With domestic business travel on the rise, now is the best time to consider your future business travel programs. However, business travel management can be a disaster waiting to happen, especially for larger companies with hundreds of employees. However, hiring a personalized travel management company (TMC) can take control of your company’s particular business travel needs.
What Is A Travel Management Company?
TMCs are specialized travel agencies that assist in managing an organization’s corporate or business travel program. A TMC can help with:
- Establishing a travel policy
- Dealing with vendors
- Making bookings
- Managing travel costs and expenses
The critical difference between a TMC and a travel agency is that TMCs work directly with businesses to analyze and streamline all aspects of their existing travel programs, as opposed to travel agencies that primarily assist clients with booking business travel.
The short answer — TMCs help manage corporate travel in a way that emphasizes efficiency and the human element.
The more complex answer is that it depends on your company’s business travel management needs. TMCs do more than just make flight or hotel reservations. They can develop corporate travel policies, manage finances, handle all travel logistics, and provide customized service. Corporate travel management improves nearly every aspect of business travel.
Here Are Just Some Of The Responsibilities Held By A Travel Management Company:
1. Create and Manage Travel Itineraries
TMCs assist with travel preparations, including flight reservations, ticketing, and advice on best fares. If you book directly through an airline, you’re likely to get charged higher fees if you wish to change your itinerary. A TMC can make the changes for you without any extra charges.
2. Find the Best Price
TMCs can find the best possible rates and even negotiate with different service providers on your behalf. They have the expertise in handling the task of negotiation and can find you the best rate — one you might not have been able to get yourself.
3. Arrange Suitable Accommodation
As a busy business owner, you don’t have the time to scour sites to find the best accommodation for your employees. A travel management company looks for all the available accommodation options within your budget and makes the best choice for you.
4. Arrange for Transportation
Transportation is essential to getting your employees safely from one location to another. A TMC can book your transportation needs well in advance, including rental car hire, airport transfer, and train or bus tickets.
5. Organize Meetings and Events
Planning events and conferences can be time-consuming and complex. TMCs can organize meetings and events to help you reduce costs and make your business events more successful.
6. Control Travel Costs and Policy Compliance
A travel management company will take control of tracking and reporting your company’s travel-related expenses. They can also work with you to understand your business travel management needs and customize a corporate travel policy that meets those requirements.
7. Provides Duty of Care Support
A TMC will provide a duty of care to ensure your employees’ safety and that the proper procedures and travel policies are in place and understood. They will provide 24/7 support to your employees by monitoring delays, disruptions, and any special requests.
What Are The Benefits Of Using A TMC For Planning Business Trips?
1. Reduce Costs
Business trips are a high cost for any company, domestic or abroad. TMCs are more likely to focus on cost savings while ensuring your employees remain safe.
2. Assistance With Travel Policies
Your business must establish a travel policy for corporate travel risk management and keeping your employees happy and safe. With a clear policy, everyone knows what is acceptable and unacceptable. TMCs can assist you with creating a robust policy that meets all of your requirements.
A travel management company can make your entire booking process much smoother than if you were to do it in-house. This is especially true for larger companies with more employees than you can count.
4. Expert Advice
Working with travel experts can give you access to corporate rates, partnership perks, and expert account management. If you like saving money, hiring a TMC is how to do it.
5. 24/7 Help and Support
Travel plans don’t always go the way you want them. TMCs provide rapid 24/7 service to help you with business travel management when you need it the most.
6. Greater Peace of Mind
Travel management is often considered an uncomplicated process. But it’s surprisingly easy to overlook something important such as visa requirements or ground transportation when you are coordinating dozens or hundreds of trips per year. A travel management company takes care of everything that needs to be prepared before, during, and after with special attention and quality of services.
Why Do I Need Corporate Travel Management?
Your company may rely on an in-house team for all of your corporate travel management. They may also expect employees to plan their own trips. That doesn’t mean all your business travel needs are completely met, however.
With the best service, hassle-free programs, any-time support, and more, a boutique travel management company can make business travel a breeze.
Benefit from Professional Expertise
Your company likely has experienced professionals for business travel management. A TMC has the expertise to make their jobs more efficient.
The right corporate travel management company offers comprehensive training to ensure all users feel comfortable with the new system. Your staff can learn from videos or one-on-one training sessions.
Save Employee Time
Employees should focus on their jobs, not travel arrangements. With everything that goes into planning a trip, employees lose hours of their time making the necessary arrangements. It’s even worse for multiple trips!
This approach wastes valuable time that employees could use to focus on more lucrative tasks such as conversing with clients or preparing for their meetings while traveling. A travel management company can help you reclaim your team’s productivity.
Around-the-Clock Support for Business Travel Needs
Business travel management needs don’t stop once the last booking is made, and the best travel management companies understand that. For this reason, you must work with a company that’s available 24/7.
TMCs can help monitor for potential flight delays or other types of travel disruptions and adjust accordingly. This also means they’re available to initiate and track two-way communication in case of travel emergencies.
Increase Your Data and Resources for Decisions
The right travel management company has been around for decades. They’ve spent this time closely analyzing travel trends and fluctuations as well as storing that data for ongoing use.
This means that a TMC doesn’t just bring you knowledge, but it brings you far resources than you could acquire within your company alone. This means less time and stress spent making the best arrangements.
Optimize the Business Travel Budget
A business travel budget is one of the most important considerations in corporate travel. A travel management company can optimize the budget by providing:
- More planning time
- Extensive resources
- Travel industry business connections
- Unused ticket tracking
- Monitor spending
- Price negotiation
While the services of a travel management company come at a cost, they’re more than offset by the benefits. These benefits include a combination of travel savings, refocused employee time, access to greater resources, and dedicated agents for your team.
Improve Compliance With Corporate Travel Policies
Without adequate corporate travel policies, tracking travel expenses is complex and strenuous. This can affect a company’s ability to maintain compliance with its policies and remain within budget.
A travel management company keeps everything in one place so noncompliance isn’t even an option. Since management companies learn preferences and habits, employees don’t have to sacrifice comfort for compliance.
Consolidate Travel Expense Reports
Even when the business travel is complete, the work is far from over. Finance teams still need to procure the relevant data for all the corporate travel expenses and reconcile the numbers with credit card statements. This can be challenging when dealing with multiple expense sources.
Instead of compiling numbers from multiple reports from multiple employees and booking platforms, a corporate TMC can translate all expenses into one report. This makes for better business travel budget planning.
The Right Corporate Travel Management Company
A boutique TMC can optimize your business travel budget, meet your business travel needs, and help consolidate data. The investment more than pays for itself with these outcomes and more.
When selecting a TMC to manage your business travel, there are some key things to look for:
- Smooth booking process
- Access to a range of carriers and products
- Built-in approval process
- Reporting on travel spend
- Personalized services
Your travel management company should integrate the right travel technologies for your business travel management. For example, the right software can help you stay in touch with your travelers and monitor any potentially dangerous situations.
All TMCs are unique, and it’s essential to find one that’s a good fit. Telios can keep you within your budget, set up a travel policy, provide attentive service, find the most efficient logistics solution to get your employees from point A to point B.