5 tips for managing your TMC more effectively
The value of working with a TMC can be quantified in many ways, from cost savings, user satisfaction and traveller safety to time-saving processes, greater visibility of spend and even employee engagement.
Twenty-first century travel management is about trusting travellers to book using an approved process and policy, and making it simple for them to do so. It is about allowing travellers to see what they’re allowed to spend and making informed choices based on those options, all the while giving finance visibility of how and where company money is being spent. Finally, it is about creating a process that works and meets everyone’s needs.
So, where does the TMC fit in, and how can travel managers ensure they leverage maximum value from its TMC relationship? Here are five tips to ensure those outcomes:
Set clear and realistic objectives. These might include reducing the average hotel room rate, increasing online adoption or making your travel spend more visible. By limiting the number of objectives you should begin to see the returns fairly quickly, giving you a platform on which to build.
Involve everyone from the beginning. Engage with all key stakeholders to ensure the objectives you set your TMC meet the needs of the entire business. Keep nothing from them, and stay in close contact with the TMC implementation manager. Above all, keep the wider business involved throughout the implementation period.
Be open to new ideas and suggestions from the TMC. Your travel management company's knowledge and experience with other client organisations will deliver cost and time savings, especially when it comes to driving online adoption or driving travel policy compliance. For example, new tools – often powered by Artificial Intelligence - are being developed all the time to improve and personalise the traveller experience; your TMC can ensure those tools are accessible to your travellers in a secure online environment.
Modernise your processes. Getting maximum value from your TMC will be impossible if your travel policy and approval workflows are cumbersome or don’t provide a wide enough options for travellers to meet their business and personal needs.
Be flexible. Working with a TMC doesn’t mean not working closely with your suppliers. Having a flexible policy also enables your TMC to take advantage of the special deals that crop up without taking travellers outside policy.
Above all, the key to a successful TMC relationship lies in ensuring that the goals of customer and supplier are completely aligned. Your TMC should be a perfect fit for your organisation; able to save you time and money; provide 24/7 support if required; help drive policy compliance among your travellers and provide the right combination of technology and human support.