Research

tmcndcbarometer

TMC NDC Adoption Barometer

The New Distribution Capability is a technology standard with a straightforward premise: to modernize airline distribution in the agency channel. To travel management companies, however, it's anything but straightforward. The Beat has published an in-depth research report based on a survey of 30 TMCs to learn how corporate travel agencies view the NDC standard and better understand how they approach adoption and enablement. Most TMC respondents view NDC positively: Eighty percent agree that the NDC standard is a positive development in airline distribution. On this note, many TMC respondents buy in to the notion that NDC will afford them a broader range of ancillary airline content, an enriched ability to access negotiated bundles and the power to sell a more expansive range airfare content. Yet, TMCs also meet NDC with a degree of caution, skepticism and apprehension, as a majority of respondents brace for carrier content fragmentation, technology disruption, workflow challenges and unfavorable changes to economic models. An interactive website and PDF of the full study, including charts and analysis, is available here.

researchcoprtech

The Year In Corporate Travel Technology

The Beat handpicked a few dozen experts attuned to trends in technology and travel to rate the coming relevance of seven computer science and technology fields. Those subjects—the API economy, blockchain, the internet of things, machine learning, natural language processing, robotic process automation and virtual reality—were rated by 36 experts on a scale from 0 (not at all impactful) to 100 (highly impactful), based on the relevance of each in the next year. Among findings: In corporate travel’s API economy, GDP is soaring. The industry is learning to love machine learning and other branches of artificial intelligence, including natural language processing and understanding. The robots have been here for a while, and they're getting better, faster and smarter at mundane tasks. The internet of things is a thing, but how big a thing in corporate travel is debatable. Blockchain is buzzy and still budding. And virtual reality is a virtual bust—for now. An interactive website and PDF of the full, in-depth study, which includes analysis and an impact score for each category assessed, is available here.

 

CorpTravAgent

Today's Corporate Travel Agent

Today's frontline travel agents, far from being a casualty of the internet, continue to serve a critical role in the managed corporate travel process. Well beyond mere reservation processors, these agents work to solve managed travelers' problems: fielding questions, making reservations, de-escalating tensions and mitigating trip disruptions. To understand these agents' attitudes, challenges and fulfillment is to better comprehend the roles of travel management companies and their largest employee group, an essential aspect of managed corporate travel. To that end, The Beat surveyed 578 corporate frontline travel agents to uncover the challenges they face, their daily demands, what motivates them, which technologies they use, how their performance is assessed and how they view their position in the market. An interactive website and PDF of the full, in-depth study, which includes analysis and charts, is available here.

Top TMC Investment Priorities

Top TMC Investment Priorities

Travel management companies come in all shapes and sizes, each with its own mission, identity, product portfolio, geographic footprint and client base. Despite their distinguishing factors, TMCs share commonalities in near-term business investments. Contact center solutions, content aggregation, data delivery, mobile technology and chatbot tech top the most common areas where TMCs will increase spending over the next year to enhance their business, according to a survey of 30 TMCs fielded this spring. Respondents included a mix of agencies, from some of the largest mega and multinational TMCs to smaller national and regional operators. The Beat supplemented survey findings with executive interviews. An interactive website and PDF of the full, in-depth study, which includes analysis and charts, is available here.

 

researchcorpbooking

Corporate Travel Booking Trends

Every business trip starts with a booking. Before employee travelers hop on a plane, drive off the lot in a rental car or check into a hotel room, they first shop for and select the set of services they’ll need for each trip. In the world of managed travel, employers have much to say about how travelers go about this: What methods do companies support and enable for booking? What policies envelop their travel purchasing processes? What experiences and technologies do they embrace? In this research report, based on a survey of 204 qualified corporate travel managers and procurement professionals, The Beat set out to understand more deeply how managed travel programs deploy and support the corporate travel booking experience, how satisfied they are with the technology and support at their disposal, what gaps exist in the process and what emerging concepts they embrace. An interactive website and PDF of the full, in-depth study, which includes analysis and charts, is available here.

 

Structure, Sourcing, Satisfaction: The Evolving Relationships Between Buyers And TMCs

Structure, Sourcing, Satisfaction: The Evolving Relationships Between Buyers And TMCs

TMCs are the operational backbone of most managed travel programs. As close allies to travel managers, TMCs can take on many roles for the organizations they serve. They  act as transaction enablers, assisting with planning and booking travel, processing reservations, fulfilling transactions and supporting travelers en route. They report, analyze and consolidate data that illuminates the management of travel. They help implement core travel technology or provide clients their own proprietary mobile, booking or reporting solutions. They  assist in the formulation, implementation and enforcement of travel policy, and are key players in risk management and security programs. They also can lend support in supplier negotiations and relationships—or share the savings of their own negotiated discounts. This research project, based on a survey of qualified travel buyers, delves into the relationships between TMCs and their clients. It includes benchmark information on TMC service fees and support structures. It also analyzes the methods companies use to select their TMCs and uncovers the services buyers ultimately value most. An interactive website and PDF of the full, in-depth study, which includes analysis and charts, is available here.