Selecting the optimal OBT solution

Travel News 15 Sep 2015

Implementing an Online Booking Tool (OBT) is just one way companies can streamline travel bookings, improve compliance and secure the best value from their travel budget. However, the decision to use an OBT – and in particular, which OBT – needs to be based on a number of critical factors.

So is it possible to have a one-size-fits-all solution for all your markets worldwide? It depends.

For some companies it makes sense to adopt a single OBT platform across their entire regional or global network, while others need to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of adopting a ‘best in market’ OBT tool for each region or country.

Other important considerations include:

  • your potential return on investment for OBT implementation
  • overall travel spend
  • travel program policies
  • number of regular travelers
  • anticipated traveler adoption rates based on travel patterns and travel supplier content online

With so many factors involved, it is essential to seek the assistance of a professional business travel management company experienced in OBT use and deployment. By getting to know your company’s operations and culture, a dedicated TMC can offer the right advice for your business.

What it means for your organization

The decision to implement a ‘best in market’ or a single global or regional OBT solution will impact travelers, overall travel management and suppliers in a number of different ways.

Travelers

Making the OBT process easy for travelers means providing the best options and suitable local and global content.

Best-in-market OBT

  • Offers the local language
  • Benefits from access to local content for rail, car hire, hotels and local Low Cost Carriers (LCC) for airfares
  • Personal credit cards are in local currency and merchant fees are lower

Single OBT

  • Single solution uses English as default language.
  • Offers GDS fares which can lack the competitiveness of local content.

Travel Management

The efficiency of a company’s overall travel management can be enhanced by an OBT’s compatibility and functionality.

Best-in-market OBT

  • BRIC markets have developed their own best in market
  • Simple in-country approval process
  • When cross-country approval is required, the process can be complicated by countries using different OBT’s
  • Travel policy restrictions need to be set up for each country OBT
  • Individual supplier management required for each OBT tool
  • Opportunity to select an OBT which complements an expense package e.g. Concur

Single Global/Regional OBT

  • Global OBT’s where present are not as extensive in all local markets
  • Straightforward cross-country approval process
  • One tool for all travelers, including the Super Approver at a global level
  • Simple single policy restrictions and easy supplier management

Suppliers

The efficiency of a company’s overall travel management can be enhanced by an OBT’s compatibility and functionality. The team at FCM Travel Solutions provides professional advice and highly customized business travel management services to companies right around the globe. Our experienced account managers can work with you to find the most efficient OBT model for your company.