What Is Price Assurance?
Price assurance is a corporate travel savings strategy made of three components — supplier negotiations, rate auditing and re-shopping. Technologies that continually audit rates and re-shop for discounts are crucial to ensuring your suppliers adhere to your contracted discounts and non-negotiated bookings are optimized.
Why Do I Need a Price Assurance Strategy?
An effective price assurance strategy ensures you achieve the best possible negotiation outcomes, that suppliers are true to their promised rates, and that non-negotiated bookings are still booked at the lowest possible prices. Without these assurances, travel programs can become bloated corporate liabilities rather than strategic assets.
Which Companies Provide Price Assurance?
The modern travel manager can reduce the time and effort spent on negotiations, rate auditing and re-shopping by working with price assurance service providers. These partners work behind the scenes, allowing you to shift your focus to other priorities with no disruptions. To view a complete list of price assurance providers, download your free copy of Traxo’s price assurance eBook and visit the supplier index.
Comprehensive Price Assurance Coverage
Rate auditing company, Smart Hotel Rate, estimates that corporate travel programs waste a combined average of $14 billion per year due to improper price assurance on hotel bookings alone. To avoid wasted travel spend across the program, your company’s strategy should encompass all three price assurance methods applied across travel categories (hotel, car, airlines, etc.).
3 Components of Effective Price Assurance
There are different components of price assurance that can help make it as effective as possible and ensure that your business is working toward the optimal negotiation outcomes.
1. Supplier Negotiations:
Supplier negotiations allow organizations to secure discounts based on travel volume, helping you to reduce overall spend on your most important categories. You can reduce the time traditionally put into the annual RFP process by leveraging experts in the space such as TRIPBAM, BTP Automation, or Sabre Hotel RFP. If you already work with a designated TMC, they may also be able to guide your RFP process more efficiently than carrying out the process in-house.
2. Rate Auditing:
Rate auditing is an important step to ensuring that your travel suppliers keep up their end of the bargain and provide your travelers with the agreed-upon rates, amenities and discounts. Rate auditing is best conducted pre-trip, allowing your traveler a smooth experience and seamless transaction. Rate corrections post-booking fall into the re-shopping category.
With technology companies available to support rate auditing through automation, auditing bookings for rate validation and contractual terms becomes significantly easier. Travel managers can explore options through Smart Hotel Rate and TRIPBAM.
Rates change constantly during the time window between booking and traveling. With re-shopping tools available for both hotel and airfare, travel managers can realize additional savings during this timeframe. Travel managers can set parameters that re-shopping services follow to ensure re-booked reservations pose little-to-no traveler interference. Companies such as TRIPBAM and FairFly offer re-shopping services today. Many larger TMCs offer re-shopping solutions, too.
Complete Travel Data for Price Assurance
To guarantee your price assurance strategy is truly comprehensive, all travel bookings should be actively monitored. By partnering with a travel data aggregator like Traxo, you can apply price assurance to bookings made through TMCs, online travel agencies, supplier sites and more.
The Importance of a Supported Program
Automated price assurance providers were non-existent before 2013, leaving the onus entirely on the travel manager to navigate labor-intensive data analysis and auditing exercises. Working with today’s service providers, such as TRIPBAM, BTP Automation, Smart Hotel Rate and FairFly, allows your program to operate efficiently and effectively while achieving a strong ROI.
Consult with Industry Experts
Companies without a dedicated travel manager should consider outsourcing their price assurance strategies to industry-leading consulting firms like DigiTravel and GoldSpring. These corporate travel consultants are well-versed in the latest technologies and can help your team craft a winning combination of price assurance solutions.
Download Traxo’s Free Price Assurance eBook
If you’re interested in diving deeper into the three components of price assurance and the suppliers that support each one, we invite you to download your free copy of our price assurance eBook below.