Judging by the recent spate of mergers between Travel Management Companies, you’d be forgiven for thinking the current mantra is ‘big is beautiful’.
To be fair, for the bigger, truly global travel programmes a global TMC makes good business sense. But if you are not one of the top 20% of corporate travel spenders, do you really want to be a small fish in a massive ocean?
The recent spate of TMC acquisitions is only the start, with more mergers and acquisitions predicted, leaving clients with even less choice. And within the range of TMCs that remain, those choices are further diminished.
Small fish, big pond
Within the top five TMCs, providing they’ll accept your business, clients spending up to £10m a year in travel are categorised as small or medium-sized accounts and treated accordingly.
Their clients are handed an online booking tool un-tailored to the client’s needs or travel profile. Offline bookings are processed through vast teams in call centres, who may now be virtually based but still operate in the same way, with little or no personalisation. They may even prioritise larger spend customers over you.
Small TMC, limited capabilities
Small to medium-sized TMCs are disappearing due to consolidation or failure, leaving smaller TMCs without the international presence or the buying power to secure the best rates.
These more locally based TMCs often lack the resources or infrastructure to invest in the technology to underpin their customer service, offer account facilities or provide 24-hour emergency assistance for your travellers.
It’s easier to build stronger personal relationships with a locally based supplier, but for clients with international travel requirements, it’s tougher to create the necessary understanding of potentially global travel needs.
Best of both worlds
TakeTwo can offer the best of both worlds. We are building a network of locations in the UK and Europe and across North America too, which gives our clients in-country presence where it matters most.
Our clients have a local presence and on-the-ground relationships with local airlines, hotels and ground transport providers. Most importantly, they still have a single point of contact to manage their travel, based on a deep understanding of their travellers’ needs.
Making the right choice
Choosing the right TMC is a decision based on parameters that differ from company to company. Finding the right fit often comes down to which TMC best understands your business needs, influences and objectives.
Your TMC must be able to provide everything you need as an organisation, and your travellers need as individuals. From cost savings to employee welfare; sustainability to duty of care obligations. Crucially, yourTMC must be able to intervene when travel plans change or go awry.