Whether you are starting from scratch or searching for a replacement, selecting a travel management company (TMC) to partner with requires thorough and thoughtful vetting — and not just because it can have a substantial impact on your travel spend (though, that’s important too). But it goes deeper than which TMC can save the company the most money. It is also about having an experienced travel partner that has your people covered every step of the journey.

After all, the firm you ultimately entrust to take care of your employees is a reflection of the kind of investment you are willing to make for the well-being of your workforce and can contribute, positively or negatively, to the organization’s reputation as an employer. That in and of itself can have a profound effect on a company’s bottom line.

So, what qualities should you look for in a TMC? To give you an idea, let’s look at some of the core values American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) stands by and what differentiates us from the pack.

Best-in-class traveler care

When we talk about traveler care, of utmost importance is the role we play to keep travelers safe and mitigate risk during their journeys. It’s a responsibility we take very seriously and why we devote so much energy to our travel risk management platform, Expert Care, build tools that nudge hotel attachment (and, thus, boost duty of care governance) and carefully screen third-party vendors.

But also wrapped up in “best-in-class traveler care” is another one of our primary objectives: providing a frictionless travel experience so that your employees can stay focused on the most important aspect of their trip — business.

Whether it’s a tool like Proactive Traveler Care that automatically contacts travelers encountering a travel disruption about rebooking assistance, utilizing artificial intelligence to handle simple tasks so that travel counselors are more available to help travelers in need or continually upgrading our mobile tools to deliver more relevant features, American Express GBT strives to go beyond the concept of “customer service” and aims to provide genuine, compassionate care.

Breakthrough technology

American Express GBT has been in the business of travel management for a long time — more than 100 years. We are proud of our heritage and longevity and what we have accomplished. But we always are looking to the future and how we can advance and enhance our clients’ experiences at all levels of the company chain. A major part of this goal is being achieved through the strategic investments we’re making in technology.

With more than 900 employees worldwide dedicated to the product and technology teams, we are developing solutions specially designed to fit our clients’ needs (and consistently soliciting their feedback to ensure we are hitting the mark).

From implementing machine learning that delivers more customized content via our prescriptive booking solutions, Neo and Trip Recommender , to exploring how cutting-edge tech like bots and blockchain can ease the workload of corporate travel departments, we are committed to transforming travel management through our innovative initiatives.

Global consistency and security

No matter where your business takes you, it’s likely we already are there.

Since acquiring HRG, American Express GBT now has more than 17,000 travel professionals in more than 140 countries across six continents. Our travel counselors, consultants and partners are stationed in all vital regions of the world and capitalize on their firsthand knowledge of the local culture and environment when advising clients.

But our global presence also is an essential ingredient in the protections we extend to clients. This applies not only to the travel risk management services that we and our partner WorldAware provide, but it also relates to our global compliance measures.

This is where American Express GBT, the most highly regulated TMC, has a true advantage over competitors.

Our privacy and information security program operates under Binding Corporate Rules, a certification privacy program that few companies in the world, much less the business travel space, have achieved, and we have rigorous internal controls and oversight of third-party vendors to mitigate compliance risk.

Whether it’s a proprietary solution or one from a third-party vendor that we’ve carefully vetted, privacy protection is built into every product we offer — which is incredibly valuable in today’s data protection and privacy landscape.

Proven savings and actionable insights

We could not end this discussion without mentioning the savings a TMC can help your company achieve — and we believe we excel in this area, too.

But don’t just take our word for it. RateGain Technologies has found that American Express GBT, when combined with our third-party listings, can return the lowest rates nearly 100 percent of the time compared to prices offered by three leading online travel agencies.

Furthermore, we help companies obtain the best deal with our the use of our flight predictor, air and hotel re-shopping tools that monitor rates and automatically rebook travel when lower prices are found.

In addition, we also empower clients to find new ways for them to save with our data analytics systems. For example, Premier Insights, a robust data visualization tool, clearly can demonstrate how your program can cut costs and the amounts that actually can be saved when following its recommendations.

Meanwhile, our newly launched benchmarking solution, Peer Travel Insights (PTI), can help you establish where your company’s peers are trimming costs and spur your own plan. But what may have a greater impact on the company’s bottom line: PTI’s traveler well-being dashboard, designed to measure your travelers’ satisfaction.

You can read more about how it all works here, but as we noted above, traveler well-being and satisfaction can shape the company’s reputation as an employer — and, therefore, the kind of talent the company does, or doesn’t, attract!

There still is so much more we would like to tell you about what we can do as your travel partner, so please don’t hesitate to contact us!