Deciding whether to manage corporate travel in-house, or whether to appoint a travel management company (TMC) can be challenging. Before you decide, the experts at Corporate Traveller have put together some of the factors you should consider – and they’re not all about cost avoidance.
In an unfavourable economic climate, corporate travel often seems like a soft target and companies may decide to DIY their corporate travel. After all – how hard can it be to manage your own travel?
Calculate the true cost of travel
Companies often don’t realise that there may be hidden costs associated with travel management. It is misleading to add up the direct costs of the tickets, the car rental, and the accommodation without considering all the other cost components associated with travel.
In order to calculate the true cost of travel, think about the value of the time it takes to make the bookings, to cancel or change the arrangements if the traveller’s itinerary changes, and to solve a traveller’s crisis when luggage gets lost. Think about the traveller’s itinerary and how much time he or she spends in transit. Once you start to add up those numbers, DIY travel may start to look a little more expensive than you initially calculated.
Choose the person best equipped for the task
Some companies choose to manage their corporate travel in-house because they believe they know their travellers’ schedules best, and are therefore in a better position to make the travel arrangements themselves. Perhaps. But being able to coordinate a business schedule, and being able to navigate the travel industry are apples and oranges (or sky trains and airplanes).
Travel management companies like Corporate Traveller have a vast number of years in industry experience. They know which time of the day and day of the week they will get the best deals for your travellers, they have longstanding relationships with suppliers and their buying power is used to your advantage – especially if you book large travel volumes too.
In contrast, the in-house travel manager may need to spend hours trawling the internet to book accommodation, tickets, cars, and forex, and by the time the itinerary is approved, the tickets are no longer available and the search begins anew. And time, as they say, is money.
Don’t lose focus
If travel is not going to become your core business, it could become distracting. Think of all the components of travel management, including:
- Travel policy management
- Travel budget approvals
- Making the actual arrangements
- Solving travel emergencies
Even the companies who have moved their travel in-house have realised that they cannot meet the reporting requirements, or provide the traveller support required to meet their duty of care without appointing a TMC.
To help you save time, and simplify the reporting process, Corporate Traveller offers something they call bill backs, where the traveller puts all their travel costs on one bill at the hotel (food, beverage, meeting room hire, etc.), Corporate Traveller pay the bill and invoice the company for the amount (interest free).
In addition, every Corporate Traveller client has access to their travel expert 24-hours a day, meaning there’s someone who knows your itinerary and can assist in an emergency.
Don’t lose your balance
One of the requirements of corporate travel is the balance between fiscal responsibility and travel efficiency. There are so many components to be considered when it comes to travel, and they all have to function together. How do you cater to the traveller’s needs, and still stay within your budget? The company wants to save money, but traveller wants comfort and convenience while they are on the road.
One of the benefits of a TMC is that costs can be fixed and are therefore more predictable. Corporate Travel can be unpredictable, and itineraries can change from day to day. When you have to change a flight, Corporate Traveller absorbs those costs, so getting onto the right flight won’t cost you anything extra.
Don’t get caught in the trap of trying to save money in the short term only to lose out on serious savings in costs and headaches in the long term.