Finding the best travel management company (TMC) for your business can seem very challenging.
Getting the right outcome is crucial for tackling your second-largest controllable expense and looking after your travelling employees. It’s also an emotive subject. Employees don’t care much for what printer they use, but they really care who helps arrange their travel.
Successful TMC selection is all about following a series of basic but critical steps. Time invested upfront to craft a comprehensive request for proposal (RFP) will save so much more time, and money, in the end. Most importantly, a well-planned process will vastly improve your chances of signing the TMC that fits your needs best.
Not sure where to start? Here are 3 recommended steps to follow:
1. Determine who should be involved
Identify who the stakeholders are who will help to plan and write this RFP. Remember, the better the RFP defines your specific requirements, the better the proposals you will receive from prospective partners, so while it’s inconvenient, time-consuming and inconvenient to spend a great deal of resources up front to create the RFP, it will pay off in the long run.
Your RFP should be developed by those who have a vested interest in your travel management, even HR and senior management. Also, consider who will evaluate the proposals and how they will go about doing this. We would recommend a smaller panel of three to four stakeholders: Procurement Manager, Manager Human Resources, Finance Manager and the IT Manager, if system integration is required.
2. Get the right format
A lengthy RFP isn’t necessarily the mark of a successful RFP. Short and simple is best, defining the key requirements of your business. Focus on question quality, not quantity. The key to a really good RFP is to ask questions which prompt creative answers. Or, put another way, focus on questions that each TMC will answer differently, not the ones they will answer the same.
3. Stick to a structured approach
RFPs done properly, take time. Not only to put them together, but for the entire process to run, which includes giving prospective TMC partners enough time to put together a robust proposal that specifically addresses your travel management requirements. The better structured your RFP process, the better the proposal you’ll receive from bidders, and the easier it will be to make the right decision to appoint the right TMC partner to help make your future travel management efforts a success.
To get started with your RFP download your copy of our Step-by-step guide to structuring an effective travel RFP.