We have already seen the complex roles of a travel manager in some of our previous blogs. Even the company that boasts of a travel management tool or software at its disposal may go for a travel agency to make life easy for their admin. This is why the role of a travel manager can, more often than not, be indispensable. Usually, the admin of any company may have a tough time dealing with copious data including travel spend receipts and other unstructured data related to employee tracking, safety, etc. This begs the question: do we hire a travel manager full time or outsource an external agency?
The pros and cons of both options must be considered before making the decision. Travel management, as we know, is a professional job that requires complete organization and management of business travel. Their roles and responsibilities are not simply confined to hotel reservation or flight booking or renting cabs, but a notch important in terms of negotiating with vendors, suppliers or service providers, managing travel spends and budget, formulating business travel policy & duty of care for employees, policing safety and risk management during their travel and understanding travel behaviour or patterns to form a robust travel policy.
An agency, on the other hand, is flexible in obtaining good rates, managing the trips of several travel companies, providing specialist staff to assist the different travel areas and efficient support in case if employees turn to for assistance for any travel-related issues like reservation, etc.
The pros and cons of both travel management options notwithstanding, a few companies today adopt a hybrid model of full-time travel manager working for hand in glove with one or more agencies as partners to carry out some critical tasks.
Where an agency is sought a liaison person from the company should be deemed responsible for travel-related operations. We recommend a mixed model in any case, though travel management software like Tripeur can make short work of travel spend reimbursement, compliance to business travel policy and reduction of travel spends.