Are you planning on taking your travel program to market in 2019? If so, the RFP process can be exhausting. Ensure your time is maximized and your efforts are not wasted by asking the right questions!
Whether your program requires a detailed proposal or a high-level request for information, here are CTM’s top 5 questions you should be asking of potential travel management partners:
1. What makes you different?
We know it is cliché, but asking up front what will differentiate each competitor and their offer is a no brainer. Do they return stock copy to you? Or do they consider you pain points and address real benefits they will bring to your organization? This is one area where stock responses can immediately indicate a potentially ill-fitting partner. Be sure to pick the right “why” fit in a new partner.
2. What is on your technology roadmap?
It is important to know any new partner both offers the solutions you need today but also demonstrates innovation that will benefit you through the contract term. How often do they release new products, enhancements or upgrades? Do they regularly incorporate customer feedback loops into the development cycle? By evaluating what is on each roadmap, you can be sure to find a partner providing an approach to innovation that meets your program appetite.
3. What certifications do you hold?
More than ARC and IATA these days, you should expect your TMC partner to hold up to all of the latest industry and data compliance measures. Are they NDC certified or FairFare certified? Are products and development environments ISO certified? Are systems PCI and GDPR compliant? While not every certification is necessary, these can demonstrate how potential partners are investing in both infrastructure and solution development.
4. How can you help us solve a challenge?
The best gauge of a potential partner? Give them a challenge to solve! Can they engage MIS experts to offer potential solutions to a reporting challenge? Do they have teams in place to improve after hours traveler support? Are they able to identify program opportunities to help you manage compliance and meet savings goals? By outlining one a specific challenge for each bidder to address, you can evaluate the engagement of their internal teams, operational flexibility, and overall approach to strategic program management. Keeping questions specific also avoids boilerplate responses.
5. What do your prices include? Are there hidden fees?
Seek out true partnerships with transparent pricing offers. Always use a standard pricing sheet to best compare offers, and always ask for all terms and conditions to understand how each offer may impact your total cost of ownership. Based on your ability to provide travel data for evaluation, you can also ask potential partners to estimate savings potential and assess that against total cost estimates.
Need more ideas? Read more tips to create an engaging Travel Program RFP or download a sample RFP below!
Request our SAMPLE RFP.
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