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The 2022 guide to corporate travel management

7 MIN READ

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What is a travel management company?

Global business travel industry spending was expected to hit USD 1.7 trillion by 2022, and despite the crisis, business travel is bouncing back fast. It means many businesses are now looking for a TMC: Travel Management Company so that they're as prepared as can be for when business travel returns to 100%.

A travel management company is essentially a travel agent or travel agency for corporate travel needs. As technology evolves, we're beginning to see more personalized TMC solutions providing so much more than the ability to only book travel. Business travel programs need TMCs that are more tech-savvy than ever before.

Apps and SaaS are sweeping the corporate travel world. So, let's explore what a future-savvy TMC solution can do for your business.

How do travel management companies work?

Today the best travel management companies feature online booking tools that help business travelers make their arrangements and handle a range of associated tasks. From expense reporting to risk management, these online solutions can provide extra visibility and gift organizations a wealth of data that can revolutionize a company's corporate travel program. 

7 reasons why organizations use a corporate travel management company  

Corporate travel is complicated. From processing travel bookings to expense management, there are many aspects of the travel experience a TMC can simplify. Using the latest business travel services can eliminate many of the common issues encountered by corporate travelers. Plus, by harnessing the latest technology, organizations of all sizes can save both time and money.  

1. They increase efficiency 

A modern travel management solution can streamline the booking process for your corporate travelers through automation. Rather than sifting through multiple providers, the best TMCs offer powerful online booking tools that collate accommodation, flights, and ground transportation like rail fares and car rental into one easy-to-use dashboard.

On top of simplifying the booking process, TMCs can help teams break free of endless spreadsheets. Travel management solutions can assist with reporting, combining invoices, and risk management thanks to thoughtful integrations.    

2. They provide 24/7 assistance 

On top of being time-consuming, booking through several providers can cause additional headaches down the road. Coordinating changes can become a nightmare when you need to reach various customer service teams. 

Opting for a TMC gives travel managers and travelers one port of call. The most sophisticated systems will also provide travelers and travel managers with multiple channels to get in touch round the clock. Rather than relying on robots, an advanced travel management company will have human agents on hand to solve issues in record time. 

After all, you don't want to be trapped on hold in times of emergency. Both business travelers and their managers need the assurance they can find solutions fast. TravelPerk users can reach our human customer support team in just 15 seconds, 24/7, 365 days a year. 

It goes without saying corporate travelers need to be able to access systems on the fly. Comprehensive travel solutions will offer desktop and mobile apps across the full gamut of operating systems to ensure your employees are never without access to their travel itineraries.

3. They offer concierge services to organize the important extras 

For any business trip, there will likely be those added travel requirements that typically require travelers to search through several sites and rack up a dizzying number of confirmation emails. With a TMC, extras like airport lounges, car parking, or seat preferences can all be handled through concierge services. 

This added perk can often provide organizations access to privileged facilities, preferable rates, or reservations they might otherwise be unable to secure. Concierge teams can also take the stress out of event planning or group travel, leaving teams to focus on more important business tasks. 

4. They deliver excellent duty of care solutions 

If recent years have taught us anything, it's that we might need to alter our travel arrangements in an instant. In the post-pandemic era, businesses are looking to enhance their practices regarding traveler safety. 

TMCs can help busy travel managers analyze potential travel risks and keep track of their business travelers. Comprehensive management services come with handy real-time notifications for security concerns and updates to travel regulations to ensure everyone is always up to speed. With these systems, risk management has never been more streamlined, gifting teams peace of mind when they travel for work.

5. They help businesses reduce travel costs 

While there are costs involved with using a travel management service, their benefits can cut down overall travel expenses. A TMC can ensure you always collect points on your loyalty program memberships, and they can provide access to negotiated rates, saving money on flights, hotel reservations, and transportation. 

As we have alluded to, a travel management tool can also provide concierge services to assist with event planning, group travel, and securing perks for executive travelers using contacts and rates that would take years to establish as an individual organization.

On top of offering the best rates, an advanced TMC can offer other cost-saving solutions like VAT recovery, which can help companies save up to an additional 25% on their annual travel spend. 

6. They offer greater visibility through real-time travel reports

We all know that knowledge is power. But when reports are relegated to spreadsheets, it can be challenging to glean meaningful insights. A TMC can help teams make data-driven decisions thanks to real-time report generation. Whether it's analyzing travel trends or managing budgets, sophisticated systems enable travel and finance managers to search by various factors, including destination, department, and even individual travelers. As we have seen, by providing greater visibility, TMCs help organizations to reduce their travel spending and track their current itineraries at the click of a button. 

7. They can integrate corporate travel policies for greater compliance 

The final perk to using a TMC is the ability to optimize your corporate travel policies. Rather than languishing in email inboxes or shared drives, users can integrate company travel policies into a travel management solution. Business travelers' search results are automatically compliant, and any itineraries that require further attention are flagged for approval. 

What's the difference between traditional TMCs and TravelPerk?

Utilizing travel management software can remove the stress from many aspects of modern business travel. A comprehensive travel management system can harness the efficiency of an online booking tool (OBT) and help streamline other tasks like expensing and keeping travelers safe on the road. 

With TravelPerk, we aim to provide end-to-end support for our corporate travelers. On top of our online booking solution, our users can avail themselves of automated reporting for expenditure and traveler tracking, a VAT recovery system, and concierge services to help organize events and make group travel plans.   

Our additional features include FlexiPerk, where travelers can benefit from the industry's most flexible rates with a guaranteed minimum refund of 80% on cancellations up to two hours before departure. Plus, with GreenPerk, organizations can take steps towards sustainability with AI that flags more eco-friendly options for your team's business travel. 

But the tools don't stop there. We partner with a range of HR, finance, and other innovative applications to make corporate travel less challenging. From timesheet tracking to tackling the effects of jet lag, you can find our full range of thoughtful integrations here

Tired of handling all your corporate travel in house? If you would like to see how TravelPerk could revolutionize business travel management for your company, please reach out and speak to our team today.