Don’t lose out by not using a TMC
5 reasons why you might be losing out by not using a TMC to manage your travel programme
Now, of course, writing this as a specialist sports Travel Management Company (TMC) we’re going to recommend that you use a TMC to manage your travel programme, but the truth is it’s not always going to be the right solution for everyone. That said, if you are heavily investing in corporate and group travel each year there are significant financial and time efficiencies that can be attained from appointing a TMC which would lead to substantial benefits. From our experience here’s where we believe a TMC could, and should, add value to your travel programme and your wider organisation.
- The low rates that a TMC can access
As a team travel specialist, we issue more than 60,000 air tickets per year. As you can imagine, this volume allows us to access group seat benefits and lower rates than if you were just booking a few hundred per year. In addition, the global partnerships that a TMC will have in place will allow for access to partner fare rates. To put this in real-terms, our association with American Express Global Business Travel allows us to access partner fares from over 40,000 suppliers globally, so that’s 40,000 travel partners you could access beneficial rates from.
But the right TMC partner is more than just cheaper rates. Versus internally servicing your travel needs, a TMC significantly lowers your overheads and that’s not just by reducing headcount. For example, if a flight needs cancelling or changing, a common task in travel management, you could have a member of your staff sat on hold for 30-60 minutes for something that could take a TMC five minutes. Even if it were to take the TMC 60 minutes, that is on their time and not staff that you are directly paying for.
A TMC solution will really only work for you if you find the right agency for your needs, for example, we specialise in professional sports teams and media travel, others specialise in the music industry, cultural events and so on. That specialism means that the TMC will understand the nuances of each group movement’s needs as well as your corporate travel schedule requirements. All of this expertise should be second nature and deliver you benefits from day one.
- 24/7 support
Travel can often throw up unexpected situations, from cancelled flights through to natural disasters. Your travellers will want to know that regardless of time back in the UK, they will have the support they need. TMCs are set up to deliver this, no matter the time of day. An issue that might take you several hours to solve internally has probably been experienced before by a TMC, or they will have the global relationships in place to offer multiple solutions in a fraction of the time.
Your TMC partner is appointed to follow a clear Statement of Work which is highly quantifiable and they will have the technology in place to offer immediate, transparent reporting. If anything unexpected occurs whilst travelling it’s the TMC’s job to sort it, and they should do it without being prompted, in line with your organisation’s travel policy. There won’t be the need for an internal resource to be responsible for daily line management and they should regularly meet with you to ensure the level of service is as you expected.
The right TMC shouldn’t just be viewed as a service provider, you should be working with them regularly to ensure that your travel programme and policy is fit for purpose and that you are being serviced in the correct way and through the right tools.
- An extension to your team
We pride ourselves on getting to know our clients and their teams. Many of the clients who started out with us in 1976 are still using us today. A TMC should ultimately be saving you time, resource and worry whilst your team are on the road. They can take care of a vast number of tasks that would otherwise fall on the shoulders of your operations team who, in the midst of an event, may not be able to tackle them appropriately.
So, if you’ve ever considered using a TMC or thought that you could be managing your organisation’s travel needs better, it might be worth revisiting it to see what options are out there. With huge changes recently in technology and the content that TMCs can access, there may be benefits that you previously had not been aware of. As mentioned though, a TMC solution might not be right every workforce or organisational culture so this should be considered before, or when, you look for a TMC partner.
This article was first published by Matt Warren on LinkedIn .
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