For small businesses and global companies alike, the corporate travel landscape has never shifted so much in such a short period of time. In fact, an astounding 96 percent of travel managers surveyed by SAP Concur felt that their companies were not adequately prepared to tackle the travel problems posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
To successfully navigate this new terrain of unexplored opportunities and challenging pitfalls, businesses must first find the right tools and strategic partners for support. A travel management company (TMC) can provide both of these: innovative tools and expert partnership. Below we’ve outlined six key reasons a TMC is critical to the recovery of your travel program and to helping you meet your business goals.
1. Mitigate Risk and Keep Travelers Safe
Top of mind for most businesses is the safety and wellness of employees. Until your employees feel safe returning to the road, your travel program is limited in its recovery potential. A TMC can help you manage risks and support your program with end-to-end processes to ensure traveler safety.
For instance, Direct Travel has created a Traveler FAQ Information page that guides employees on the road through the new travel journey and outlines the most recent requirements and restrictions. In addition to traveler resources, we offer our clients a proactive risk management solution guided by the 3 C’s of traveler safety: consultative, comprehensive, and consistent. This includes providing:
- Access to traveler mapping dashboard, allowing you to pinpoint your employees and their locations
- Traveler advisory expertise and assistance, helping you stay abreast of the most recent risks
- Traveler wellness information, including links to trusted resources and tips for staying safe on the road
2. Manage Traveler Experience
Establishing clear safety parameters provides a strong base for creating travel experiences that meet the needs and expectations of each and every traveler. Depending on your organization, managing the traveler experience may be contingent on a variety of factors such as employee department, seniority level, and individual needs. A TMC can provide a consistent but flexible approach to creating a smooth and comprehensive experience.
At Direct Travel, we focus on delivering exceptional service and engaging travelers using a range of technologies and methods including:
- Multichannel reservation access via mobile and online technology, including traveler advisor support
- Automated unused ticket management
- 24/7 traveler support, owned and operated by our in-house team
- On demand and instant access to re-print invoices
3. Ensure Compliance to Drive ROI
For well-managed travel programs, strong policies and fostering compliance were a focal point prior to the pandemic. While travel policies may have since changed, compliance is more important than ever. Corporations that manage their travel budgets through a TMC have an average improved compliance rate of 15 percent.
Direct Travel’s exceptional account management team touts more than 25 years of industry experience delivering significant ROIs to our customers. Our account managers have limited portfolios, allowing them to build best-in-class travel programs and drive savings in the process. Through our approach, we:
- Deliver comprehensive service in a set, measure, repeat cycle
- Ensure efficient management of supplier base
- Provide short and long-term business planning
4. Increase Efficiency through Technology
Today’s travel managers will be tasked to do more with less. Many organizations now have smaller support teams or reduced hours while facing added travel restrictions and advisories to evaluate. This is a daunting reality to consider, but investing in the right tools and technology can help streamline workflow.
Your TMC should be able to assess your current travel tech stack and recommend the tools and services you will need to meet the expectations of the new normal. From premier online booking tools to business intelligence and analytics, Direct Travel creates efficiencies and savings for our customers including:
Reduced spend with continuous air and hotel price assurance monitoring prior to departure
Gamification to incentivize travelers buying behaviors
Expertise in supporting top online booking tools and expense integration
Automated traveler messaging to drive compliance, destination information, or supplier optimization
5. Leverage Industry Experience
For small to mid-sized businesses in particular, it is important to find a TMC partner that can utilize their position in the marketplace to provide leverage for your travel program. This may come in the form of added savings, industry connections, or rewards programs.
As an industry leader, Direct Travel holds a strong market position allowing us significant leverage with travel suppliers. Our team explores opportunities that go beyond the booking, providing you with an aerial perspective that surveys the entire scope of your travel program. We’ve got you covered with:
- Discounts on air travel, hotels, and car rentals
- Price assurance to lock in your rate and find added savings as prices fluctuate
- Executive presence on multiple travel supplier boards
6. Explore Consultative Solutions
While the current crisis has presented challenges that extend beyond the control of most businesses, forecasting for the future can strengthen your program against further disruptions. A TMC partner can provide the right tools, expertise, and discipline to optimize your travel spend for the immediate now and anticipate the future.
For Direct Travel’s clients, our consulting arm fulfills that need. Our strategic sourcing team offers a global suite of solutions designed to streamline travel procurement processes and calibrate savings and performance on corporate travel contracts. We consult on a variety of topics such as:
- Air sourcing
- Hotel strategy (RFP management and analytics)
- Rate assurance
- Policy review and development
With the shifting travel landscape still evolving ahead, the right TMC partner can deliver continuity, strategy, and ROI for your business. From consultation and account management to robust services and technology solutions, Direct Travel’s “Whatever It Takes” mission serves as the backbone of our approach. We deliver all-encompassing personalized programs adapted to every client we serve.
Let us show you the value Direct Travel can bring to your corporate travel program—contact us to get started.