What Is a Corporate Travel Consultant?

Corporate Travel ConsultantFor anyone unfamiliar with the role of a “corporate travel consultant,” the first clarification tends to be that corporate travel consultants do not book travel.  Think ‘corporate’ first: the clientele of corporate travel consultants tends to be companies, of all sizes, in need of expertise navigating the travel industry. From a booking standpoint, any given traveler, on any given day, could go online and book a flight directly, with an airline or a third-party provider, to get where they need to be. When such bookings are not managed, however, a seemingly simple booking, from a corporate standpoint, raises a number of questions.

Standard Questions For Corporate Travel Bookings

  • Did the corporate traveler book in the class allowed by policy? If not, will he or she still be reimbursed on the expense end?
  • Did the traveler choose the lowest flight price available? Did the traveler select a personally-preferred airline to earn reward points? Past airline pricing is not available for review, so if not captured at the booking point, this selection cannot be managed.
  • Does anyone at your company have the traveler’s travel details, such as flight number and hotel location? Should anything occur, whether inclement weather or a world event, both the traveler’s safety and company liability may be at stake, if not this information captured.
  • Is anyone reviewing this spend for its value in vendor partnerships? When bookings go direct and “uncaptured,” opportunities to partner with airlines and hotels may be bypassed.

At times, companies may have a Travel Management Company (TMC) that books for them, but they lack an internal resource dedicated to managing travel separately. The traveler may be booking through the chosen TMC, with an enforced travel policy, and yet no one may be asking whether commissionable rates are being booked, if audits of loaded discounts are being conducted, or if your TMC is prepared for upcoming industry changes.

A corporate travel consultant is, first and foremost, the individual who asks these questions. Corporate travel consultants arm themselves with information. Industry updates and past solutions, combined with creative thinking, allows consultants to present an array of options and make recommendations, and in the fast-changing travel industry, KesselRun’s 16 years of experience and ear-to-the-ground insight inform what questions we ask on our clients’ behalf.

How KesselRun Can Help as a Corporate Travel Consultant

When KesselRun is engaged by a client, as a nonbiased party, our corporate travel consultants act strictly in the interests of that company. While maintaining close working relationships with TMCs and vendors industry wide, KesselRun has no stake in the market’s supply chain ourselves, which sets us apart from the consulting branches of TMCs.

Corporate travel consultants are hired for the same reason as any expert: experience.

When a vendor contract, whether for a hotel room block or years-spanning TMC or airline contract, needs review, pitfalls familiar to consultants regularly reviewing such contracts may go overlooked by even legal professionals without industry-specific experience with travel.

In RFPs, every contender will be putting their best face forward, and the sales pitch may not align with the reality or industry-known reputation.

Many mature programs come to a point when they start to question “How are we doing?” and “What can or should we be doing better?” – KesselRun’s team has unmatched experience in building, supporting, and managing all aspects of corporate travel. KesselRun can audit your travel program from top to bottom to leave no stones unturned.

KesselRun is the oldest and largest management consulting firm focusing solely on corporate travel.  Our founders, while having experience from the big five consulting firms, designed our business to be its own model: rather than driving toward 100% utilization, we dedicate time to thinking outside of the box, exploring new industry developments, and building programs that are not only industry best-in-class but relevant to each client’s business and organizational needs.

Our focus is cost savings, traveler satisfaction, risk management, and ROI against our fees. Whether you need to arm your travel program with up-to-the-minute understanding of the corporate travel industry or a more direct helping hand with your travel program’s management, KesselRun corporate travel consultants can help: to begin asking the right questions and finding solutions customized to the your travel program’s specific needs.

If you’re interested to learn more about KesselRun’s corporate travel consulting services, contact us online.

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