The MacNair Travel Leadership Blog

T&E RFP 101: 7 Steps to Success

Posted by Mike MacNair on May 17, 2016 12:00:00 PM

T&E RFP 101: 7 Steps to SuccessA good travel policy includes cost, compliance, productivity, value and other concerns. If you want to create an effective RFP for the best travel program results, you already know there are certain questions you want to address.

However, as a travel management company (TMC), we’ve discovered that many SME’s don’t know all the questions to ask. What are your primary objectives? What benchmarks will identify success? Who are the stakeholders?

To help you craft a stronger RFP, we’ve come up with 7 aspects fundamental to the process.

7 Considerations for Your TMC RFP

1. Start With “Why”

Why do you want to improve your travel management program? What do you hope to achieve with improvement?

When you identify the results you hope to achieve such as fee savings, improved productivity, better control over the bottom line, improved travel policy compliance, etc. then it’s easier to prioritize and define your goals. This helps you develop stronger objectives in your RFP so you’re able find the best match for you.

2. Identify Your “Who”

Who are your stakeholders in your travel program? Who stands to benefit the most and how? Ask your executives, your road warriors, financial team, admin, HR and anyone else you can think of. Your travel program impacts your entire company culture so it’s important to think through the process.

Ask them to answer these questions:

  • “If we changed to a new travel program today, what would have to happen for you to feel we made the right decision?”
  • “Where do we stand currently on these items?”

3. Gather Data

How much do you currently spend on travel? In what areas? What are the common complaints? Once you have a snapshot on what’s occurring now, you’re in a stronger position to identify your gaps.

For example, maybe your employees are good about adhering to the travel policy but the current process for booking and reimbursements is cumbersome. They’re also asking about using Airbnb and Uber and these options aren’t addressed in your current policy.

4. Gather Your Team

Once you have an idea of the business challenges and the potential solutions of your current travel program, you can start refining your objectives.

You have data that tells the story of current expenses, you’ve defined your reasons “why” you want to improve the travel management program and you’ve identified stakeholders.

Now you can identify those who’ll take ownership of developing your new travel policy starting with your RFP.

5. Identify Prospective TMC’s

Once you have your top 3-5 objectives, (you can use the worksheets in the downloadable workbook to help you narrow it down) you’re in a good place to discuss potential solutions with travel management companies in a Q & A session.

Schedule a meeting and go over your top objectives. You’re bound to gain insight into the way TMC’s really work and how they improve your efficiencies, which will help you improve your RFP so that you really get the travel program results you want.

6. Narrow Your Choices

If you hold Q & A session with several potential companies, you’ll have collected more information on available travel solutions and reviewed the data with your travel team.

This process may have brought up more questions or identified potential barriers you hadn’t thought of before.

7. Use this Information to Complete Your RFP

Once you’ve gathered all of this information, you can prepare a clear RFP with specific objectives. That will help you find the right TMC that meets your needs.

Have you already identified clear objectives? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

Download our 8 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Submitting RFP’s (with sample worksheets) so you don’t overlook anything.

8 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Submitting T&E RFP's







Topics: Request For Proposal