You’ve made the decision to work with a new TMC. Now what?
The good news is that with the right plan in place the process is very straightforward. There is no bad news, but the truth is that making the move a success does require some hard work, good communication and focus. Implementing a new TMC is the ideal opportunity to introduce changes and improvements for the better.
Here are the actions that you need to take to ensure a smooth, on-time and successful implementation…
- Get together an internal implementation team – prepare them and get their commitment
- If you haven’t already, make sure you have senior support for buy-in to the changes
- Hold a scoping day with your new TMC to create the mutual statement of work
- Agree the implementation plan with your new TMC
- Assign roles and responsibilities
- Agree timeframes for each task within the implementation plan and also consider if you will have a phased implementation or ‘big bang’ approach
- Agree travel policy
- Confirm booking channels – online with offline support, online with no offline support, VIP desk, Groups desk etc
- Define the IT work needed for invoicing, MI and data capture
- Sign contract with agreed terms on service levels, KPI’s, liabilities and pricing
- Communicate change through effective channels, supported by your new TMC
- Deliver training, also supported by your new TMC
What about managing my outgoing TMC?
In our years of experience of implementing new clients and managing outgoing TMC’s, it has been rare that the other party are unprofessional or unhelpful. They will not want to burn bridges with you, in the hope that they may one day win back your business. The business travel industry is a small world and TMC’s know one another well so management of your incumbent agency shouldn’t cause issues.
However, it is important to agree a clear exit plan with them so they know the dates that they will no longer manage your bookings, dates for final balance payments and cost reconciliations at the end of their contract and what messages they are to give any of your bookers who still have bookings placed with them.
Change management is always a challenge in any company but your new TMC will have experienced Implementation Managers to guide you through a seamless changeover. If you have selected the right TMC for your organisation, appointed after a needs-led RFP then the change will always be for the better.