Adelman Moving Away from Standard TMC Model
(Milwaukee, WISCONSIN, May 6, 2014) – Adelman Travel is deploying new strategies within their corporate travel division to migrate to a Management Solutions Company. Adelman’s new approach includes expansion of their consulting services and further development of technologies that reach beyond current standard travel industry practices to incorporate alternate ways of connecting people to conduct business.
“We’ve determined that consulting is actually the foundation of this strategy and something that we’ve become very good at,” said Steve Cline, President and COO of Adelman Travel. “We’ve expanded our sales organization and increased their responsibilities as part of this strategy. We are mirroring the consulting arm of our account management division by having each business development manager go through the same certification process to be consultants. Once this training has been completed, their titles change to Global Sales Consultants. They will now consult on a number of items either prior to or during the sales process, including products and configuration, global T&E initiatives, or the actual RFP process.
“Over the last decade, we’ve seen the responsibility for choosing a travel management company migrate from the travel manager position to a company’s purchasing department,” said Cline. “When we join the bid process, we find this to be true in most instances. And while today’s travel buyers are becoming better educated on corporate travel, there is still more education we can provide.”
Adelman Travel previously combined general account management services with consulting services to more proactively manage corporate travel programs, along with the entire T&E process, for their corporate customers. According to Cline, they did this by incorporating a proprietary program known as the “Blueprint” into their overall review process.
The Blueprint is an interactive, evolving business plan for each customer that is reviewed and updated with proactive solutions based on KPI performance. It is broken down into eight strategic, high-level categories. Each category outlines specific action items, which include service and product recommendations, implementation strategy and the financial ROI for the corporate customer.
“When it comes to consulting, we go beyond analyzing data to ensure we are executing the solutions that we recommend to our clients,” said Cline.
Another element of Adelman’s Managed Solutions initiative is their unique approach to globally consolidating corporate travel programs. With a combination of technology and the right global partnerships, Adelman has created a model for managing global consolidations that is outside of the mega-agency/consortium box.
“Over the past decade, many travel buyers have been engaged in global consolidations with more than one travel management company,” said Cline. “They are finding that both the wholly-owned travel management companies and the agency networks occasionally have some gaps—not only in service, but in products as well.”
To support their global initiative, Adelman has recently invested in the development of several new technologies including Adelman Integrated Fares, a global front office and international fare aggregator, and Global Gateway, a proprietary solution to consolidate global data.
“Both products can interface with partner agencies or non-partner agencies in scenarios where, in certain global markets, there is no coverage or where there is already a strong relationship with an existing agency,” said Cline. “The makeup of every global customer is different, and the scenarios and service configurations are endless when it comes to multi-national consolidations. Therefore, it is almost impossible to make “inside the box” solutions work with a multi-national consolidations when there are many markets to consider.”
Adelman continues to invest in other technologies that address their corporate customers’ greatest concerns. Recently they introduced VideoTravelTM, a videoconferencing solution that is fully integrated into Adelman’s managed online booking tools and the travel consultant booking process. The option to book a trip or schedule a video conference is presented at the point of sale, making it immediately visible to the traveler or arranger.
“VideoTravel increases our customers’ ROI on their videoconferencing investments because we manage the activity to increase adoption,” said Cline.
Adelman also continues to improve other technologies, including their mobile app, which is designed to reward travelers for adhering to company travel policy.
Most recently, Adelman became the first U.S. travel agency to be certified to access the Concur Expense Platform to extract data. This certification will allow Adelman to further manage the entire T&E process by offering stronger solutions for managing leakage.
“It won’t stop here,” said Cline. “Our process is ongoing in order to increase the scope of what we manage with the goal of bringing people together to conduct business and then managing all aspects of those touch-points for our customers.”