Travel is constantly changing. COVID-19 is an ugly example of just how much can change so quickly. And throughout these changes it’s important to have a trusted, meaningful, partnership with your travel management company (TMC).
For example, at UTD we value every relationship with our clients regardless of their size and complexity. We have strong relationships with our airline, car rental, and hotel representatives and we leverage these relationships on our client’s behalf. We send out monthly reports and utilize ad hoc reporting to track travelers in an emergency. We have 24/7 support to assist with travel interruptions or emergencies outside of office hours. We stay connected. We have supported our clients through unprecedented times and everchanging travel policies and have even developed stronger partnerships because of it (you can even hear it from our clients).
But how do you perform a temperature check on your travel program and make sure your TMC is giving you the support you need? Check in with your team and ask the following questions:
- Do you have monthly/quarterly meetings to connect about your travel program?
- Do you receive monthly reports detailing your travel spend?
- Does your travel management company keep track of your unused tickets to ensure your organization isn’t losing money (depending on the organization, this can be thousands of dollars alone!)?
- Has your TMC negotiated discounts with airlines, hotels, and car rental companies on your behalf?
- Is your TMC offering meaningful solutions to your travel concerns?
- Is your TMC introducing new partnerships that benefits your travelers and reduces your travel spend?
- Does your TMC assist travelers in an emergency situation efficiently?
- Does your TMC advocate for you?
- Do you feel your TMC values your relationship?
If you answered “no” to any of those questions, I would reach out to your current travel provider and challenge the organization to ensure you are getting the most out of your partnership.
Many organizations are learning the hard way how critical it is to have a strong partner in travel. Now is the time to evaluate your travel program for when we are out there traveling again!
Written by Elizabeth Blount McCormick
Elizabeth is the President and Owner of Uniglobe Travel Designers. When not in the office managing daily operations, you can find her zipping through a time zone or bustling Global Entry Port. For her, travel is not only a requirement but also a passion and one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. While limited, time outside the office includes a dedication to fitness, continuing her search for the world’s perfect beach and spending time with her family and lovable canine Ziggy.