The Advantages of One TMC

» Posted by on Dec 16, 2014 in Travel Management Centers | 0 comments

For those states that have a managed travel program, each state puts a different spin on how to contract for a Travel Management Contractor.  Some states will contract separately for an online and a traditional provider.  Some will contract for a single agency and others will contract for multiple.    Some states may have statutes or laws like the federal government where a portion of the contracts is required to be spent with minority or small business.

Oregon has had a managed travel program for over 15 years.   The model was patterned after the GSA and has worked well.  One thing that Oregon does is it keeps the number of travel agencies who are authorized to provide contracted air fares, to one.    The State of Oregon partners with the Oregon University System (OUS) to consolidate travel volume and leverage spend.  We allow the OUS to contract with a limited number of additional travel agencies who meet their unique needs.

This practice has been tremendous in the state achieving at least $7 million in annual savings than paying published fares.   Airlines like to see controls in place.  Those controls include a single form of payment, authorization procedures in place, and a limited number of travel agencies selling the tickets.    The more controls, the better the savings.

Another tremendous advantage in having just one TMC, all of the travel spend is contained at the one source.  It certainly makes it easier to have a single report showing all of the travel spend, vs. trying to compile multiple reports by hand.

I am not saying this may be the best way, by having multiple agencies, there could be an advantage to use an agency that better suits a travelers need, or one who is closer in location.  But in today’s environment, most travel agencies can offer services to meet everyone’s needs and since tickets are issued electronically, whether next door or across the state, the method of delivery remains the same.

by Tim Hay

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