’s highest control cost. The function of business travel management for companies is, therefore, of strategic importance.

A business travel management company establishes contracts with airlines and hotels to ensure the employees of a company can always find suitable flights, transportation, and hotel rooms whenever they need them. It is through these agents that companies can get significant travel discounts. This wouldn’t be the case if the corporate traveller booked the flight or hotel room themselves.

How To Select A Good Business Travel Management Company?

Since there are many different business travel management companies out there, you’ll need to determine which agency will meet your company’s specific needs. Below, you will find six essential questions that will help make your selection easier.

1. What Are the Costs and Savings?

Every business travel agency has to charge a fee for its services, but you need to determine how their fees can be offset by the savings you’ll be making through better rates. For most companies, the fees offset against the potential savings and such services prove to be highly worthwhile in the long term, especially if their staff need to travel on business regularly.

Since established business travel management companies have excellent contacts in the travel and tourism industry, they can pass on the discounts on flights, transport, and hotel rooms to your employees. Furthermore, when all your travel needs are being managed by an outsourced agency, your employees can focus on their daily tasks rather than spend their time searching for flights and hotel rooms.

2. Do They Offer Personalisation?

No two companies have the exact same travel needs. For that reason, some business travel agencies provide personalisation services for those companies in specific sectors.

If you operate in a specialised sector, for example in IT, law, non-profit, sales, etc. you need to consider choosing a specialised agency for your corporate travel support. There are also larger agencies that have dedicated departments to cater to your sector.

3. How Experienced Are the Business Travel Management Companies?

Aside from personalisation, you must also consider how often your employees travel and where they travel to. There are corporate travel agencies that only specialise in foreign trips or domestic travel. To select the right one, you must find out whether your employees only travel to local destinations or abroad. If you use a travel management company that doesn’t have adequate experience in managing international travel, you are likely to face problems when it comes to dealing with last-minute itinerary changes, delays, or emergencies. You need a highly experienced travel agent to provide your employees with 24/7 support around the globe.

While there are some small corporate travel agencies that only focus on domestic travel, they may be part of a larger network that can offer you international travel management. This is fine as long as they can still provide you with the same level of support across the network.

4. What Technologies Are Used?

When a company uses cutting-edge technology to offer a service to its clients, it generally reflects well on them. Innovative agencies that keep up with the latest tech trends are more likely to succeed in competitive industries. You’ll want to team up with those agencies that have teams of technology experts who implement smooth user interfaces and intuitive travel booking design.

Every modern business should be automated and streamlined. It’s best to find an agency that takes advantage of the latest tech trends and systems. Make sure you ask them about the global distribution system they use as well as any apps or software they can provide for your business.

5. What Kind of Reporting Do They Offer?

There is more to corporate travel management than simply arranging business travel. The tasks of a business travel management company involve setting goals, making important decisions, and monitoring results on an ongoing basis. In order to establish long-term connections with a travel agency, they must provide you with a strategy that works for both of you.

When you’re searching for the right business travel management company, find out what kind of reporting they have available for their clients and whether you can have access to it whenever you need. The right agency should help you assess the reports and make any modifications, if necessary.

6. Can They Meet Or Exceed Your Expectations?

Finally, you need to make sure the agency you choose will offer you an outstanding service and communication. Before signing the contract, be sure to make your expectations perfectly clear to them. Create a plan for regular meetings and reviews with the business travel management company. You should also outline your business objectives in the service agreement. This can be done in the form of creating specific metrics along with details of your company’s travel policy.

By regularly communicating with your corporate travel agent, you will have a good chance of tracking and monitoring their performance. However, to save yourself the time and hassle of making adjustments aimed at performance improvement, you should opt for a highly reputable and well-established agency with lots of positive customer feedback.

Advantages of Using Business Travel Management Companies

As previously mentioned, companies can benefit from long-term savings when they opt for the services of a corporate travel agency to manage their business travel. But there are many more advantages that you may not be aware of.

The following article, “Travel Management Company: Benefits of Using a TMC Company” provides full details of all the main reasons and benefits of using a business travel company.

How Travel Companies Can Benefit From Business Travel Management Agencies

Travel companies like hotels, airlines and car rentals can increase their bookings significantly if they take advantage of the unique opportunity business travel management companies offer. They can do this by connecting with the same system as the travel management companies: a global distribution system. GDS will help hotels form beneficial relationships with Business travel management companies and thus, attract more corporate travellers.

“Corporate Travel Agents for Hotels to Gain More Business Travellers” is an in-depth article explaining ways business travel management companies can help hotels gain more corporate travellers. The article also reveals a list of the best business travel agencies.

Your business travel agent must not only share your company’s goals and support your staff’s travel needs, but they should also reflect your travel policy. By choosing the best agency, you will save on travel costs and make your business more attractive to suppliers.

More Tips Regarding Business Travel

The corporate travel market is receiving an increased focus from many in the travel industry, partly business travellers often spend more money on their travels, especially when their costs are covered by their employer. However, more importantly, business travel is growing, thanks to factors like globalisation and the availability of flights. In the following articles you find more information about the corporate travel market:

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