Sending people out into the world is pretty complicated. You need to make travel arrangements, keep travellers safe, and reconcile all the expenses, all the while keeping spending down as much as possible. And that’s simplifying quite a bit. Travel Management Companies (TMCs) partner up with businesses to help them manage and control their travel programs. TMCs have the infrastructure and the experience to navigate all things travel, so their clients can focus on getting their own work done.
The first thing that comes to mind about business travel is probably, well, booking business travel. In the past, you’d have to book your trip with an agent over the phone, and you still can! Nowadays, TMCs put booking into the hands of travellers, by providing them access to an Online Booking Tool (OBT). Instead of having travellers scour the internet looking for deals on flights and hotels, OBT’s provide them with a single hub to view offers from multiple sources, with the freedom to choose what’s best for them and the company.
Through their longstanding relationships with airlines, hotel chains, and car rental companies, TMCs are able to secure deals and discounts for their clients. That means the fare prices you see on the OBT include exclusive offers which might get you better value than a publicly available option.
A lot can happen while travelling: delays, cancellations, unfortunate mix-ups, and entirely unpredictable phenomena. Even the most experienced traveller can find themselves in a situation where they need some help, and waiting on hold with an airline for three hours isn’t usually the most pleasant experience. TMCs maintain teams of dedicated agents, so travellers can call in for any kind of support, from basic questions to urgent solutions. Agents are travel experts who are well-acquainted with common industry roadblocks as well as the best ways around them. They also have access to direct points of contact with vendors, saving you all that time spent on hold, and ensuring that you make it wherever you need to go.
Duty of Care
Every company is responsible for their travellers’ wellbeing, but that obligation can be pretty tough to uphold if they have no idea where those travellers are. TMCs make duty of care a lot easier for companies, which in turn makes things much safer for travellers. All reservations done through an OBT produce an itinerary. While an itinerary is obviously useful for you, it’s equally important for the company, as they know where you’re going, through which vendors, and when. Some TMCs also have traveller tracking services in place, so if you find yourself in an emergency situation, it’ll be much simpler for your company to find you and get you out of it.
Travelling for business involves a lot of spending: airfare, hotels, car rental and other ground transport, food and entertainment, and more. All that spending produces a lot of receipts, and it can be a real hassle to gather them all together. That’s why TMCs provide reconciliation services, automatically compiling and totaling all purchases made through the OBT, as well as allowing for the digital uploading of loose receipts.
TMCs aren’t just working to save your company money. In fact, it isn’t even their primary goal. TMCs do what they do to make sure travellers accomplish the purpose of their trip, while staying comfortable and safe, and without unnecessary complications.