Clearly the working world has changed. As business leaders look to adapt and regain a stronghold in their industry, they’ll find it’s wise to prioritize travel in budget planning. According to a report by the San Diego State University School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, companies that re-engage in face-to-face travel and meetings are likely to have a competitive edge.

Keep in mind, the new normal isn’t about traveling the same way we all did in years past. It’s about traveling smarter. You need better trip planning resources that provide destination guidance and the latest machine learning technologies to expedite time-intensive tasks like booking a trip. Streamlined and efficient solutions like these create more frictionless trips and meetings, so you can acquire lasting business relationships and, ultimately, strengthen your brand.

Give thought to your industry. Whether you work in finance, legal, consulting, or media, ask yourself, “Is your company equipped to optimize travel?” Within each industry lies specialized travel needs. An empathetic voice on the phone may be essential to time-crunched travel arrangers at law firms, while booking automation is vital to shipping companies that book large volumes of crew travel. And these days, health science companies rely on stronger collaborative methods to accelerate research and development. Many times that involves patient travel for clinical trials or frequent meetings with other health care organizations. When you also consider the heavy demand for traveling nurses in recent past, you can see why it’s important to remove navigational barriers and better manage trips and meetings.

Having a travel management company (TMC) that understands your industry and provides you with the right guidance and systems can be a key enabler of your success.

How a TMC can help meet specific industry demands

Consider some of the ways a TMC can help companies with specialized needs thrive in a competitive environment:

Virtual payment method. Single-use virtual card numbers can be a good solution for companies that need an easy payment method for traveling consultants, potential new hires, or contractors. Those types of travelers don’t have your company’s corporate credit card but still need to book a hotel. With a virtual payment method integrated in the corporate booking tool, managers can put a spend limit on the card number so that the booking complies with company policy.

Compliant meetings. Health science companies that typically organize large gatherings between health care providers, clinicians, and other partners benefit from a TMC that’s familiar with regulatory requirements and can create a customized meeting solution. That way, teams can stay compliant while meeting the needs of health care providers.

Production travel. Entertainment and media companies have pre- to post-production needs that require highly specialized travel support. Everything from camera crews and excess baggage to large volumes of last-minute bookings calls for a strategic plan. Confidentiality and security need to be handled with the utmost care. A TMC that provides 24/7 service, has good relationships with airlines and hotels, as well as high privacy standards, can be the missing piece to this complex puzzle.

Competitor benchmarking. Are you managing your travel budget as well as you should? A TMC can provide key metrics on travel spend from companies within your industry so you can measure the competitiveness of your travel program. You can also find out about traveler satisfaction. That can be beneficial if you’d like to recruit more talent or improve employee retention.

Networking opportunities. Connecting with like-minded peers in your industry through forum discussions is a great way to share thoughts on challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Such social interactions can provide meaningful touch points you wouldn’t get from a dashboard screen or mobile device.

Integrated software systems. For companies in the energy, mining, and marine industry that rotate volumes of travelers, it’s essential to streamline multiple systems and documents. A TMC can implement a booking solution that integrates with other systems for maximum efficiency.

What you stand to gain from American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT)

While it’s easy to see how the above benefits can close gaps in your business, you may find that getting them is not so easy. Not every TMC provides customized industry solutions. Yet Amex GBT delivers all of the benefits above plus the resources to plan and host industry events. Through our partnership, global companies have the advantage of a support team that blends into their corporate structure so that there are consistent efforts and accountability to meet their goals.

Given the unrivaled value of our services, perhaps that’s why thousands of global companies turn to us for travel and meetings support. Through our partnership, companies can:

  • Benchmark against Fortune 500 clients, including top technology firms.
  • Learn best practices from like-minded industry peers.
  • Get an intentional mix of technology, people, and services that cater to their industry’s unique needs.
  • Receive valuable insights on emission-reduction strategies to drive sustainability goals.

Whether your business delivers consulting services or develops biotechnology, you can expand your brand presence through the travel services of Amex GBT. Click here to get a closer look at some of our industry-specific solutions.