I recently had the pleasure of attending the GBTA- North Carolina’s Education Day. Themed ‘Bridging the Travel Gap’, it focused on helping both buyers and suppliers bridge the gaps that may exist during the purchasing process. The keynote speaker was Neil Hammond of Goldspring Consulting and he focused on Better Engaging the Buyer and Supplier Relationship. While he delivered a breadth of beneficial material, I really enjoyed his process on selecting the right corporate travel partners. By breaking it out into steps, it makes the process less daunting. It also allows for increased communication and guidelines, ensuring everyone’s needs are met for future travel management practices.
Selecting the right corporate travel partners for your business:
- Involve any key stakeholders to get internal support. Gaining this support is especially helpful when a introducing a new policy or changing vendors.
- Align your message internally in order to deliver the same message to your travelers.
- Educate key decision makers as necessary. Take the time to explain why vendor options are being evaluated.
- Define your strategy in advance of collecting a proposal. Will you be awarding a single contract or multiple?
- Survey your travelers. This will give you a clear picture of what travelers like and also in keeping their opinions in mind, will ensure buy-in as you proceed in the decision making process.
- Agree on your decision making process. What parameters are you looking for? Do these align with your company policy? Do you have a clear timeline for the implementation of this change?
- Clearly express your requirements to potential suppliers.
- Evaluate suppliers, engaging throughout the process to gain clarification and provide updates on your timeline, if necessary.
- Execute a decision according to the defined timeline.
While making a change to your travel program is never easy, following these steps will help you stay organized while selecting your corporate travel partners. And remember, Christopherson is always here to help. With more that 60 years experience in corporate travel, we understand the challenges that businesses face with travel management. If you would like to discuss the process of choosing corporate travel partners in more depth, feel free to contact us, or read our additional blogs below.