How to pick a travel management company (TMC)

The Travel Management Company (TMC) partner you choose can significantly affect the success of your organization’s managed travel program, traveler satisfaction, and the company’s bottom line. Finding the best TMC match requires strategic planning, a methodical process and involvement from the right travel stakeholders. Here’s a guide to help pick the right TMC to manage your company’s travel needs.

Know what you need from a TMC.

Identify the specific services you need from them, such as their ability to connect travel program strategy to company mission and purpose, sector experience, hotel program expertisesustainabilitytravel policy compliancerisk management, or a defined approach to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I). The TMC should demonstrate broad experience in managing travel for organizations like yours. They should offer robust travel management technology and digital technologies to service all of your company’s needs. Do they have sufficient global reach and supplier partnerships to accommodate your international travelers? Can they demonstrate continuous improvements over time?

Qualities to look for in a TMC >

Assess whether the TMC’s culture matches your priorities and objectives.

For example, if sustainability is a priority, your TMC partner should exhibit long-term commitment to all aspects of corporate social responsibility, including but not limited to conservation, reduced carbon burdens, accessibility for all travelers, and safety considerations for different traveler communities.  

Make sure the TMC’s culture matches your priorities and objectives >


As a travel buyer, you’re responsible for helping your organization use travel and meetings to achieve broader goals. Partnering with the right TMC leads to improved safety, productivity and wellbeing for business travelers and streamlined processes and cost savings.

Keep your organization’s goals firmly in mind.

This process should ultimately lead to a successful, long-running partnership aligned to your organization’s values, culture, and objectives. Before you begin:

Take a closer look at the TMC process >

Get to know your potential supplier partner.

This part of the selection process shouldn’t be taken lightly or relegated to standard presentations with slides. To find the right supplier, set up workshops with each bidder. That way, you can start to build a deeper understanding of who you’re buying from. These workshops can take multiple forms. The true benefit is in making space for open conversation, more discovery and becoming better acquainted. After all, you’re not just buying a company’s service, you’re buying from people.

Use workshops for discovery >

Issue your RFP with confidence.

Now that you’ve identified your company and traveler needs, aligned your goals with key stakeholders across the business, and met with TMCs to workshop your program, you’re ready to issue the RFP. Knowing what’s most important means you can now get an all-encompassing proposal from each bidder so that you can find the TMC partner who meets your needs now and can grow with you in the future. 

Issue the RFP >

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How-to guides

Get more done with our How-to series for people who work and manage travel.

Questions? Email: [email protected]

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