3 important considerations to make before you choose
The greatest songs of all time are great because of the sum of their parts: a contagious hook, an inspiring verse, and an inescapable chorus that lingers long after the song is over. But a hit song doesn’t work without the bridge— the hero that seamlessly connects the chorus to the verse.
When it comes to your transportation and logistics company, the bridge is effective business lodging management — and finding a solution that will have management singing your praises.
First, why do you need a lodging solution?
An efficient and cost-saving solution for managing hotel reservations makes an effective transportation and logistics strategy. Knowing where your travelers will stay (and finding ways to save money when they do) is critical to not only ensure your people, products, materials, fleet, and more are in the right place at the right time, but also snagging a bigger piece of the estimated $4.6 trillion in revenue up for grabs in the U.S. transportation and logistics industry.
Corporate lodging solutions streamline the booking and reconciliation process. They offer better insights on trends and help enforce travel policies. Basically, they make the entire lodging process easier from start to finish, and help you save both money and time.
But how do you know which corporate lodging solution is right for your organization?
Let’s break down the options:
What to consider when booking corporate lodging for your transportation and logistics teams
Transportation and logistics is all about juggling. It’s effectively managing your fleet, giving appropriate direction to your people, and ensuring you have the resources to get deliveries to the right place at the right time.
This is all the more important when it comes to booking lodging for your team:
- You need to lodge your team in the right place to ensure the accommodations complement the route and don’t cause undue travel or stress.
- Your team needs comfortable lodging so that they’re well-rested for long days on the road.
- You also need to ensure that lodging isn’t what breaks your budget, so hotels are a line item where you can (and should) save money.
Types of corporate lodging solutions
Booking a hotel can sometimes be more complicated than it seems, especially if you’re doing it at scale. While there are countless corporate lodging solutions out there, not all of them can do the heavy lifting you need to always stay on route and on budget.
Online travel agencies
Online travel agencies (OTAs) are a one-stop shop of the travel booking world. Sites like Booking.com, Expedia, and more, allow you to book everything from hotels to rental cars to exciting excursions. Unfortunately, while using these sites can guarantee that your travelers have a place to lay their heads, they weren’t specifically designed for businesses. So, all the other details that come with lodging will go unmanaged.
These sites also aren’t suited to large groups or long-term stays, and you’ll miss out on the analytics you need to track budgets and expenses—both of which will make all the difference when you need to report on your expenses or optimize your travel planning.
Travel management companies
Travel management companies (TMCs) have long been viewed as the only alternative to OTAs for businesses who want more insights, reporting, and business specific tools. However, the six or seven figure price tag of a TMC is normally well out of reach for small or medium-sized businesses. Not to mention the fees associated with booking travel and the time required to get a TMC set up.
Locally negotiated rates
Booking direct is one of the best ways to save on your hotel stays. But it can also be one of the most time-consuming. To locally negotiate rates (LNRs), you have to not only identify hotels you’d like to work with, you also have to contact each one directly to find out if they can offer a rate that fits your budget—and then repeat the process if you don’t reach an agreement with the first hotel you contact.
Even if you do score savings, you’ll lack the insight and infrastructure you need to ensure those savings are scalable to each and every stay.
Or, try a better way
Instead of choosing between a complex and expensive TMC, a business-insights lacking OTA or a time-consuming locally negotiated rate, try Hotel Engine.
Hotel Engine’s corporate lodging solution rivals the hotel inventory of online travel agents while also offering up rates just as competitive (and, often, even moreso) than those you’d negotiate directly. Not to mention using the platform is completely free, and comes with all of the tools, insights and analytics you need to optimize your travel programs for even more savings.
Here’s how it works:
How Hotel Engine can help
Save money, free up time, and find the best hotels wherever your team goes with Hotel Engine’s easy-to-use corporate lodging solution. Hotel Engine makes it easy to search for hotels across the U.S. and even around the world, but there’s more to it than just hotel booking!
Access a network of 700,000 hotels worldwide
Hotel Engine’s network is more than 700,000 properties strong and in more than 185 countries. Whether you’re coordinating the delivery of a fleet to a city or a shipment to a small town, you can quickly and easily find the right hotel close to your routes.
When it comes time to book, Hotel Engine offers several convenient options. Set a nightly budget to allow your travelers the flexibility to book their own hotels, or book their stays yourself—either way, you can save up to 60% on lodging just for being a Hotel Engine member.
Simplify your travel spending
From paper receipts to individual employee credit cards, travel spend can get out of hand—and fast. Hotel Engine keeps budget mastery within reach, and not just with discounted rates…
Store and download past invoices, filter hotel expenses and create custom fields to suit your company’s reporting needs. You can even pay one consolidated monthly bill for all of your rooms with our Direct Bill Program, or cover your team’s incidental charges up-front through our Incidental Coverage Program.
Easily track your travel trends
Without a travel dashboard, it can be nearly impossible to create a holistic view of your company’s travel activities.
Hotel Engine’s dashboard is always updating so you can access real-time insights into your team’s travels. Track total usage and spend down to the individual user so you don’t waste a minute —or a dime.
What else can you expect as a Hotel Engine member?
24/7 customer service
Don’t be afraid to call in the experts. Hotel Engine has a U.S.-based member experience team available around the clock. Members can call them up any time, whether you need a last-minute modification to a booking, or simply have a few questions about an upcoming trip.
Hotel loyalty rewards
Loyalty programs are a common and sought after perk in the travel industry, both for companies and their traveling employees. With Hotel Engine, you and your travelers can still collect hotel chain loyalty points on bookings you make through the platform, in addition to the HE Rewards you’ll rack up with every stay.
Ready to sign up?
Wherever your routes take you, Hotel Engine is along for the ride. Your travelers can utilize Hotel Engine from an app on their phones, or you can call the shots back at the office using your travel dashboard.
With an extensive network of hotels, unmatched savings, and real-time insights into your company’s travel activity, you’ll have the travel planning capabilities you need to ensure your transportation and logistics strategy stays full steam ahead.
Contact Hotel Engine today to get on the road towards more efficient and affordable lodging management.