Exploring Corporate Travel Procurement Solutions with Pulse Travel

Exploring Corporate Travel Procurement Solutions with Pulse Travel

When it comes to planning corporate travel, corporate travellers always want to ensure they’re getting the most bang for their buck and the best deal possible.

The corporate travel market is currently worth $3bn dollars a year, and much of that relies on businesses striking arrangements with preferred travel providers for improved rates in exchange for guaranteed bookings from that business.

This process is known as corporate travel procurement – And for businesses looking to tighten their corporate travel budget or improve relationships with suppliers, it’s a critical part of the corporate travel process.

Here at Pulse Travel, our team has over 30 years of experience working with businesses to obtain the best rates from preferred suppliers, negotiating fees and providing innovative corporate travel solutions to all of our partners.

What is Travel Procurement?

Corporate Travel Procurement is the process of sourcing, acquiring and managing partnerships between businesses and their preferred travel suppliers.

Travel Procurement can apply to almost any business that operates within the travel and tourism industry, and can be extremely beneficial for businesses looking to develop strong industry partnerships and tighten their corporate travel budgets.

The partnerships and agreements formed within the procurement process can vary depending on a range of factors, and businesses undertaking the Travel Procurement process can typically expect to benefit from exclusive discounted rates, guaranteed bookings, automatic upgrades, priority and more. The benefits that a business can be privy too depends on the amount of travel that the employees are doing on a regular basis – And the more business that a corporation brings to a travel provider, the better the agreement.

For those looking to undertake the Travel Procurement process for the first time, the process is as follows:

  1. Identify the key travel needs
    Each business will inevitably have different needs, and the first step when undertaking the Travel Procurement process is to evaluate the needs of the business and where costs could effectively and realistically be reduced.
  2. Research potential suppliers that fit these needs
    If the business has engaged in travel previously, this may include consulting with staff to understand their preferences and needs as well as looking at previous bookings and track record.
  3. Understand Market Dynamics
    Before engaging in negotiations, it’s critical a business understands the dynamics of the travel and tourism markets and how pricing is structured. By doing this you’ll be able to understand what rates are good and bad, and which suppliers are able to provide you the most competitive rate during different periods of time. If you’re unsure about whether a price is strong or weak, the Pulse Travel Corporate Team can support in this.
  4. Negotiate with Volume
    When it comes to Travel Procurement, the more travel a business can promise to a provider, the better the rate they’re likely to receive. Entering the negotiation process with a clear idea of the volume of business you can offer will support your endeavours, and will ensure travel and tourism providers can come back with a clear proposal.
    You can clearly negotiate the volume of travel you plan to give to a supplier by discussing the number of room nights, cars or flights your company currently uses annually.
  5. Consider Long-Term Contracts
    While some businesses may be hesitant to sign a long-term contract with a supplier for fear of being burned or being locked into something that doesn’t benefit both parties, businesses will often be offered better pricing if they’re willing to sign something long term.
    Long-term contracts provide stability for both parties, knowing that the supplier is going to get guaranteed business for a longer term, and the business can be assured of secure rates.

The Role of Technology in Travel Procurement.

As technology becomes increasingly more critical in the business environment, its uses in Travel Procurement also become more varied.

Technology has become a critical part of the entire Travel Procurement process, from sourcing suppliers to monitoring performance and understanding when a contract may need to be adjusted.

Pulse Travel offers advanced travel management software to all corporate clients, allowing partners to view the best travel rates through one platform and quickly curate an initial supplier list to reach out to.

Pulse Travel’s advanced reporting tool also allows businesses to clearly track their travel expenditure, keeping up with how much they spend in a month, where the most money is spent and whether any partnerships that are currently in place are still beneficial.

Demo’s of Pulse Travel’s technology are available – Get in touch to learn how their technology can support further.

Key Components of Effective Travel Procurement.

One of the key components of any successful Travel Procurement agreement is that it meets the needs of both the supplier and the business. For suppliers, this will often look like upholding the promised number of bookings – For businesses, this often boils down to providing the rates promised in the agreement to help decrease travel costs.

In order for a business to make their Travel Partnership a success in the first place, the business must be honest and realistic with suppliers regarding the amount of travel their staff expect to do – This will ensure the supplier can come back with a realistic deal, and there are no issues further down the line when needs aren’t met.

From here, tracking the results of the partnership are key – This may look like regularly auditing your suppliers to ensure they’re complying to the agreement, running regular comparisons against other suppliers to ensure you’re still getting the best deal, and discussing your concerns either with the supplier or with your Corporate Travel Agent if these key components aren’t being met.

At Pulse Travel, the Corporate Travel team have extensive experience in managing corporate partnerships, ensuring suppliers adhere to the promises agreed to in a Travel Procurement agreement and managing these relationships where relevant.

Future of Travel Procurement

The travel procurement has changed vastly over the last few years – Technology has made tracking partnerships and costs easier, covid19 has made businesses re-evaluate their partnerships and changes to business travel habits have forced both businesses and suppliers to strengthen their contracts for protection.

As the corporate world continues to evolve, travel needs will also evolve, requiring the Travel Procurement process to change with it to protect both the businesses that engage in the process and the suppliers that benefit.

A couple of expected changes may be:

  • Priorities may change – Cheapest may no longer be the best, and suppliers may be forced to look at what else they can offer businesses to retain contracts.
  • Contract renewal may no longer be guaranteed – Businesses may become more savvier with their agreements, and suppliers may be required to adjust their pricing more frequently, meaning more regular negotiations.
  • Increased tracking – As technology grows and evolves, so will the ability to effectively track the performance of your suppliers.

Pulse Travel has over 30 years of experience in the Corporate Travel Industry, and will be able to support any Travel Procurement questions you may have. To find out more about how they can support Corporate Travel, get in touch today.