Working with high-quality travel consultants can save you time and increase the savings achieved in your sourcing project. See this list of the better-known firms in the industry. However, as with other categories, you need to vet the consultant’s capabilities:
- Get three recent references for work done with firms like yours.
- Discuss the individual consultants that did the work, and that will do the work on your project – there are very few “A” players and lots of “B” and “C” players in the travel consulting world. You don’t want to get stuck with the “C” players, and the “B” players are a crapshoot. Get the “A” players if at all possible.
- Avoid contingency payments. These create incentives for consultants to over-state your project’s savings. You want credibility, not creative accounting.
- Kick the analytical tires of any air and hotel consultants. Give them some of your properly-formatted data, and see how fast they can come back with some meaningful analytics. This simple test is a great eye-opener. Results that take more than a few of days to get, are hard to understand or are simply boring, “so what” statistics – well, that should tell you all you need to know.
Again, here’s the list of travel consultants.