When we have reached the conclusion that it is necessary to travel, then comes the question of getting the best services at a good price so as to save on travel expenses.
A few years ago preparations for a company trip used the services of a traditional travel agency but today we can use suppliers who have a web site and e-commerce. These providers also make the booking process easier, as the companies have access to different agents without having to use intermediaries. Today, thanks to these online providers, you can buy a train or flight ticket, make a reservation at a hotel or rent a car. Given this situation, you need to identify which is the most suitable supplier to provide you with the service in question.
In any case, you need to take all the variables into account. It has been shown which operations are more expensive, not because of the final price itself, but due to a series of services that are no longer used. For example, some agencies can provide detailed statistics of what is spent on each item (hotels, car rental, etc.), a credit card reconciliation, a custom invoicing depending on the needs of the accounting department of the company, an integration with company accounting or ERP software, etc. In other words, a whole list of services that also have a cost and can speed up the drafting of the expense sheet for the sales executive. The landscape has also changed from a few years ago in that there are different sourcing channels. So, you can make a phone call (which is what we did in the past), send an email or make a reservation or purchase using a mobile phone or a tablet. That is, we have tools to perform actions quickly, directly and immediately, without relying on third parties.
There is one other aspect to take into account. If purchases are made using a smartphone without any type of control, the purchase volume will be spread. That leads to a loss of buying power, which otherwise could be used to negotiate prices with suppliers. It is therefore advisable to perform an analysis at consultancy level and compare the results for the different options.
When it comes to complex trips (for example, making different visits on the same continent, when it is necessary to take several different flights, or travelling to a very distant destination), it is not advisable to make an intuitive purchase on a website, since most probably the direct flight will be the one purchased, which is the most comfortable but also the most expensive. Instead, an experienced specialist agency can advise you about making a European stopover or combining flights from different companies.
This leads to one conclusion, which is that you need to make a comparison between different vendors in order to be clear about what services are being offered and at what prices. In this way it is possible to identify your degree of satisfaction both at a qualitative and economic level. However, there is no guarantee that this information will always be the same, because a factor can change on more than one occasion. That is why you need to perform regular consulting analyses and audits