Schools engaging a new travel management company (TMC) have an important opportunity to maximise the overall success of their travel program during the initial implementation of services.
Effective implementation of a new TMC partnership is crucial as it sets the scene for the rollout of any new procedures or requirements for a school’s travel activity. Service implementation may include communicating who the school’s new travel partner is to staff and potentially parents, if there is a new travel policy and program being put in place, and encouraging the desired culture and behaviour expected of school staff who are involved in booking and leading group trips.
Drawing on almost 20 years of experience in managing academic travel, Campus Travel recommends schools follow five key steps to ensure their new travel provider is properly embedded within the school. This advice is detailed below:
Step 1: Form a relationship with your travel management team
Arrange introductions between your TMC’s dedicated travel consultant/s and your school’s senior management team and decision makers, as well as all staff that will be directly involved in the planning, booking or leading of school trips. Exchange contact details and ensure your school staff know who the TMC’s key point of contact will be for all enquiries.
All staff have access to special academic industry rates for their work travel. Therefore it’s a good idea to ensure all staff, not just those managing group trips, have access to the TMC’s dedicated travel consultant or team for their work travel.
Step 2: Educate and communicate to your team
Your TMC will assist in educating your school’s senior management team and other staff on the key aspects of working with an academic travel specialist. These include communicating clearly why the school is working with a preferred TMC, what the benefits are for the students, the teachers and the school. Let your staff know what deals, offers or discounts are available to them through your TMC.
If you have new procedures or requirements – communicate these to your staff to ensure they understand the importance of these decisions.
Step 3: Establish your travel policy and suppliers
Work with your TMC to create appropriate procedures and requirements as part of your overall school travel policy. This policy will include comprehensive information about your travel including who your preferred travel suppliers are, contact details, booking channels and payment methods. Your TMC will develop the right policy with your input, and give you access to preferred suppliers who are pre-qualified and reputable.
This policy must be clearly communicated to all staff members and made easily accessible.
Step 4: Implement any travel technologies
If your school wants to use travel technologies such as a mobile app or an online booking tool, your TMC will provide training for all school personnel who will be using the tools, and assist your team in understanding its applications, functionality and benefits.
Step 5: Tailor your reporting requirements
Work with your TMC to define the type and frequency of travel reporting your school requires. This will help your senior management understand how much your school is spending on travel annually, and if there are ‘volume based’ suppliers deals your school could access to get better deals.
For further guidance on implementing a new travel management provider, contact Campus Travel’s Group Travel Team on 1300 724 349 or email firstname.lastname@example.org