For many companies corporate travel is a key component of running a modern business and one of the largest expenses too. Travel costs need to be carefully controlled, while the logistics need to be handled, so that travellers do not run into difficulties. For this reason, many turn to a travel management company for help. In this article, you will find out more about travel management as a discipline and learn of some of the key benefits a TMC company can offer.
- What is Travel Management?
- 9 Benefits of Using a Travel Management Company
- How to Choose a Travel Management Company
- How Hotels Can Profit From Travel Management Companies
- List of Travel Management Companies
Broadly speaking, travel management refers to the strategic management of travel requirements, with corporate travel management being the main example of this. It typically involves everything from establishing a travel policy, to dealing with vendors, making bookings and helping to monitor and manage travel costs and expenses.
A travel management company is tasked with the job of managing travel for a client. The client will usually be a business or other organisation, but individuals might opt to use a TMC company too in some instances.
Aside from managing travel requirements and handling the logistics, a travel management company will typically aim to save their client time and money too. Their role is broader in scope than with a travel agent, because a travel agent will usually make reservations based on set criteria, whereas a TMC company may help to establish the criteria.
More information about travel management, you can find in the article “What is Travel Management?”.
9 Benefits of Using a Travel Management Company
Travel management companies can be valuable to companies for a wide range of reasons. Some of these are obvious, while others are more easily overlooked. Below, you will find nine of the main benefits associated with using a TMC company to manage your business travel strategy.
1. Cheaper Flights and Hotels
While it is true that a TMC company will require payment for their services, often on a subscription basis or by charging a fee for the services you use, the reality is that they can still save you considerable amounts of money. This is especially true if you travel regularly, or have employees who travel regularly.
A travel management company will have business connections across the entire travel industry, allowing them to gain favourable rates for hotels. They also have the expertise needed to look for cheap flights in the right place and book flights at the right time. As a result, overall travel costs can be significantly reduced.
2. Expert Advice and Insight
Any experienced travel management company will know the travel industry inside out and will have learned some tricks along the way. With this in mind, they will be able to provide expert advice on how to best spend your money, what the best travel routes are, and what you need to know before you visit certain destinations.
In many cases, businesses will work with a TMC company that specialises in dealing with clients in the same industry as them. This can be extremely useful, as some industries have very specific or nuanced travel needs. Prior experience can help the travel management company to optimise your travel strategy and steer you away from common pitfalls.
3. 24/7 Help and Support
Another great thing about working with a travel management company is the availability of support. With most companies, this will be available around the clock, or close to it. This means that if something goes wrong, if you need to make a sudden change, or if you need urgent advice, there will be someone on hand to help you.
Without using a travel manager, you will need to handle any issues with travel internally. This could mean you struggle to find support outside of your core business hours, or that you are personally responsible for providing support for every corporate traveller in your organisation, even if they need help at unsociable hours.
4. Assistance With Travel Policies
Business travel should be as consistent as possible, but you also need to keep travelling employees happy and safe. For these reasons, it is imperative that you establish a travel policy. With a clear policy in place, everyone knows where they stand, acceptable and unacceptable behaviours can be outlined, and rules on expenses can be established.
Not only can a travel management company assist you with creating a robust policy, they will also be able to help to enforce it, such as by only recommending travel options that meet all of the requirements.
5. Consolidated Reporting
When it comes to reporting of your travel expenses, most travel management companies will consolidate information into a single report, helping to bring the important information together in one place. This then makes it easier to keep track of your travel expenses and identify whether or not your spending in this area is too high.
In addition to consolidating reporting in this way, the best corporate travel management experts will go the extra mile, helping you to actually analyse the information in your reports, so you can make adjustments to your strategy.
6. Travel Alerts or Warnings
With many businesses, once travel is arranged, it is put out of mind until nearer the time. However, with a travel management company, any travel plans can be more actively monitored and managed. One of the ways this manifests is through the use of travel alerts or warning messages, which are sent to flag up important information.
For instance, alerts may be sent if there is disruption on the planned travel route, allowing you to prepare for all eventualities. Finding out this information in a timely manner can also provide huge financial benefits.
7. The Use of Modern Technology
It is important to understand that a modern travel management company will provide you with the necessary tools and systems to book your travel easily. This could, for example, mean they will provide you with computer software, or a mobile app, which will allow you to submit your travel plans or requests at any time of the day.
The use of cutting-edge technology enables far greater efficiency in this area. If you are managing travel arrangements yourself, the entire process can take up a significant amount of time. By contrast, using a mobile app or computer software package to make a request to your TMC company can usually be done in a few short minutes.
8. Greater Peace of Mind
Travel management can be complicated and it is surprisingly easy to overlook something, whether it is sorting out visa requirements, making sure business travellers have the right medical coverage, or organising airport transfers. A key benefit of working with a TMC company is the peace of mind it affords.
Your chosen business travel agency will work with you to understand your needs and then make sure everything is taken care of. Their expertise in the field makes it far less likely that anything will be accidentally overlooked.
9. More Time For Other Tasks
Finally, a major reason why so many organisations turn to a travel management company is because it frees up more of their time, which can then be spent on other tasks that are crucial to business success. Travel management is a multi-faceted discipline, and finding the cheapest flights, the best hotels and arranging transfers all takes time.
Not only will a high-quality TMC company be able to handle these responsibilities on your behalf, they also have existing business relationships with vendors, offering them much faster access to the best possible rates.
There are a number of important factors to consider when trying to find the right travel management company. On a basic level, you want to find a company with relevant experience and an established reputation for delivering excellent service. You also need to know that they can tailor their services to your business.
When possible, it is advisable to work with a TMC company that has prior experience in your industry. It is also best to try to establish a corporate travel policy first, before starting the search process. Your chosen company will eventually be able to help you to optimise this, but having a basic policy in place will help you find the right fit.
You need to give consideration to your budget and find a company that will deliver what you need at an affordable price. At the same time, it is important to work with a high-quality company, which uses the latest technology. You will also want assurances that the company will be available to offer support either 24/7 or close to it.
Frequent corporate travel can be expensive and complicated to manage, especially when juggling multiple business travellers, each with their own unique itineraries. For this reason, many companies acquire the services of travel management companies or corporate travel agents. Essentially, these agents then take over responsibility for arranging and managing business travel, including making bookings. Any hotel looking to fully capitalise on business travel will, therefore, need to make themselves as available as possible to these travel management companies.
A corporate travel agent may be responsible for finding accommodation, flights and other forms of transportation and will typically turn to a global distribution system (GDS) to assist them with these tasks. For hotels, this means the main GDS systems function as a vital distribution channel. By connecting to these global distribution systems, you can provide travel agents with access to the most up-to-date information about your room rates and current availability. This then increases the chances that they will book rooms in your hotel, helping you to maximise revenue.
In the article “Global Distribution System (GDS): What Are the Benefits for Hotels?” you will learn more about the top GDS systems and how they can help your hotel to benefit from travel agents and travel management companies.
List of Travel Management Companies
Since travel management companies organising business trips and events for the employees of companies, hotels can create the possibility to attract more corporate travellers by making their property available to multiple TMC companies. In the article “Corporate Travel Agents for Hotels to Gain More Business Travellers”, you will find a list of popular travel management companies.
A travel management company can assist individuals and businesses by helping to manage their travel requirements. With a typical TMC company taking on tasks like contacting travel companies, negotiating with hotels, arranging flights and providing extra support, businesses can save money and spend more time on their day-to-day operations.
More Tips Regarding Corporate 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:
- Travel Management Companies: How to Choose One?
- Tips to Attract More Corporate Travellers to Your Hotel
- The Latest Business Travel Trends Business Travellers Desire