Working with a Travel Management Company (TMC) with strong partnerships within a robust global travel network ensures that your company will have access to the services it needs, when it needs them, no matter if you’re working with a small or large TMC.
Here’s what you need to look for in your TMC’s global travel network.
The Importance of Partnerships in the Travel Space
The importance of partnerships and creating a global travel network is more important than ever, given today’s turbulent travel landscape. As travel trends shift and evolve, so do your needs as a company. Whether you just started working with a TMC or have worked with a TMC (or multiple TMCs) for years, it’s important to partner with a TMC that will likely shift and evolve to meet those needs.
But how can TMCs — particularly smaller TMCs — provide all the resources your company and its Travelers require at a moment’s notice? By establishing a strong global travel network of partners.
Smart TMCs understand that strategic partnerships are advantageous to everyone in the equation, from the individual Traveler all the way up. To best serve their clients, they need to look at how partnerships can prove not only strategic and lucrative for the TMC but also for the client — you. These partnerships pool resources, knowledge and tools, allowing everyone to benefit.
What is an Affiliate Network Partner Program for a TMC?
Often, one of the best and easiest ways for a TMC to build its global travel network is by joining an affiliate network partner program. But what is an affiliate network partner program, and how does it benefit you as a TMC client?
An affiliate network partner program allows TMCs to better customize — whether that means expanding or narrowing — their suite of services to meet client needs that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to serve on their own. As part of one of these programs, TMCs can lean on expertise and resources that others may prove better equipped to provide.
The benefits for you? As your travel needs change — maybe you open a new office on a new continent, or you begin to scale for the first time — you’ll still be able to work with the same TMC you’ve already been working with and know and love. However, you’ll also be able to enjoy services you might not have had access to in the past, services that you might otherwise only have been able to obtain from other, larger providers.
You get the personal, familiar service of your TMC, but you get the big benefits of working with a global travel network. In the end, it means easier travel and more comprehensive service for your company’s Travelers.
Introducing JTB Business Travel’s New Affiliate Network Partner Program
If all of the above sounds like exactly the kind of service you want from your TMC — that personal touch but also the wealth of resources you can only get with a large global travel network — there’s good news. If your TMC currently partners with JTB Business Travel, they can now join the newly announced FlexConnect, a Global Affiliate Partner Program.
This program is designed with small TMCs in mind, giving them access to a wealth of resources and tools so that they can better serve clients like you. TMCs who join the affiliate partner program gain access to a global fulfillment network with a footprint in 20 countries, a larger supplier network, best-in-class technologies, 24/7 support and even negotiation support.
JTB general manager and vice president Geert de Boo told Business Travel News in a recent article, “It’s a confusing time for the smaller players in the TMC space, and we can provide dedicated travel technology support to help them.”
He added, “Particularly in the SME space, there’s much more of a need for what we call a cafeteria approach, where there may be particular needs but not others… Maybe there’s a need for global fulfillment but not on the supplier or technology needs, or it could be the technology needs, particularly with [New Distribution Capability].”
Accordingly, if you’re an SME, working with a TMC that’s a part of this program is even more of a benefit to you, allowing you to enjoy a level of service that’s typically only available to large enterprises with large TMC budgets.
Is Your TMC Fulfilling All Your Needs? Having a Global Travel Network Matters
With affiliate partner programs like these available to TMCs, if you’re not seeing the associated benefits from your TMC, it might be time to ask if your TMC is fulfilling all your needs.
There are certain qualities that your TMC should offer. Your TMC should be…
- Experienced in their space, so they know how to deal with a range of travel issues that arise.
- Agile enough to continue to serve your needs in the face of travel issues.
- Available to provide support no matter where your Travelers are.
- Tech-savvy enough to provide your team with the latest business travel planning and management tech.
- Flexible enough to meet your needs.
- A good fit for your company’s culture and priorities.
- Data-driven so that they know how to best serve your needs based on the data.
- And comprehensive, providing a large range of services.
However, it can be difficult for a small TMC to provide all of the above on their own — but that’s again where a global travel network and affiliate partner programs come in.
These programs can make up for where your TMC may be currently lacking, allowing them to become more agile and flexible as they work to meet your needs. In some cases, these partnerships also bolster data and tech offerings for new resources and tools that can amplify your organization’s business travel experiences and management.
Are You a TMC Ready to Connect with a Global Travel Network?
Establishing a global travel network via affiliate partner programs benefits both TMCs and their clients.
Learn more about the FlexConnect Global Affiliate Partner Program to see how it could help you better serve your clients, as well as provide greater stability within an uncertain travel environment. Get in touch for more details now.