How to...

Go global without a global TMC

Is it really possible to manage a global corporate travel programme through a regional TMC? One company developed an innovative solution that has managed to do exactly that


STEP 1: THE BRIEF. A major manufacturer for the automotive and architectural markets needed to implement a global travel programme across all the countries it operated in. It has nearly 30,000 permanent employees, with principal operations in 30 countries and sales in over 130.

STEP 2: THE GROUNDWORK. The company spoke to four global travel management companies, plus Manchesterbased CTI. Ultimately it was the regional TMC that won the business by coming up with a flexible alternative to the usual global set-up. It identified key partners in the company’s biggest markets and built a bespoke travel alliance for the client. “With a global TMC there is very little flexibility,” says Melanie Quinn, Commercial Director at CTI. “You have to work with the brand or their partner in each territory, regardless of the size of spend or agency.” She continues: “After listening to what was

She continues: “After listening to what was working for the client and where they were struggling, we knew that building a tailormade alliance would deliver the best in class service they were looking for.”

STEP 3: THE SOLUTION. The model appealed to the client as all the agencies involved would share data to enable UK management to police their policy and enable global traveller tracking. Some of CTI’s fellow bidders could only guarantee data from six countries.

CTI also created a global hotel programme, introduced new payment processes to save on credit card fees, and an online implementation system was created to give the company complete control of the roll-out.

“Each partner is the right size and shape for the client’s spend and must deliver against a strict SLA,” explains Quinn. “On the rare occasion that a partner has failed to deliver, we have replaced them with a new partner without disrupting the rest of the programme.”

Quinn believes the high level of service together with the provision of consolidated global data has been important to eight other clients that have adopted the same approach to their global travel needs.

STEP 4: THE RESULTS. Among the benefits that the company achieved were greater compliance, significant savings and better spend visibility. CTI guaranteed in excess of £140,000 in savings from day one simply by changing the client’s payment processes.

Compliance rose, with 95% of all travellers booking via a CTI-appointed alliance member, while global data enabled the company to identify new cost savings opportunities and reduce spend.

CTI also negotiated preferred hotel deals in the UK that delivered a further £21,000 saving in the first 12 months. It also negotiated free wifi and breakfast and in one particular hotel obtained £44 per night in additional benefits.