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Why business travel management agencies cost you in more ways than one

Business travel management is a lot like riding a bicycle. When you figure out how to do it right, you’ll never need a refresher; but until then, you’ll need stabilisers.

Perhaps that’s why business travel management agencies have become so popular in industries like construction, where specialised workforces and competing deadlines fuel Excel-filled nightmares. Handing off the nitty-gritty of it all to someone else? Sometimes, it doesn’t sound like that bad of an idea.

Agencies say they’ll book the business hotels and enforce the travel and expense policies down to a tee, but is handing it all off to them the right thing to do? We’ll put it another way for you: would you ride your bike down a hill without holding on to the handle bars?

The disadvantages to outsourcing business travel management

When you hand over control of your business travel management programme to an agency, it’s for good reason at the outset. Cost savings, policy enforcement and better quality business hotel bookings – right?

But there’s more to it than meets the eye. Let’s start with the savings; the holy grail of outsourcing. Agencies spend the time gathering the deals and pass on the savings to their clients, but that’s not what happens behind the scenes. First and foremost, the organisations aren’t always able to get deals in the locations clients need. The misstep results in costs that are on par with what you would’ve paid beforehand, except you’re coughing up for their outsourcing fee on top of it.

Agencies don’t always get the best deals and all too often, they’ll get the same deals you have available to yourself. While you get the cost of your time back, it doesn’t really make it a viable option for saving money.

While outsourcing business travel management will lead to a much higher percentage of travel and expense policy enforcement, there’s a cost to this as well. Large companies in industries like construction, where projects and priorities can change swiftly, will find that they can’t make adjustments to the policy on a wide scale.

As we all know, some periods are busier than others or offer a windfall of greater cash flow. Having a static policy can mean missed opportunities in terms of savings or getting workers better rooms and locations.

Last but certainly not least in the minds of your workforce is the quality of the rooms that are being booked. Are they in the right location? Does the service account for feedback from workforce travel? Saving money and enforcing policies is all good and well until senior leadership is upset and employee morale is freefalling.

The advantages to bringing business travel management back in-house

Business travel management doesn’t have to be on a scale that balances crippling stress and outsourcing; there’s a middle ground. Business hotel booking platforms are one of the ways that travel bookers are taking back control of the process.

All-in-one business hotel booking platforms like Roomex let companies search, book and manage their workforce travel accommodations with ease. It’s all the power of an agency from a web browser. Most importantly, it brings together the best rates on over 1.2 million hotels globally to help organisations save up to 21 percent on hotel bookings.

Control isn’t overlooked either. Travel bookers are able to set and enforce travel and expense policies and gather real-time reports on spend, which allows them to adjust the criteria on the fly to maximise the value the programme brings to the business.

The quality of the hotel rooms that are being booked can’t be forgotten because at the end of the day, it’s the employees who benefit from great workforce travel. With over 1.2 million hotels available at the click of a button, travel bookers have no issues finding the best room in the right location at the lowest rate.

While companies may lose the ability to hand work off to business travel management agencies if they stop working with them, that loss if offset by a windfall of benefits. Greater control over the process, better quality rooms and savings that can be felt on the bottom-line. How could you say no?

Are you looking to streamline your company's business travel management? Get in touch with one of our experts today to learn how Roomex can help. 

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