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How to Evaluate an RFP for a Travel Management Company? (+Free Checklist)

With the overwhelming changes within the travel industry in the last year, a great deal of responsibility is now on the travel managers. They need to choose a tech-forward Travel Management Company(TMC) that deploys travel management software solutions to control costs, enhance travel experience, and ensure traveler safety.

The best way to evaluate if the TMC you are going to choose will be right for your company is through RFP – Request for Proposal. RFP evaluation template for travel management services is a process that helps you compare and analyze the travel management solution available to you on various parameters.

Let’s understand the steps you should take to evaluate corporate travel RFPs in your company.

What is an RFP?

Request for Proposal (RFP) in business travel is a detailed document in which businesses identify and detail their travel needs and invite solutions from potentially suitable TMCs. RFPs are very different from both a Request for Quotation (RFQ) and a Request for Information (RFI) as it requires more detailed responses from the TMCs.

In the case of Request for Information (RFI), it gets you the general information about the vendors, and the Request for Quotation (RFQ) gets you the pricing and payment.

RFP for travel management services helps you evaluate and find a travel management company that will help you increase productivity, improve travelers’ experience, and save a huge chunk of travel costs.

To learn more about how much you can save by choosing the right TMC through business travel RFPs, check out our free calculator tools.

Free RFP Evaluation Template for Travel Management Services

Here is a travel RFP template you can use to evaluate the responses from various TMCs. Feel free the RFP evaluation template by customize it according to your needs.

RFP evaluation template for travel management services is as important as sending out the RFP. There are multiple factors that you need to consider to find the perfect solution for your organization.

How to Evaluate RFP Responses from TMCs: Key Factors

Before evaluating the RFPs for travel management services, it’s essential to have a list of factors that align with your company’s needs. This will help you critically analyze each element during selection and speed up the evaluation process.

Some essential factors to look out for are: 

1. Expertise

While evaluating the travel management company, you should ask for brief company history. Look for the experience and knowledge base of the vendor. You must ask for:

  • A brief company background
  • How long have they been in the industry? 
  • Who are their major clients and what is the average account size of each client? 

With the responses to these questions, you will get an idea of the expertise they have in your industry or as a travel management company in general. Moreover, you need to check whether the travel management company has successfully delivered for clients.

Make sure you check references and case studies of different clients that include everything about how the travel solution provider helped the client solve a particular problem.

2. The TMC Pricing Structure

The TMC pricing structure is a significant factor to consider while evaluating your RFP for travel management services responses. You must ensure that the pricing model is transparent and free from hidden fees like customization charges or service costs.

Hence, the best idea is to onboard a TMC that charges a clean fee per-trip like ITILITE. This way, you will get a single amount inclusive of booking, cancellation, support, and other miscellaneous charges before every business trip, and that’s exactly what you pay.

Your travel bill at the end of the month bill won’t be inflated with various secret charges. This clean pricing will help you keep track of T&E spending and reduce overall costs.

To learn more about how much ITILITE’s per-trip pricing model can help you save, talk to our solutions experts today.

3. 24*7 Support & Traveler-First Philosophy 

The safety of your employees should be your first priority. A travel management company that can give your travelers 24*7 support has already hit the ball out of the park.

When business travelers are abroad, it is vital to give them 24*7 support to help them navigate everything easily in a new and foreign place.  

4. Business Travel Inventory

The travel management company should offer your employees access to global travel inventory including transportation such as airplanes, trains, rental cars, etc., and accommodation such as hotels, studio apartments, etc.

The employees should be able to check the availability of hotel rooms, flights, to make and confirm reservations in real-time. Apart from this, they should also give offers on group travel bookings, leisure travel, and more.

This will also help you in cost savings for your company. 

5. Top-level Technology

Even before you start the RFP process, a go-live time is set in your mind. Make sure the travel management company you choose has integration capabilities and can meet your timelines.

Furthermore, consider how easily changes can be made in their T&E platform to adapt to your company’s unique requirements. Does it have an inbuilt travel policy feature? Is there flexibility for customizing categories and travel policy features? Does it provide real-time data visibility?  

Apart from this, the TMC’s travel management platform must have a mobile app a well as browser-based access. This factor is important as the number of employees filing expenses through the convenience of their mobile phones has increased over the years.

This convenience is what will help you get your employees to adopt the T&E solution you choose for your company.

Wondering where your present T&E system/process health stands? Use our calculator below to figure it out and understand the scope for improvement.

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How to Select the Right TMC from RFP Responses

This whole evaluation process of RFP for travel management services can be made easy with the help of weighted scoring for each factor as per your company’s travel and business requirements. For instance, you can add values to different criteria like giving cost a weightage of 20% and traveler safety a weightage of 25%, etc.

ITILITE is a travel and expense management platform that offers the best travel inventory, along with an integrated travel and expense platform.

To see if we can be a strong contender in your RFP process, reach out to our product expert for a free demo today.

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