You know you need a travel management company, but what do you need to know next? Here are five things you need to know about your company and their services before signing a contract:
- You: Travel Policy
First off, before you even start looking for a business travel agency, you need to start looking at your company’s business travel policy. If you don’t have one, you need one. If you have one, well, it’s probably out of date. A travel management company can help you with refining it, but before you reach that step, it pays to take some time to review it yourself. Is it too vague? Too complicated? Too restrictive? There are a lot of variables, so have a clear idea of what your policy needs to achieve and go from there. Know what you’re willing to compromise on and what you’re not.
- You: Travel Data
When, where, and how often are your employees traveling? Are their trips overnight, extended stay, or a mix of both? This data can help you identify what to prioritize and when to compromise. Then there are traveler preferences—are your employees all over the map with rewards programs, or are they sticking to hometown favorites? Some habits may be hard to change, others easier. A good travel management agency can not only help you figure out which is which, but put in the work needed to make the changes.
- Them: Pricing
When it comes to pricing, whether paying per transaction or setting up a subscription works best will depend on your company’s travel needs. Either way, make sure what’s included and what’s not is spelled out to your satisfaction. As for the travel costs themselves, know whether the agency will always go with the lowest rate or whether they give preference to certain suppliers. Do they offer the same level of service for domestic and international travel? And can they grow with you, providing a smooth transition from a transaction-based plan to subscription pricing?
- Them: Traveler Support
Booking is just one aspect of travel management – integration and support are key. A travel management company that can’t integrate with your existing systems will be more trouble than they’re worth, and the cheap option isn’t so cheap when plans change. Instead of leaving you stuck navigating a system you’re not familiar with, Amtrav’s platform provides all of their clients with in-house, 24/7 support that includes direct lines to agents that won’t leave you on hold.
- Them: Account Management
Does the agency you’re considering provide account management, or are they just travel agents? Travel planning experience does not always translate into travel management expertise. Are their services cobbled together from third-party vendors, or do they take responsibility for everything in-house? A true travel management company can offer much more than booking, including strategies for reducing your travel spend and helping you refine your travel policy to make it more flexible and responsive.
By: Erin C.