The decision maker
How to find the right online booking tool for your organisation
Finding the one
An online booking tool can make or
break a travel programme...
An online booking tool can make or break a travel programme.
Get it right and traveller noise is decreased, compliance is increased and the ins and outs of how an organisation travels becomes much more visible – get it wrong and travellers rush to the many other alternatives, weakening duty of care assurances, travel policies and the potential for cost saving in the process.
However, finding the right online booking tool is easier said than done, despite the fact that there are more booking tools available than ever before.
Here’s our experts’ three-pronged attack on how to pin down exactly what it is that your organisation wants from an online booking tool, consisting of the key questions to ask your organisation and your potential TMC.
What do your travellers like/dislike about your current booking tool/process?
It’s well worth gathering traveller and booker feedback on your current online booking tool or process and then seeing how this aligns with the goals that your organisation has for the travel programme – this will provide a draft specification for any potential technology.
What’s your company culture like?
Assessing how open, strict or prescriptive your internal organisational culture is, or would like to be going forwards, will prove useful when considering how you’d like a potential online booking tool to enforce travel policy; for example, do you want to be enforce a blanket policy for all travellers? Or would you prefer a more customisable approach?
What do your travellers wish your current booking tool could do?
Although travel is a category in which many key stakeholders are invested, identifying what would be considered a win in the eyes of your travellers can really help to get wider buy-in – something that’s vital when it comes to implementation. Maybe your travellers really want a booking tool that can be used on their phones? Or a way of speeding up approvals?
Travellers at 2018's Business Travel Show indicated that they wished greater travel itinerary suggestions could be integrated into their online booking tool...
How easily can the online booking tool integrate your current HR and finance systems?
The option to integrate your organisation’s chosen HR, expenses and finance systems is essential if one of your goals is to reduce manual processes and speed up efficiencies, but it’s not something that all online booking tools offer.
Does the online booking tool offer API functionality?
Despite often being talked about in conjunction with NDC, API technology goes much further than simply giving your online booking tool access to content direct from airlines, as it gives your chosen booking tool the possibility to become much more customisable and therefore reflective of how your organisation actually travels.
What kind of reporting functionality does the online booking tool offer?
Increasing visibility of how your organisation travels is key to a successful corporate travel programme; one which produces savings, increases efficiency and captures leakage, and so an online booking tool that captures decision-making data and presents it in regular, customisable and easy-accessible reports is essential.
What are your short term corporate travel goals?
With online booking tools becoming more and more technology advanced, it's important not to be dazzled and check that the technology can deliver on your short term goals, whether that’s cost savings, compliance or management information.
How can the online booking tool address leakage?
Leakage (or out-of-contract bookings) pose a significant threat to corporate travel programmes, both in terms of preventing savings but also in preventing an organisation from fulfilling its duty of care obligations – if a traveller goes rogue and books outside of contract, and policy, then how does an organisation know that the travel or accommodation is safe and secure?
Where will your organisation be in 3 years’ time?
In order for the procurement process to be valuable, and not just time down the drain, finding a booking tool that can grow
alongside your organisation and is flexible in meeting your changing requirements is essential.
How happy are you with your organisation's online booking tool?
- Very happy
- Not at all happy