There is no denying that booking travel online helps with cost, control and duty of care. So it should come as no surprise that online bookings are now the main way to book business travel. But not all online transactions are the same.
Many believe that by booking directly with the likes of Skyscanner, Expedia and on suppliers websites they are achieving the lowest cost. The truth is that business travellers and bookers may be missing the real value of booking through a Travel Management Company (TMC).
Do-it-yourself rather than using a professional service provider presents some challenges like home DIY. The allure of doing it yourself can appear attractive to the enthusiastic amateur, offering a lower cost option and the feeling of accomplishment. However, the amateur’s lack of knowledge or expertise might result in the exact opposite.
This helpful guide explains why using a TMC is the difference between doing it yourself and doing it right.
An online TMC can deliver the content your company wants and needs. A bespoke Online Booking Tool from a TMC can include or exclude suppliers based on commercial partnerships or duty of care criteria. Content from recognised travel retailing sites such as Booking.com and Expedia alongside direct airline content provides confidence to the end user that they’re securing the best price.
A consolidated payment solution can offer significant time savings for your finance team. Whether you opt for credit card payments, or an invoiced solution with up to 45 day credit terms it takes the hassle out of long outdated processes.
A Helping Hand
Things don’t always go to plan, we get that. Plans can change, you miss a flight or travel disruptions out of your control can occur meaning you need to rebook at a moments notice. Over the past quarter, 50% of bookings made with us have either changed or need a refund. As we unfold out of COVID-19, this will be a continuous theme. a TMC can help deal directly with suppliers to alleviate these issues.
Compliance to your travel policy leads to cost savings. By providing a system to your bookers that only includes options within your policy, you ensure adherence at all times. This is nearly impossible if bookers are using different channels continuously and can create additional admin work.
Duty of Care
Knowing your travellers are safe at all times is crucial and can be difficult with self booking. TMC’s can make this a reality by combining robust human procedures with innovative technology. In times of crisis they can swiftly locate anyone affected and get them home quickly and safely.
While travellers experience and satisfaction is important you need to ensure that you maximise value from your travel spend. a TMC gets to know your travel programme through data which then allows them to leverage your total spend volume to get you better rates directly with suppliers.
Data is the basis of better business travel. What better way to tackle that data than by having your own dedicated team to help you make sense of it all?
A TMC will provide you with an Account Manager who will become an extension of your own organisation and are there to enhance your travel programme.
Your dedicated Account Manager will deliver you a live management information platform using an online reporting system. They will share reports with you that can either be accessed online or via monthly PDF reports that are sent to each of the budget holders across the company.
This level of detail and visiblity is not something which can be easily replicated when booking travel on various channels by yourself.
By using a TMC and one online booking tool you can book your business travel at your own convenience; from your smartphone on the go, or on your laptop in the office. It also cuts down on paperwork and process for your finance team too.
Time is Money
While you can find a flight or hotel room at a good price using a metasearch engine or online travel agency you may not be finding the best options and rates and can take the booker a lot more time. This time could be spent fulfilling their role within the business and the booking comes with no guarantee that it is within your travel policy creating the possiblity of a refund or change.
Your travel policy should be an ever evolving document, a TMC will guide, steer and manage for you. All while managing your travel programme to drive enhancements across value, safety, sustainability and service.
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