If looking for a travel management company is completely new to you, aside from an Internet search, you may not know where to start, but thankfully there are plenty of resources available to you for tracking them down. There are quite a lot of them though, so you’ll need to create a short list!
Buying Business Travel’s - Leading 50 TMCs
Buying Business Travel (BBT) is one of the industry’s leading magazines and features the leading 50 TMCs every 12 months, usually in the May/June issue. You can read digital editions of Buying Business Travel online by viewing their previous magazines by clicking this link.
The feature ranks travel management companies by their turnover, so it’s important to remember the ranking is not necessarily a reflection of the service they provide, but they do provide some interesting stats like the average length of service and industry experience of their employees, which can be a good indication of expertise and company culture.
The Business Travel Magazine - Extended Guide to TMCs
The Business Travel Magazine (TBTM) is another leading business travel magazine, and every year it publishes a very detailed guide to TMCs, usually in the December/January issue. As well as lots of information on best practice, the ‘TMCs: Who Does What” feature includes a list of the UK’s leading TMCs including any specialist sectors the TMCs specialise in. Pay particular attention to the TMCs that specialise in SME customers.
You can view the latest issues of The Business Travel Magazine by clicking this link.
Utilise Business Travel Networks
The business travel industry has lots of events and conferences throughout the year to learn about managing business travel, meet suppliers and network with like-minded professionals. Check out these organisations to find out more about business travel and share experiences with like-minded professionals. There’s nothing better than a personal recommendation from someone who's currently using a TMC.
Research the TMCs to make your shortlist
Once you know who the TMCs are, you can start researching them to find out which might be right for you. As a small/medium sized business, consider what kind of company is likely to deliver the service you want, for example:
- If personal service is important to you, you may be better using a smaller business travel agency. If they consider themselves an SME, it’s likely they’ll relate to the needs of an SME better than a large corporation would, we’re all familiar with the analogy - big fish, small pond.
- If you want an innovative self-booking tool, check what systems the TMC offers to make sure they have the features you’re looking for.
- If you need a global solution, check the TMC has offices in the locations you need through their global network.
- If it’s expertise you’re after, find out the length of service and industry expertise of the TMC’s staff, how long have they been in business?
A critical element of a successful corporate travel agency partnership is the relationship between your two companies and the people involved. Look into the company culture of the TMC to make sure it’s aligned with your own. What are their company values, how do they treat their employees? This information can be a good indicator of what they’re like to do business with.
The best insight you can get into a potential supplier is by speaking to their existing customers. Ask for case studies that demonstrate how they have helped businesses similar to yours and talk to their clients directly to find out about their experience.
Hopefully the above has helped you identify why identifying a business travel management provider doesnt have to be scary! If youd like to know more download our FREE guide to procuring travel management services by clicking the image below...