There is a misconception amongst most businesses in South Africa when it comes to booking business travel for your sales teams. The perception is that if you do it yourself, it will be quicker and cheaper.
In most instances, this is a big mistake…
Think about the time you spend searching and comparing airfares and hotel prices and options. Or the time you waste when you miss your flight and have to rearrange your travel plans at the last minute, not to mention the costs involved when you or your sales team have to pay to change it.
“No matter the size of your business or number of travellers on the road, every cent saved can make a difference to your bottom line. And if you charge by the hour, what does it cost you every month to do your own travel instead of outsourcing it,” explains Flight Centre Business Travel (FCBT) Brand Manager, Ryan Potgieter.
Knowing when to do it yourself, use an Online Booking Tool (OBT) or entrust your travel requirements to a travel expert can deliver savings and enhance your productivity.
The first step is to understand the difference between an OBT and a Travel Management Company (TMC):
Online booking tool
An OBT (usually built and supported by a Travel Management Company) is designed to meet a company’s needs for complying with travel policy, reporting, tracking staff for duty of care purposes and using preferred suppliers. It is best suited for very basic domestic flight requirements and simple point-to-point transactions.
Travel management company
A Travel Management Company like FCBT offers comprehensive and personal travel management services that include helping to guide your travel policy, supplying an array of quotes and travel options, negotiating supplier deals, providing reporting so you can track what you spend on travel, helping consolidate your spend and doing complex travel transactions that cannot be fulfilled on an OBT.
Here are a few things to consider when weighing up an OBT vs a TMC:
Save time and money
While there may be a transaction fee involved using a TMC like FCBT it can save you time and money in the long run. With one phone call to your dedicated account manager you’ll receive three options for every travel requirement. You’ll also have access to a global network and buying power that may provide access to corporate rates you could not negotiate based on your own travel spend.
If you need last-minute changes to an itinerary, a travel agent can make these for you while you’re on the road. Although business travellers can access their OBT on the go, it still takes time to cancel and rebook flights, and make other changes to travel arrangements.
For four more considerations to assess the best way for you to book your business travel, download FCBT’s complimentary guide at www.flightcentrebusinesstravel.co.za/whitepapers.