How do I build a better travel management company RFP?

How can you build a better TMC RFP?

Is your RFP really accomplishing its mission?

Key Factors to Evaluate to Choose the Right TMC

  1. Are you really serious about change, or just testing the market?
    Don’t waste time on an RFP if what you really want is better pricing. Just press your current vendor with an annual price review.
  2. Are you including all the right stakeholders in the process and are they helping write the RFP?
    A short list of interested parties should include: HR, IT, Security, Legal, Operations and Procurement, as well as travel managers and frequent travelers.
  3. Can you precisely articulate your company’s specific needs?
    Too many RFPs are a template grabbed from an industry resource, with little attempt made to focus on unique challenges your company is facing.
  4. Do you understand your travelers?
    Why do they go rogue and book outside your current program? If you are not sure, send them a survey and find out – prior to writing your bid document.
  5. Are you able to handle a large bid process?
    If not, consider hiring a firm to help you manage the document creation, meetings, research and review processes for you.
  6. Have you thoroughly analyzed your data?
    Provide granular transactional data to all bidders. If you want a different TMC, then you need to make sure it’s not just your incumbent with this type of extensive internal knowledge.

When preparing your Request for Proposal (RFP):

List goals.

Providing a detailed list of goals to all suppliers will result in more robust responses and commitments from the bidders.

Provide criteria for scoring.

When using a scorecard to evaluate suppliers, it is important not to keep the evaluation criteria confidential. Share the scorecard and category weightings with all suppliers so they have a clear understanding of what is important to you and the overall objectives of your travel program. By being transparent, you will receive the most appropriate offer that meets your needs.

Provide data and other relevant information to all bidders.

If you manage travel in-house, you may not have much, but the more information you provide about your travel costs and patterns, the more meaningful the proposal will be. Make sure all of your potential suppliers are working from the same baseline to avoid any unfair advantages for the current supplier. 

Choose your questions carefully.

Choosing a limited number of questions to evaluate TMCs against each other is more effective than using a large number of irrelevant questions. While standard templates can be useful for generating ideas, it is important to ensure that the questions you ask suppliers are current and relevant. Many of the questions in these templates are basic requirements that most TMCs should already meet. By eliminating these questions, you can save time and focus on what is truly important to your travel program.

Evaluation of Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

Be sure to use a standard pricing format and provide specific guidelines on pricing requirements (e.g., for air: per transaction vs. per segment, or for rail: per transaction vs. per rail coupon). 
Evaluate each supplier’s total cost of ownership (TCO) and ask them to confirm your assessment. This will prevent any unexpected issues that may arise after implementation.

What is an RFI or RFQ?

Abbreviation for Request for Information or Request for Quotation. This is a short questionnaire issued by a travel buyer or sourcing team and is often the first step in evaluating suppliers. This questionnaire may be issued prior to an RFP (see below).  

What is a Managed Travel RFP?

Short for Request for Proposal. In business travel, it’s the document used to gather information and evaluate potential travel management companies for sourcing. While legacy or standard RFP templates are convenient, they’re not always the best way to gather information relevant to today’s business travel climate. Revise and refine RFPs to ask questions about what’s possible today.  

What is RFP scoring?

RFP scoring, also known as proposal scoring or simply a scorecard, assigns number value to the RFP answers provided by a vendor. Sharing scorecards in advance seems counterproductive but the opposite is the case. The scorecard reveals to bidders what the organization’s needs are. They can refine their offerings, eliminating noise from less useful information. All parties save on time and resources when bidders who find they’re not best suited to deliver services excuse themselves from the process.  

Who are the stakeholders in the RFP experience?

the individuals, teams and departments who should be involved in the TMC selection process. This may range from procurement and HR teams to marketing, communications, technology, and accounting.  

What is a tender in an RFP?

Another term for RFP or proposal. This is an invitation or offer to bid on a contract. 

What is difference between RFI, RFQ and RFP?

RFI, RFQ, and RFP are three important terms in the procurement process for travel management services. An RFI (Request for Information) is used to gather information about available travel services and to evaluate next travel management options. An RFQ (Request for Quotation) is a formal document used to solicit quotes from potential suppliers for specific corporate travel needs, such as international travel or travel inventory. An RFP (Request for Proposal) is a detailed document that outlines current travel management requirements, such as travel management software and business travel needs. 

Would you like to learn more about our travel management solutions?

Contact our sales team to explore how we can assist you with your corporate travel program.

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