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Top 5 Challenges in Choosing a Travel Management Company

Top 5 Challenges in Choosing a Travel Management Company

 

In the market for a Travel Management Company (TMC)? Selecting the right partner can be daunting, considering options available. A good TMC plays a critical role in managing corporate travel, ideally saving you money while keeping your travelers safe and happy. To help you find a partner that truly understands and meets your needs, we’ve outlined five challenges you want to address in choosing a Travel Management Company, along with strategies to find the best match for your business.

  1. Determining Your Own Priorities

Before you wade in too deep, it’s essential to clearly define your organization’s travel management priorities. Is it cost control, traveler safety, convenience, or a combination of all of these? In the discovery phase, engage with key stakeholders, including finance, HR, and frequent travelers, to gather their input and ensure that everyone’s needs are considered. When you establish clear priorities it can serve as a guide for how to best evaluate potential TMCs and make informed decisions.

  1. Getting Alignment with Your Colleagues

Once you’ve identified team priorities, the next step is alignment across your organization. Different departments often have varying needs and perspectives on what is most important. For example, your finance department will prioritize cost savings, while HR may focus on traveler safety and satisfaction. Get discussions on the calendar to align priorities and create a unified approach. Lay the groundwork to choose a TMC that meets the collective needs of the organization and avoid conflicts later.

  1. Finding the Right Technology/Service Fit for Your Business Needs

When choosing a TMC, technology and service are essential. Today, a lot of companies and their travelers prefer self-service options that allow you to manage bookings quickly and efficiently online. Other companies still prefer a more hands-on human travel advisor service for complex itineraries or high-level support. Ensure that the TMC’s technology aligns with your requirements, whether that’s a robust online booking tool with high online adoption or a more personalized service approach. Assess their technology stack, mobile capabilities, and user interface to determine if they meet your standards.


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Though their core message remains the same, Lifeway Christian Resources knew it was time to make some updates to their travel program.

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  1. Is the TMC a good control & savings fit?

Some companies prioritize strict control over travel policies and maximum cost savings, requiring a TMC that will enforce compliance and negotiate the most favorable rates over other considerations. Others may prefer a more flexible approach, trusting travelers to make their own decisions within certain guidelines. A good rule of thumb is to evaluate potential TMCs based on their ability to align with your control and savings goals. Are they too restrictive or too lenient? Do they offer flexible travel policy options you can adjust yourself? And do they provide reporting capabilities to monitor and manage travel policy compliance and expenses effectively? 

  1. Evaluating the Unknown - Let the Buyer Beware

One of the biggest challenges in selecting a TMC is ensuring that what you see and hear during the evaluation process translates into actual performance. To mitigate this risk, follow these three steps:

  • Get Demos: Request comprehensive demos of the TMC’s booking tools, travel policy management, reporting features, and other critical components. Pay close attention to how user-friendly and efficient these tools are. Don’t hold back: ask detailed questions during demos to understand how the TMC handles various scenarios like complex itineraries, unused tickets and meeting travel.
  • Ask for References: Obtain references from the TMC and reach out to their current clients. Ask these clients specific questions about their experiences, such as the responsiveness of customer service, the reliability of the booking tools, and the accuracy of reporting. Sample questions might include: “How quickly does the TMC resolve traveler issues?” “What sort of feedback do you get from your travelers about the booking tool/service?” and “How has the TMC helped you achieve your travel management goals?”
  • Consider asking for a Trial: It’s always a good idea to negotiate a trial period with the TMC. There’s nothing like experiencing services firsthand and assessing a TMC’s performance in real-world situations. During this trial, evaluate responsiveness, the ease and effectiveness of their technology, and the overall satisfaction of your travelers.

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Choosing the right TMC doesn’t have to be painful. If you’re vetting potential TMC’s, we invite you to consider AmTrav. We have over 1,000 delighted customers who have come to rely on our pioneering online business travel booking software and personal service.