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Corporate Travel Management News and Tips

Ways a Corporate Travel Agency Optimizes Vendor Relationships

June 25, 2019 | For Finance & Procurement, For Travel Managers

How a Corporate Travel Agency Optimizes Your Vendor Relationships

When it comes to compliance and your bottom line, using top-notch travel vendors—airlines, hotels, car rental companies, visa services, and travel technology—is key. Working with providers that have a good reputation means more of your travelers are likely to use them.

That said, dealing with multiple vendors can lead to a juggling act for travel managers, which undoubtedly gets overwhelming. This is where a corporate travel agency comes in.

An agency is a team of experts who can not only manage these partnerships for you, but they can also:
● optimize these relationships
● find ways to reduce spending
● help you enforce your travel policy effectively

Here, we’ve outlined just how a travel management company (TMC) can improve your relationships and negotiations with travel suppliers.

Ways a corporate travel agency can optimize vendor relationships

A TMC consolidates the number of suppliers as much as possible to make it simpler for you to arrange travel for your employees. Additionally, by consolidating suppliers, you give more revenue and market share to fewer suppliers, which means you’ll receive a greater discount. Plus, by working with a TMC, you get access to their global partnerships, unlocking rates you wouldn’t otherwise have.

A good TMC will look for every opportunity to increase benefits with as few suppliers as possible. With their expertise and industry experience, a corporate travel agency will review your vendor list and agreements, and make recommendations for how to consolidate them.

Here are a few areas that your travel expert can optimize for you.

Airlines

A TMC’s job is to bridge the gap between their suppliers and clients, so you can get the most out of their global partnerships. Your TMC Client Success Manager will review all of your airline agreements, analyze the negotiations, and then rework them so you can offer better perks for your employees.

An agency will also help you find alternate rewards programs for corporate travelers. Aside from frequent flyer programs, there are other airline loyalty programs that make trips more convenient and affordable.

For example, for every corporate ticket booked, a company can accrue points and put them toward redeeming a ticket. Employees can use these tickets for business travel, cut down on expense, or use them for incentives for sales club trips.

Ultimately, a TMC should reduce your number of airline vendors, maximize your savings, and seek alternate reward programs. Although companies can’t always consolidate airline spend, they can always take advantage of rewards programs. These are especially helpful if you have a smaller budget for corporate travel.

Hotels

As with airlines, a TMC will look at all your hotel agreements and find ways to consolidate what you offer. They will review the best possible negotiated arrangement, subsidize that with their own hotel partners, and then leverage their global hotel rate program. Each step ensures that you get the best possible price available.

For example, if you have 200 room nights in a certain city between a dozen different hotels, the agency will help you consolidate them down to three hotels and get discounts from them. Then, they will help you review the best arrangements that you can negotiate for your travelers.

In short, consolidating hotel relationships can be a daunting, overwhelming process for someone that isn’t a travel expert.

Rental Cars

Partnering with a TMC also gives you the opportunity to find the best possible rates on car rentals. Similar to airline and hotel arrangements, a travel consultant will review your partnership agreements and make recommendations for how to consolidate and make the most of your relationships.

Most TMCs have agreements with multiple car rental companies. However, their first step is looking at your existing vendor, and making optimization suggestions before encouraging you to switch suppliers.

Visa and Duty of Care Suppliers

A TMC has partnerships with companies to walk you through the tricky process of applying for a visa. They will work with you to address passport issues the easiest and quickest way possible. This ensures your employees can smoothly make it to their destination without any hiccups.

As for duty of care, they will help you establish a system that ensures your traveling employees are safe. Agencies work with travel vendors, like SAP Concur and ISOS, who can provide a direct feed of pertinent information, so you’re always aware of your travelers’ safety. Without a TMC, this is just one more partnership you’d have to manage.

Snapshot of a model corporate travel agency

At Adelman Travel, we do what a complete corporate travel agency is supposed to do—we work with travel vendors to simplify the process of planning business trips and implementing a travel policy for your company.

Adelman is the first reseller of Uber for Business. If your travelers are young and avoid renting cars when possible, this partnership is perfect for you.

Contact us now to start discussing how we can help you deal with vendors efficiently and reduce travel spend.

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