As we are in a digital world, often the first method of research or purchase is usually the internet from booking holidays, cinema tickets or shopping. It can be the same with corporate travel.. Using the internet may seem like the quicker and even cheaper way to book travel. However, organisations who book travel independently face many hidden costs and may even put themselves and their travellers at risk. From the more obvious factors of the time needed to research and book travel, and limited access to the best fares, to the less tangible issues of expense management and duty of care (such as not knowing where employees are in the event of an emergency), there are many areas where a TMC can help not only save you money but also streamline the travel buying process and give you peace of mind.
Take a look at our reasons for using a TMC:
Traveller’s time spent searching for the best flight and hotels options from various sources
Whether you are a Senior Manager in a Financial Organisation or a Buyer in the Fashion Industry, an hour spent browsing the internet has a significant indirect cost, in terms of the work not being done. Furthermore, travel is inevitably a topic of interest for everyone and what was intended to be a ‘quick look-up of a fare’ too often turns out to be an exploration of the possible by more than one member of staff.
The cost and time involved in changes and amendments
Inevitably there are times when you need to cancel or change a ticket. In a recent study for a major NGO, 100% of bookings were changed or amended. Booking with online travel shops and directly with airlines often means you get inflexible tickets, meaning you may end up needing to buy a new ticket or paying high administration charges. Giles Travel has specialist fares which increase the flexibility for travellers and reduce administration charges.
A trained travel consultant can call upon a range of specially negotiated contracts, their experience and systems to find more cost effective fares, especially to less travelled destinations.
Last minute premiums
TMCs enable you to hold a ticket (where conditions allow), meaning you can book earlier, securing a lower price. If you are unable to hold a ticket with an online shop, you can end up paying a higher fare whilst waiting for a trip/meeting to be confirmed.
Budget control – if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it
Travel is typically the largest operating cost to a business after payroll and can be a seven figure sum for major organisations. However smaller organisations need to manage budgets too. Travel booked outside of a TMC is hard to track and therefore hard to understand and effect. A TMC provides an organisation with consolidated management information, enabling budget managers to understand where the money is going, giving them a chance of saving money when times are hard.
Everyone makes mistakes, but it can be expensive if it is your staff who make the mistake that requires new tickets or results in additional fees. Using a TMC provides a level of quality assurance to bookings, reducing costly errors and placing the onus on the TMC to get things right, every time.
Using multiple sources
When you need multiple services (flight, car hire, hotel, visa, rail…) searching for each individually increases the time spent ‘shopping’, as well as potential cost errors and support issues. Buying all the required services from a single source enables travel procurement to be more streamlined.
Duty of care
Perhaps the single most important hidden cost of not using a TMC is that of traveller welfare. If you’re travelling employees have booked privately, rather than through a managed procurement process, then you cannot demonstrate that the traveller was given the correct advice when travelling and, when things go wrong like recently in Mumbai, you are not able to locate or support travellers who may be in those regions. A TMC can provide risk management services that provide pre-trip advice and traveller tracking tools to ensure you fulfil both your legal and moral obligations to travellers working on your behalf.
For more information, contact your Client Relationship Manager.