Five reasons to centralize your global travel program

December 15, 2017

As companies grow and their horizons expand, the chances are that purchasing decisions and sales will be made further afield. And that means more travel for employees.

Travel procurement typically develops in a haphazard way; before you know it mid- and large-sized firms can have multiple local agencies in different markets fulfilling their travel requirements with little central oversight. While the day-to-day function of moving staff around may work well enough, putting together a structured global travel program offers a raft of benefits.

1. Safety first

Duty of care is now front-and-center of most travel RFP documents. A centrally managed program allows travel managers to deliver a consistent standard of care to employees in all operating countries and offices, thus meeting their commitments and protecting the business from potentially expensive and damaging legal consequences.

Having a clear care standard, which encompasses pre-trip briefings, travel advisories, risk assessment, and health consultations is the proper first step.

With a global approach, traveler data is held centrally, making locating and communicating with employees much easier in a crisis such as a terrorist attack or extreme weather event. Global players offer comprehensive 24/7 assistance and work alongside leading medical and security specialists should emergency repatriation be required.

2. Make it add up

Everyone loves to save money, so it’s no surprise that getting the maximum bang for your buck is a priority for a good travel management company.

If your offices in different locations are doing their own thing, the best you can expect is to have a local TMC that isn’t maximizing your spend. At worst, you’ll have employees booking independently through a variety of channels, have no idea how well travel policy is being enforced, and be losing out financially.

Consolidating spend with one provider allows you to tap into the bulk buying power of specially negotiated supplier programs. Radius members around the world manage more than $30bn in travel spend annually, which means partners such as airlines and hotel chains will offer the best rates, boost loyalty benefits, and offer more flexibility to clients.

3. One love

You expect the best from your workers, and you want your TMC partners to be working equally hard for you around the world. To become a member of Radius, members must demonstrate – and more importantly, maintain – a guaranteed level of service.

While mega TMCs often highlight their geographical reach as an advantage, they are sometimes criticized for focusing attention only on the client offices in countries with the biggest spend, meaning smaller locations may get an inferior service.

Radius solves that problem by giving you access to local experts on the ground in markets around the world. Having a TMC that understand local customs, technology, and regulations means you are spending your money in the most effective way.

4. The numbers game

Good decisions can only be taken when you’ve got all the facts at your fingertips. In travel terms, that means collecting the best data. Without a centralized program, this precious Management Information (MI) will come in a variety of forms, making it impossible to have a real overview of what is happening to your travel budget.

You should expect your travel partner to capture complete itinerary details, profile information from travelers and all cost data – including corporate credit card spend – and serve it up in a clean and transparent form. This way, travel managers will be able to drill down to get a full picture of where the cash is going.

Ultimately, this means being able to track trends over time, weed out non-compliance to policy by individuals, offices or regions, identify favorite suppliers to negotiate better rates, and even run a cost-benefit analysis to see if business travelers are delivering when they work away.

5. Get together

You don’t just need to move your travelers around the world. You also need the capacity to organize meetings and events and deliver them to a consistent standard.

Just like travel, M&E requires expert knowledge and contacts to secure the most appropriate venue and put on the best show possible. Centralizing means being able to reach these experts effectively – Radius’s dedicated M&E division has a core central team that works with specialists in each market.

On a day-to-day basis, that might simply mean knowing which local hotel has the best flexible meetings and working space. But at a larger scale, you’ll be able to use our specialists to arrange larger corporate events, from company inductions and roadshows to incentive programmes for staff. And because there are local experts on hand, each event’s content, food and style can be tailored to its audience.

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