I am often asked “what are the benefits of using a Travel Management Company (TMC)?” by business owners. It’s a good question, especially when many businesses believe that their employee’s business travel can easily and efficiently be managed by simply booking flights and hotels online. But, in fact, TMCs provide several business benefits, most of which are beyond what any individual corporate can achieve itself.
Broadly, there are seven distinct advantages of using a travel management company…
1. The ability to book and hold flights. This is a big advantage when you’re unable to confirm your meetings abroad or at home, but, equally, don’t want to lose a low-priced fare. TMCs can select and book the best fare for you and hold it, free of charge, while you finalise plans, dates, meetings, travel companions, etc. This means you can plan your travel to fit in to your business needs; rather than having to squeeze business into restricted travel timeframes.
2. One single account for all travel costs. Instead of having your staff pay for trips on a mixture of corporate and personal credit cards, all payments can be made to one single account. This gives you significant savings when it comes to reconciling all parts of any business trip. From one account, you can see all your flights and hotel bookings, of course; but also your parking fees, car hire, rail fares, taxi bookings, etc. All the costs, from every trip, by every member of staff in one place.
3. Clarity of travel costs. By using a TMC, you can see a detailed breakdown of everything you spend on any trip for any reason; this can include extras such as fees for hold luggage and pre-assigned seating, which have now become accepted payable extras for many corporate travellers. So you will no longer have to guess what individual costs, fees, surcharges and other payments are for.
4. CSR. Using a TMC can make it easier for you to meet your Corporate Social Responsibility commitments. Whatever travel-related aspirations you articulate in your CSR, a TMC can help you measure, manage and deliver against them.
5. Business travellers supported with travel technology. When your staff are travelling on business – either domestically or internationally – many TMCs can provide them with online itineraries and self-booking tools. So your staff are able to access their itinerary at any time and make changes to it when necessary.
6. Travel software investments. When you book through a TMC you can be sure you are speaking with travel consultants who are able to provide the best fares at any time. Not just the fares that are published on-line and on websites. But also private fares, available exclusively to travel consultants through their software systems. And, you have the knowledge that these bookings are checked, validated and confirmed by the TMC, protecting you and your staff from costly admin errors at the airport.
7. Travel expertise. Most TMCs are staffed by experts who are passionate about travel and have plenty of experience. You can benefit from that knowledge each and every time you make a booking through a TMC.
So that’s usually my answer – seven great reasons why any business can benefit from using a TMC to make its travel arrangements. And that’s why more and more businesses are turning to TMCs like Global Travel Management to manage their domestic and international corporate travel.