A Guide to Travel Management Companies for Small- and Medium-Size Businesses
One of the biggest benefits of quality travel management companies (TMCs) is that they help companies manage their travel spend.
Traditionally, TMCs have worked mostly with large companies with hundreds or even thousands of team members who will travel for work in any given year. But that’s starting to change in the 21st century, as even small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) are looking for savings in their travel budgets.
Read on to learn more about the specific ways that TMCs can help SMEs with travel management and reducing travel-related costs.
Why are Smaller Businesses so Focused on Travel Management?
It’s clear why behemoths like GM, Kodak, IBM and other large companies would have needed travel management companies in the 20th century. But what are the driving factors behind much smaller SMEs looking for travel management assistance in the 21st century?
There’s no clear answer, but experts have provided several theories. Here’s a look at 4 of them:
1. Risk Management
SMEs are more open to working with travel management companies because they do more than just reduce costs — they also help mitigate risk. According to a Business Travel News survey, about 65% of corporate safety and security managers indicate that their focus on risk management has increased in the past 3 years.
2. Job Hopping
Once upon a time, American workers stayed with one company for decades, retiring at the end with a gold watch and a pension. That’s no longer the case. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found in 2016 that American workers had been with their current employers an average of only 4.6 years.
The theory is that executives from large companies are often moving to SMEs and startups — bringing with them a familiarity with and belief in the value of TMCs.
3. Technological Advancements
Travel management companies are quick to adopt new technology and to make products and services available to clients online. Because of technological advancements in travel management, TMCs’ services are perhaps more accessible to SMEs.
4. Traveler Experiences
Business travel can often be challenging for team members. Traveling employees are away from their homes and their families, and they are often spending short periods of time in different parts of the world — which can lead to severe jetlag and other health issues.
It’s possible that smaller companies are more interested in working with travel management companies as a way to improve both traveler engagement and the travel experience.
What Do You Get From a Quality TMC?
If you’re a travel manager for a small- or medium-size enterprise, you may be wondering what value travel management companies provide. Here’s a look at just 4 products and services that match up nicely with the 4 factors driving SMEs to seek travel management support.
1. Duty of Care and Risk Mitigation
Duty of care is the moral and legal obligation a company holds to keep team members safe while traveling. A good travel management company can help prepare your team members for travel, monitor team members while they’re away, as well as respond to requests for assistance.
Need help getting started with your duty of care strategy? Check out our 10 tips for supporting traveling team members.
2. Cost Savings Programs and Cost Avoidance
Companies today invest a lot of money into business travel. A proven provider of travel management services can provide best-price guarantees while also securing savings on a wide range of common travel-related expenses: flights, hotels, rental cars, parking, etc.
3. Trip Disruption Assistance
The best travel management companies provide real-time support to travelers experiencing trip disruptions. Mechanical problems, severe weather, missed connections and a slew or other disruptions can be a huge problem for travelers and a serious hindrance to meeting business objectives. At JTB Business Travel, we offer a Trip Disruption Assistance Program that is designed for this very purpose.
4. Travel Technologies
This is one of the biggest benefits of working with a quality travel management company: It can provide access to travel technologies that deliver insights to travel managers and helpful tools and connectivity to travelers.
Navigating the world of travel technology can be tricky, though. How can you identify the right technologies for your company? See our guide to making the most of investments in travel tech.
Do You Need a Quality Travel Management Company?
At JTB Business Travel, we aim to help our clients save money while creating better travel experiences for their team members. Behind everything we do is a common sense approach to business travel.
Contact us today to learn more about the services we can provide to small- and medium-size enterprises.