Onboarding a new TMC

Onboarding a new TMC

Finding the right TMC for growing businesses in Ireland is crucial for your travel programme’s success. But once the selection process is complete, how do you ensure a smooth transition between your current process and old TMC, to your new TMC? And with minimal impact on your travellers?

Implementing a new TMC is a real opportunity to drive improvements in your travel programme, and a chance you want to make the most of.

Over the years we’ve seen what’s worked, what hasn’t and the common mistakes when it comes to TMC onboarding. So, to help Irish businesses remove the pain of change, we’ve gathered our learnings and collated our top tips for a successful TMC implementation.

Six tips for onboarding a new travel management company

1. Engage stakeholders and markets

When onboarding, engaging your regional stakeholders is essential. Depending where you sit in your organisation, you might want to involve departments such as finance, HR and IT. If you are rolling out a TMC in more than one country, you should understand how a country's processes might be slightly different from those in Ireland, and how they will receive the changes. Do you need to consider other languages or cultural differences?

Essentially, you need stakeholders onboard so their needs are listened to, and when it comes to onboarding that they are willing to adopt the change. 

2. Take a wide-angle view

Whether it’s the IT department moving to a new system or Finance changing credit cards, a lot can impact your travel programme. So you need to view the implementation project through a company-wide lens, alongside other changes. By understanding what else is going on across the business, you can work with your new TMC to plan for, and avoid, any potential conflicts before they arise.


3. Manage the process with empathy

It can be easy to think of the onboarding process as primarily focusing on the technical solutions that require design and configuration. But there’s more to it – guiding your entire organisation through the human side of change can often be daunting, challenging and confronting. After all, the changes you are implementing may make business sense, but how ready is your organisation for them? Continuous employee feedback will allow you to manage the process with empathy, while following effective change management principles will help you counter any internal resistance to change.  

4. Keep your success goals in mind

Even the best laid plans can go awry. So whether you have a hard deadline, or have the flexibility to address and alleviate pain points from the get-go, it’s important to have clearly defined success goals from the outset and not lose sight of them amongst the details of the project.

5. Assemble the right people

Onboarding relies on input from multiple departments and stakeholders, from IT and Finance, to HR and executive travel bookers. The most successful implementations have a project lead from within your organisation who can tap into these knowledge sources across the business, feedback and help drive the changes forward.

However, it’s not a one-sided relationship – a good TMC will guide you through the process and undertake much of the onboarding workload. At FCM, our implementation teams comprise technical, project management, and design experts who work cohesively with our clients on the onboarding of their travel programme. Our account managers own the overall customer relationship and act as driver of the various change management activities.

Implementation group

6. Have the building blocks in place

Don’t risk your implementation grinding to a halt by not having the right building blocks in place from the start. A smooth implementation for Irish companies is dependent on reliable and accurate information, so as soon as your TMC selection process is finalised, start assembling the below to share with your new TMC. 

  • Profile data – Have a clear understanding of how your profile data works and how to give it to your new TMC.
  • Forms of payment – Know the various payment methods you currently use, and have a clearly defined way of paying for travel.
  • Legal entity structure – Have a thorough understanding of your legal entity structure and explain it clearly to your TMC; by over-simplifying a complex structure you run the risk of an end-solution that isn’t fit for purpose.

By having these building blocks in place and helping your new TMC get a holistic view of your booking ecosystem, they can start developing solutions that meet your business’ travel needs and success goals.

Discover more about how FCM Ireland is supporting business travel for growing companies