If you’re wondering why to use a travel management company, discover the many benefits partnering with one can deliver.
When you’re just getting started with business travel, you may encounter the term “travel management company,” or TMC for short. Why use a travel management company? There are many benefits that companies discover when they partner with a TMC.
To help you accelerate your journey into business travel. Here’s a look at the motivations behind business travel as well as the benefits of working with a TMC.
What is Business Travel?
Business travel is when an employee leaves his or her primary office to work elsewhere. This can include short trips, like leaving your home in Los Angeles to visit a prospective client in San Diego. And this can include long trips, like flying from Chicago to London for meetings with your company’s UK office.
Americans make more than 400 million long-distance business trips each year, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Those trips account for about 16% of all long-distance travel. What motivates companies to send their employees on these journeys?
There are a number of reasons to travel for business:
- Closing Deals: It’s common to close large and important deals in-person.
- Exploring New Markets: Companies looking to expand into new markets will visit them to explore the conditions on the ground and to conduct research.
- Internal Meetings: In an age of remote work, companies may ask employees to travel for internal meetings or other collaboration events.
- Prospecting: Organizations often attend expos to display their products and/or services and to find prospective clients.
- Education: Companies may ask employees to travel to conferences where they can learn more about trends and best practices in their functional areas.
- Visiting Existing Clients: Account managers and others may regularly visit their largest clients. They can check in on them, to take them out for a meal or drink, and generally to show gratitude for their business.
These are just several examples of reasons why companies may ask employees to travel. There are countless motivations for workers to leave their primary offices for several days at a time.
Who Manages Corporate Travel?
The actual people who manage travel fall into two categories: internal and external.
Internally, a company may use someone in the human resources department to help book trips for Travelers and otherwise manage the travel program. Companies with more intensive travel schedules may have a dedicated Travel Manager or someone who arranges travel for employees.
Companies also work with third parties to manage travel. Organizations can completely outsource their travel to a third party. But it’s more often a hybrid approach where someone internal (like a Travel Manager) works in tandem with a third-party (like a TMC).
Why Use a Travel Management Company?
As you explore business travel for your company, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the many tasks and responsibilities associated with managing travel. That’s why so many organizations choose to work with a TMC.
TMCs work with everything from small businesses with limited travel needs to large enterprises with enormous travel budgets.
These companies choose to work with TMCs because of the many benefits a third-party management company can deliver, including:
- Greater efficiency: A TMC can help the business and its Travelers do everything faster and more efficiently. You have a team of travel experts in your corner so that your employees can focus on doing their work.
- Lower costs: TMCs often have access to discounts that aren’t available to just anyone. They can also help organizations negotiate favorable contracts with vendors.
- Managed risk: Risk management is how companies live up to their duty-of-care responsibility to keep employees healthy and safe while away from the office. Many TMCs offer risk management services that help companies live up to that responsibility.
- Comprehensive policies: It’s hard to create a comprehensive travel policy from scratch. TMCs can help your organization develop a travel policy that meets both the company’s needs and the needs of its Travelers.
- Technology implementation: The right technologies can help you maximize your investment in business travel. A TMC can help you identify and implement the right technologies for your organization.
- Custom reporting: Optimizing travel spend is only possible when you have access to your travel data. TMCs can help you accrue and analyze your travel data so you can optimize your program.
- Assistance with trip disruptions: Things happen during business travel. A weather event might close an airport, for example, or mechanical issues may delay a flight. TMCs can step in and help when those disruptions occur.
As noted in the previous section, TMCs often work with a Travel Manager or another point person at their clients’ companies to get the most out of business travel. For example, a TMC may develop a system for custom reporting. Then a Travel Manager will present data to executives when making important travel-related decision. Or a Travel Manager may work with internal parties to create a travel policy. Then a TMC will review the policy and make recommendations on how to improve it.
Looking for the Best TMC?
If you’re looking for a TMC, you’ll find two different payment structures. Some TMCs will charge fees for booking and other activities, which can quickly add up and make your travel program more expensive. Others create inclusive contracts at a fixed cost so that they can serve as a true resource to their clients without worrying about expensive fees.
At JTB Business Travel, we take the latter approach of creating inclusive contracts that allow us to serve as a true resource to our clients. We help the companies maximize their spend on business travel, while also ensuring Travelers enjoy the most productive and comfortable trips possible. Behind everything we do is a common-sense approach to business travel.
Contact us today to discover what we can do as your TMC.