Concur/GBTA Report Urges Travel Managers To Inspect How TMCs Configure Booking Tools

A poll conducted this spring by the Global Business Travel Association and sponsored by SAP Concur had some unsurprising results: most organizations used an online booking tool, most travel managers wanted controls on how they worked and nearly all promoted preferred suppliers. What may be less well-known is that travel management companies often configure booking tools to favor their own preferred suppliers. A few travel managers told researchers their tool "suppresses" content the TMC "does not wish to display."

Only three percent of the 116 respondents to the May/June 2018 poll indicated their TMCs took that step. The . . .

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Author: David Jonas

David Jonas in 2006 co-founded business media firm after ten years as a journalist with Business Travel News. David rejoined BTN in 2010 as executive editor when its parent company acquired ProMedia, and in 2014 co-created The Company Dime. David has a bachelor's degree in communications from Cornell University.


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Andrew McGrawCaroline StrachanThe Company Dime Recent comment authors
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Caroline Strachan

Did Concur share if they’ll be doing anything to help the travel manager get better visibility into this issue? It seems a strange statement to come out and challenge your resellers about, when it’s the Concur tool that allows the TMC to do this in the first place.

The Company Dime

Here’s a response from SAP Concur: “Ultimately, TMCs control booking tool configurations with the customer, and we have no control over a TMC’s GDS configurations. When SAP is aware of TMC preferencing, we require that the travel manager be informed and approve.”

Caroline Strachan

Thanks for taking the time to clarify.

Andrew McGraw
Andrew McGraw

A big part of any business partnership is trust, and while some comments in the article insinuate nefarious activity, I don’t believe this to be an issue. I think most, if not all, TMCs are ethical in their work on behalf of their customers (we certainly take this seriously at Adelman Travel Group), and configure tools to policy, including preferred suppliers. We (and other TMCs) sell the technology, we configure it on behalf of our customer, and we provide levels of support. All in the spirit of making our customers successful.