What is a travel management company?
Think of the last time you opened up several browser tabs looking for the best deal for your next trip. If it was a business trip, then you were probably concerned about getting a hotel near your job site, client meetings, or the trade show convention center.
This process probably took more than 30 minutes, and you maybe even had some scratch paper in front of you to keep it all straight — and that was just to find your hotel. For some professionals, that’s their job.
Enter the travel management company, an organization that is dedicated to businesses’ travel programs and creating efficiencies in the time and money spent organizing travel.
If you work for an organization or are part of a team that is on the road over 10 business days in a month, you may have an internal travel coordinator that does all of the logistics and booking for you. Or, if you do that same amount of travel or more, your company may have outsourced this function to a travel management company.
Travel coordination may seem like a simple task, but at scale it is an easy place to make or break the bank as far as overhead costs go.
Now there are plenty of solutions in the market that help businesses source good deals on hotels and transportation. But the secret sauce is finding a solution that makes it easy to submit receipts, offers flexible payment options, and helps analyze trends.
Then you can do things like looking at travel spend from a specific department in Q4 of 2018 and work to lower that cost in 2019.
How to evaluate a solution for your business
Be sure you vet the reporting and analytics services of any company or platform you evaluate. It’s always good to know your company’s travel policy and travel data usage before selecting a vendor for your travel management program.
Things like most booked cities, hotel nights, and loyalty program usage are great to track when trying to lower costs and increase satisfaction among your traveling workforce.
Oftentimes, travel policies can be neglected or too complicated, making compliance to your travel program hard to enforce. Before bringing a third-party into the mix, make sure you can actually navigate and manage the policy you put in place.
The benefit of leveraging a free platform like Hotel Engine is that you don’t have to worry about pricing, as we do not operate on price per booking or subscription pricing model. Your Hotel Engine account is totally free. Because of that, our members don’t have to worry as much about business travel expenses during any economic fluctuations or changes in travel company travel activity.
So, you may be able to avoid the expense of paying a travel management company to book and manage your travel if you can find the right technology tools that make it easy for you to do in-house.
Click here to learn more about how Hotel Engine can make booking and managing business travel lodging simpler.
This article was written by Jenifer Weber, Demand Generation Manager at Hotel Engine.