Our world is shrinking. Technology advancements continue improving the relative ease with which companies expand corporate footprints and extend their sphere of influence beyond traditional borders. For many companies, this ever-increasing trend towards globalization pushes the agenda for a consolidated, global travel policy. Although this shift may be necessary to control costs and provide duty of care for business travelers, does it necessitate abandoning a long-held relationship with your regional travel manager in favor of a manager with a global reach? There are pros and cons to both sides.
Why Choose a Global Manager? – When a company chooses a global travel management firm, there are certain benefits they are hoping to realize. Although cost reductions are a consideration in making this shift, they are not always achieved and, are not usually the primary driver for making this change. In reality, companies are seeking to improve the overall efficiency of their travel programs and reduce liability by increasing their level of service and taking additional steps to provide for travelers’ safety and security. Global travel management firms are equipped to provide information on the location of traveling employees throughout the world and notify a company if events arise that may affect travel plans. Additionally, if international travel plans are disrupted, a global manager is better able to provide alternate arrangements that will keep employees on schedule, or as close to it as possible. Global managers may also have a more in-depth knowledge of travel regulations on a country-by country-basis, which improves the ease and safety of employee travel.
Reasons for a Regional Manager – Although international travel is on the rise for many companies, the frequency of domestic travel is still far greater. Regional managers oftentimes have the relationships and local knowledge that enables them to provide a higher level of service and continuity of care for domestic travel. From negotiated rates on local hotels to knowledge of available and cost-effective ground transportation for employees, there is no substitute for local relationships and experience. Additionally, regional managers may be better able to provide travelers with alternate arrangements, should an issue arise necessitating a last-minute workaround.
Consider “And” Instead of “Or” – While it is true that many business decisions are Boolean in nature, there may be more than one acceptable choice to make when it comes to the choice of a global vs regional travel manager. In many cases, best-of-breed regional travel managers, such as AmTrav, have formed highly effective partnerships with global managers to provide for the international travel needs of their clients. A company is still able to enjoy all the benefits of a fully global manager as well as the local care and expertise of their regional travel manager. When choosing this option, the partnership is often seamless, as the regional manager still functions as the primary point of contact for the client. Before your company engages in the costly and time consuming process of evaluating alternate travel firms, talk to your current regional travel manager about global partnerships and their ability to deliver these services to your traveling employees.
By: Denise D.