When it’s time to renew your managed travel program contract, it’s important to take the opportunity to revise your RFP process in order to produce more meaningful responses. Asking the right questions early in the process allows for a more precise response and subsequent implementation. In addition, your vendor review team will gain a better understanding of your prospects’ capabilities and ensure there’s a match with your corporate culture.


Travel management is one of the most complex procurements, and the RFP process can take a surprisingly long time – especially if you have a robust travel program. Look at it from the perspective of a travel provider. For them, each client is unique. A non-government organization will have different requirements than a global marine transportation company, which will also differ from a wealth management firm with an active sales team. Proposals need to be 100% customized to your industry needs and specific requirements, so it will take the vendors some time to figure out your industry and associated challenges. It’s vital to identify a TMC that is familiar with the complexities of your industry.

The procurement process will likely take three or more months and generally follows these steps:

• Develop and distribute the RFP

• Review and evaluate responses

• Clarify responses

• Conduct oral presentations

• Provide follow up

• Review and evaluate new responses arrow the field

• Negotiate service requirements and financial concerns

• Agree on key performance indicators

• Sign an agreement


Start the process by including all the key stakeholders and ask them to submit their requirements and requests to include in the RFP. Invite representatives from Human Resources, IT, Legal, Operations and Procurement, Finance, as well as your dedicated administrative professionals and a few of your most frequent travelers to be part of the review team. You’ll want to consider the end-users of the program as well groups like sales, training and accounting. Then, help your team make the right choice from among the incoming proposals by adding in the details to flesh out your RFP. The better you can describe your company’s specific needs and challenges, the better proposals you’ll get in return.

To go beyond the standard RFP, you may want to conduct an internal survey with a series of questions about your staff’s current travel experience. See if they’ll answer an open-ended question about what they’d change about the policy or the program. From there, you’ll be able to detail your requirements beyond the basics. The RFP will still need to cover travel fulfillment details, including reporting tools, fee structure and other key data elements. But you should become a more educated consumer with the additional specifics you request in the proposal.


Use this RFP and response period to refresh your travel policy and update as necessary to embrace the new complexities of business travel. Shared economy technologies like Uber, Lyft and Airbnb for Business are changing the landscape of travel expenses. If you aren’t already allowing ‘bleisure’ trips, it’s time to consider offering this popular benefit to your staff, especially if your millennial traveler profile is growing. Does your policy reflect the current pricing trends for add-ons like priority airline seating and in-flight Wi-Fi access? Consider the relationship you’ll build with your travel management company and the offerings provided to your employees. Your travel policy reflects your company’s brand and culture, so it’s smart to think about how this document supports those tenets.


Whether you’re looking for greater cost savings or operational improvements, Travel Leaders Corporate can help. Our expert team can assist with not only reinvigorating your travel policy, but also honing your overall travel management strategy. Travel Leaders Corporate has the solutions and innovation to support your journey every step of the way, but what sets us apart is the dedicated human interaction you’ll receive as a client. Our industry-leading experts will guide you through the entire process of creating a travel policy, presenting it to your vendor review committee and will recommend internal adoption strategies once the plan is implemented. With the complexities of travel management taken care of, you’re free to focus on the reason and mission for your travel. At Travel Leaders Corporate, you matter, your travel shouldn’t.

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