We often hear tales within the industry of UK businesses reluctantly breaking away from their UK travel management partner because the global head office has given them no choice. Even when the UK piece has the largest spend and a well-established relationship with their travel management company, Travel Managers sometimes have to support a global agreement even when they don’t want to.
Usually, with good intentions, global businesses think that contracting with the same global business travel agency in all their locations around the world will streamline their processes, centralise reporting, consolidate supplier negotiation and save them time and money. But unfortunately, behind the scenes, the services provided by global travel management companies (TMCs) aren’t always as consistent as their brand image would imply.
With failed expectations of a consistent service in every country, UK businesses often get on the phone to their old UK TMC with tales of bad services, a lack of understanding of the UK market and dissatisfied travellers and bookers. Once they’ve given it time to improve, they’ll make their case to do their own thing and having proved the global concept isn’t working, they’ll be permitted to work their old UK supplier.
While we don’t dispute that global TMCs, can offer the right solutions for some companies, we think there’s a way for multinational businesses to have their cake and eat it. By taking the benefits of global solutions and pairing them with the benefits of local relationships around the world, you can achieve the best of both worlds.
If you choose to partner with the best in class business travel agency in each area, you’ll be choosing the right TMC for your business instead of selecting a supplier by default. If you can link these TMCs with the same technology systems, service standards, group visibility of travellers and expenditure plus a single point of contact to manage them all, you could end up with a much more personalised solution.
If you think global consolidation is on the cards and you’re happy with your current travel management company, check if they can support you in creating a global solution. Even if they’re a relatively small UK travel management company, they may be a member of a global business travel network that could provide the perfect local solution in each region of the world you operate in.
Find out how we helped thyssenkrupp achieve a global business travel solution using local travel management companies by reading our case study.