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

rfp for travel management

In the last couple of years, we have seen significant developments in the business travel industry, whether it was technology or how people traveled. This means that travel managers now have a great deal of responsibility. From when a business trip is announced until the traveler returns, they must take care of everything. 

Hence, it becomes necessary that they 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.

In this blog, we will help you understand what an RFP is, how to evaluate it, and how to choose the right TMC for RFP responses. 

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.

The RFP outlines the requirements, specifications, objectives, and desired outcomes of the requested project or service. It may include project scope, timeline, budget, evaluation criteria, terms and conditions, and submission instructions. Vendors who receive the RFP can then prepare and submit their proposals outlining how they would meet the requirements and deliver the requested goods or services. The organization issuing the RFP evaluates the proposals and selects the vendor that best meets their needs.

An 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 look into the company’s expertise over RFPs. Look for the experience and knowledge base of the vendor.

Here are a few questions you must ask:

  • 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 pricing framework of the TMC holds considerable importance in assessing the responses to your RFP for travel management services. It’s imperative to guarantee that the pricing model remains transparent, devoid of concealed fees such as 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 our per-trip pricing model can help you save, talk to our solutions experts today.

3. Round the Clock Support & Traveler-First Philosophy 

The safety of your employees should be your priority. And especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, travelers are becoming more conscious about their safety. Not just that, other safety challenges such as political unrest, cybercrime, natural calamities, etc can also take impact travelers’ safety.

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. State-of-the-art 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.

How to Select the Right TMC from RFP Responses

This whole evaluation process of RFP for corporate 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.

Discover a simpler way to manage corporate travel

Corporate travel management can be extremely daunting. Getting travelers to stick to budgets while booking travel, monitoring spends or finding support for travelers – there is always something that needs to be done. That’s why we built a solution that makes corporate travel management simpler.

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