Higher education institutions, like universities or colleges, have a lot on their plate. It’s truly amazing to stop and consider all of the thoughtful planning, training, instruction, discussion, and action that takes place on their campuses. And most don’t even consider the internal divisions, silently working behind the scenes; like the higher education travel management department. Every traveling professor, visiting lecturer, and even study abroad students and faculty need the support from their university or college to ensure travel is compliant with their specifications and with the safety of the traveler in mind. What is often surprising to us at Christopherson, is that many higher education institutions don’t utilize a TMC to manage their travel, or have not recently evaluated their existing travel needs in some time. So we put together a list of the top needs we hear from universities or colleges interested in streamlining their travel management programs.
Top priorities to consider for your higher education travel management needs
- Experience – It’s important for universities of colleges to rely on a travel management company that has extensive experience building and handling travel management programs for higher education institutions. As large and multi-faceted as higher education is in general, it’s easy to see why their travel management would be just as complex. For example, Christopherson has 45+ university and college clients. To maintain the support they need, we’ve built teams of travel advisors who specialize in higher education travel management.
- The ease of one-stop shopping – Efficiency is key. Why waste time tabbing through different websites to book air, car hotel and more? Save time and book everything, as well as access full itineraries or traveler profiles in one convenient location.
- Travel profiles and ease of everyday travel management – Going hand in hand with one-stop shopping, ensure your new system will be organized, or even enhance your capabilities. Our AirPortal dashboard, for instance, provides an easy, top-down view of your travel actions and program. Quickly access traveler itineraries without searching through old emails or different pages. Also easily keep an eye on possible issues like unused air tickets or expiring credit cards.
- Around the clock support – Travel happens outside of the 9 to 5 workday. Always ask about the after-hours care process for your travelers who may be stranded or delayed.
- Duty of care support for your travelers – Duty of care for your employees, professors and traveling students may be one of the most controversial issues within higher education travel management. Choose a TMC who has a reliable risk management tool, like our SecurityLogic tool.
- Specialized needs for your school – every school is different, and it should be treated as such. Consider what programs or departments your institution offers and ensure the TMC has the functionality to support it. For example, ask about specialized travel for sports teams, or their study abroad capabilities.
Higher Education travel can be a complicated system to manage. When choosing the right TMC to manage your travel, always start with an evaluation of your current needs. If you have any questions or additional thoughts about top priorities for university travel management, please feel free to contact us.