Corporate Travel and Lodging Solutions through Group Purchasing

In 2019, expert analysts say that business travel costs are going to rise.

That’s right, with hotel prices set to rise nearly 4% in under a year and flights increasing by 2.6%, you’re going to want to find ways to combat the bump.

However, reducing your travel budget doesn’t always mean you have to slash employee per diems or opt for lodging in the middle of nowhere.

Corporate travel is easier and more cost-effective when you finance it through group purchasing. New to group purchasing? Here’s everything you need to know.

What to Know About Group Purchasing

A group purchasing organization leverages its buying power by negotiating deals with larger companies who are offering rates at a wholesale price.

This might mean you can receive reduced, wholesale prices on things such as office supplies, shipping, and even hotels.

As a small business, this is especially helpful, as you wouldn’t be able to receive the same prices if you didn’t go through a group purchasing organization.

Why not just link up with a corporate lodging company yourself? These companies usually have minimum spending requirements to qualify for discounts. Most small to mid-sized companies don’t meet these requirements alone.

This is why group purchasing organizations have members, which are companies of various sizes all around the country or world. It’s as if a bunch of small businesses got together to purchase office supplies or book hotels in bulk.

Instead, the group purchasing organization is negotiating these deals and purchasing on their behalf.

This cuts out a lot of wasted time spent looking for deals, making calls, negotiating, and even handling the booking end of corporate travel.

Understanding the Difficulties of Corporate Travel

When employees travel, it costs a business money. That’s a no-brainer. But, did you know that businesses lose money simply because they don’t understand the rate index of the average nightly cost of a hotel?

This is because this information is usually hard to find. And, if you find it, it’s hard to compare against other cities.

Room rates and hidden costs are one of the most difficult things to assess for smaller companies who are simply trying to stay afloat.

Another major challenge is figuring out indirect costs.

Is parking free at the hotel? Is the WiFi included? These are questions that most people don’t think to look out for but can add a lot to the bottom line of corporate travel expenses.

When a company isn’t prepared to search for these types of issues beforehand, they find themselves receiving the brunt of the blow when it comes time to pay. Group purchasing organizations take the guesswork out of bookings and billing by doing it all for you.

They have pre-negotiated rates and relationships with hotels. They’ve done all of the research into hidden fees and know exactly what amenities come with the price.

Even better, these organizations save you money by allowing your employees to focus on other things.

Employees spend at least 20 minutes reading hotel reviews before booking a room. Multiply that by a few employees and you’ve already wasted hours of precious working time.

When you decide to harness the power of a group purchasing organization, you’re giving time back to your employees and saving money while doing so. That’s a win-win for everybody.

Instead, the group purchasing organization is negotiating these deals and purchasing on their behalf.

This cuts out a lot of wasted time spent looking for deals, making calls, negotiating, and even handling the booking end of corporate travel.

Corporate Travel Management Made Easy

If you’re a small business trying to handle corporate travel management, then you’ll know how difficult it is to do it alone.

You have to factor in things like:

  • Getting the best price
  • Finding the time to compare rates and locations
  • Accurately managing the expenses and budget you have
  • Waiting for emails and calls back from hotels
  • Sudden price changes or cancellations

How do you solve these travel management woes? You work with a group purchasing organization!

Most have partnered with third-party companies that offer them reduced rates and serious discounts on other travel-related expenses.

For example, MT Purchasing’s hotel partner allows us to offer you over 20% off the regular rate of hotels. We can also help you consolidate and streamline all of your corporate travel processes.

This means that you’ll receive one direct bill for anything that’s booked. And, you’ll receive access to superior expense management tools.

This means that you’re not only saving money directly on the bookings or rentals, but you’re also saving money by optimizing your expense management processes across the board.

What to Look for in a Good GPO

Ready to start reducing your corporate travel expenses? Great! Now you’ll need to figure out what you need to look for in a good group purchasing organization.

Most GPOs make their money by charging members a fee. That seems pretty counter-intuitive because these companies are looking for ways to cut their costs not increase them.

Therefore, the first thing you’ll want to look for is an organization that doesn’t charge any membership fees. Other things to look out for include:

  • No Volume Requirements: You shouldn’t have to commit to any minimum spending amount or meet any sort of volume requirement. If a GPO wants you to meet a minimum amount of bookings or money spent, look elsewhere!
  • Vendor Relationships: A great GPO will have great relationships with vendors. They should have extensive experience negotiating travel deals with various providers all across the country. These strong relationships will show in their customer service.
  • Secure Contracted Pricing: Working with a GPO means you know you’re going to receive secure pricing. This pays off when you know you’re going to have a lot of employees traveling a good portion of the time.

These are just a few of the things you’ll want to look for. If you’re still not sure what you need or how to unlock thousands a year in corporate travel savings, then contact us.

We have helped numerous businesses save on travel expenses, including hotel bookings, car rentals, and even employee travel benefits.

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