Procuring a TMC for the energy industry
Procuring a TMC for the energy industry
Discover why a sector focused travel management company (TMC) is essential for all operating in the energy sector
Welcome to the TMC marketplace
Travel is a natural area for procurement teams within the oil & gas sector to outsource as it is one of the most significant and controllable expenses - unsurprisingly, due to regular travel that crew make the topic is highly emotive. It is therefore paramount that the right supplier is selected.
Procuring the right TMC for your organisation is a big ask and if you’re the person who’s trusted to deliver then you’re probably already aware of how challenging it can be; everyone in the business has their own opinion and agenda, and it’s your job to try and find the best fit.
When looking at the travel management marketplace there are a wide range of companies to choose from, each with a multitude of solutions and products; in the UK alone there are over 50 TMCs of considerable size. It is important, however, to note that they are not all created equally.
Whilst many travel management companies are focused upon traditional corporate travel, getting white collar workers to city meetings, these requirements are of limited complexity and cannot be replicated for the crew travel your organisation requires.
Unlike other industries where travel to meetings is secondary, in the energy sector travel is mission critical with costly consequences. Crew travel must be approached differently and focus upon the sector's unique and challenging requirements.
There are a select number of sector specialist travel management companies who focus upon energy travel and deciding on the correct one for your company comes with considerable responsibility. Keep reading to discover the top tips for procuring the right TMC for your organisation.
The right heritage is key
Experience and specialism in your sector are the most important factors in helping you to achieve your travel procurement goals. It is crucial to find an understanding TMC, one that appreciates the tough conditions in which your organisation and the sector are currently operating under. They know that because of these challenges there is a need to outsource certain areas of the business, such as travel, to specialists so that energy companies can focus on their core business and operate efficiently and competitively.
A real legacy of servicing oil & gas clients is vital. ATPI Marine & Energy can trace its roots back to 1919 and our specialism of managing travel for energy organisations started over 40 years ago. Over 70% of our travellers are considered ‘mission critical,’ as they have to reach their destination to complete their work. Of that 70%, the majority are crew, travelling to a rig or vessel to fulfil operational requirements. We therefore know that crew travel can be a logistical nightmare. It is therefore paramount to have the full support of a TMC that has been dealing with these challenges day in, day out for years.
Not only are years of experience servicing energy clients important when procuring a TMC, you need to ensure the company follows a similar set of values to your organisation. For example, do you both value close co-operation and sustainability in regard to relationships?
At ATPI Marine & Energy we see ourselves as an extension of our clients’ organisations, in some case we have moved whole servicing teams onsite to ensure they are fully supported, and we believe this is fundamental to the success of our relationships.
We want our clients to grow and develop, and in turn we will support them at each stage. We believe a close partnership is fundamental to the success of the service. Our services are not one-size-fits-all but bespoke.
Think about the values and working culture of your company and compare this to your shortlist of energy specialist TMCs.
Find out more:
Discover how ATPI Marine & Energy proactively improved cost savings through consolidating Seadrill’s hotel programme. Click here to read the case study.
For more resources, including case studies and expert insights visit the ATPI Insights.
Location, location, location
Location, location, location
A complimentary presence between you and your TMC should not be underestimated. By shortlisting TMC’s with a similar presence you will be fully supported in your locations.
Mission critical travel is complex and ever-changing, especially in regard to visa, medical and training certifications, this is where the local knowledge of on the ground TMC staff in your main locations is vital.
When TMCs are located in the world’s key energy hubs it also means a variety of servicing solutions are possible, including a follow the sun approach.
Even if you are only looking for a TMC in a few locations currently, this may change sooner than expected, therefore a global TMC provides longevity should you need to globally consolidate in the future.
Please find our locations highlighted in blue.
Most individuals involved in the procurement of a TMC would state operational efficiencies and cost savings as their main motivations for change.
All TMCs that make their way onto your shortlist need to have access to offshore fares. These fares offer greater flexibility and significant discounts to crew travellers. Offering marine fares is no longer unique, however the method in which fares are sourced is a major differentiator between TMCs. Want to recap your knowledge on marine & offshore fares? Read our e-guide, 'Understanding marine & offshore fares in today's market.'
As the travel patterns of crew are unpredictable and very often last minute, access to last-seat availability is paramount. It can be the difference between getting crew to a vessel on time or not, thus saving thousands of pounds and time. Crew managers are further aided by a TMC which is able to source rates from alternative offices to ensure further cost savings and wider seat availability.
Enquire regarding the transparency of your shortlisted TMCs in regard to offering and service, to ensure you are being offered the cheapest rates.
Energy specialist TMCs should have a portfolio of technology and work flow management platforms to assist the efficient transfer of your crew from their home to destination. These platforms integrate with internal or third-party crew management tools and enable the entire travel life cycle from scheduling, via travel management to reporting to be managed in one global platform. A variety of suppliers and tools makes managing travel and rotations complex. Having a TMC that understands the processes involved and can consolidate multiple systems in one place is crucial. The easy to use platforms reduces manual intervention and increase productivity.
ATPI Marine & Energy’s technology also enables us to connect and integrate with port authorities too, to further simplify the intricacies of crew changes.
Comprehensive and flexible duty of care solutions
Safety and security is paramount to every travel programme but is increasingly so when you have crew travelling to remote locations. Look for a travel partner that puts safety at the heart of the programme and enables you to be proactive in your duty of care obligations.
A TMC with heritage in the marine and offshore industry will very often have created their duty of care technology and services around the needs of companies in your peer group. They understand the need for 24/7/365 service as your crew changes are not confined to typical office hours. Make sure your TMC shortlist also includes technology that allows you to have complete visibility of crew travel, alerts you to critical scenarios and allows you to communicate with travellers.
Once you have conducted research into suitable travel management companies and created a shortlist, organise to meet with them. Starting a conversation will allow you to ‘bring your requirements to life’, and the travel management company can fully understand your requirements.
Finally, look to the future. Are your current travel management concerns and aims short term ones, or will they be different in three years’ time?