As a corporate travel manager, you know that issuing hotel RFPs is a crucial part of getting the best deals for your company. But do you know how to make the most of those RFPs? In this blog post, we will discuss some of the best practices for issuing and responding to hotel RFPs.
- Understand the Basics of Hotel RFPs
Before you begin issuing RFPs, it is important to understand the basics. A hotel RFP is a formal request for proposals from potential vendors. The goal of an RFP is to get the best possible deal on room rates and other services that your company requires (meals, conference rooms, access to printers, etc.).
So basically, you write one request and send it out to multiple hotels and see who gives you the best deal. The trick is knowing how to negotiate with hotels once they’ve responded with a proposal —or better yet— having an experienced company like Hotel Engine handle your RFPs for you. Knowing what goes into an effective RFP will help you make sure that you are getting the most out of your negotiations.
- Identify Your Needs and Goals for Negotiations
As a travel manager, it is important to have clear expectations for negotiations with hotels once you’ve submitted RFPs. When you identify your needs and goals, you allow the process to become smoother.
With clear objectives, both parties know what the other is looking for to come up with an agreed-upon solution or contract. Having expressed plans will also help save time needed when analyzing and reviewing multiple responses from hotels.
Ultimately, setting goals and understanding needs sets a strong foundation for conversations and transparency between all parties involved. It’s best to do as much research ahead of time so that there are fewer surprises in the negotiation process.
- Create a Comprehensive RFP Document
Your RFP document should be detailed and comprehensive. When writing an RFP, include all of the information that you expect hotels to provide in response.
This includes a description of your company’s needs, a list of services and amenities required, budget guidelines, timeframes for responding and executing the contract, as well as other pertinent details such as access to meeting rooms or shuttle service.
The more information you provide, the better equipped hotels are to respond with the best proposal for your company.
- Use Technology to Make Process Easier
With the amount of technological developments in recent years, travel managers no longer need to spend hours filling out and submitting RFPs to hotels for their business travel.
Instead, they can now utilize technology to make their job much easier and more time efficient. Through a number of internet-based applications, travel managers can handle many of the tedious tasks associated with RFPs such as maintaining a list of hotels, automating bid responses, managing vendor profiles, and simplifying the process of tracking events.
Additionally, mobile applications offer an easy way to keep track of all important information relevant to hotel lodging while on-the-go. Ultimately, using technology enables travel managers to quickly receive bids from multiple vendors while also enabling them to access up-to-date data that will help them get the best value out of their company’s business trips.
- Respond Promptly to Supplier Proposals
Responding promptly to hotel proposals after submitting RFPs is essential. When it comes to finding accommodations, speed is often the key to getting the best rates.
On the other hand, it’s also important to analyze all offers carefully before making a decision, and be sure that any agreement meets all the expectations outlined in the RFP. Making sure every single detail is addressed and accounted for during negotiations can have major implications on trip success and cost savings down the line; taking extra time while evaluating proposals can pay dividends in short-term costs and long-term gains.
By combining quick responses with careful analysis of hotel proposals, savvy travel managers can ensure their teams find lodging that meets both budget needs and service requirements.
Travel managers face a daunting task when it comes to making lodging choices for company business trips. By following these tips, travel managers can ensure that their negotiations with hotels are successful and get the most out of their requests for proposals. From setting expectations to using technology, taking time to understand needs, and responding quickly to supplier proposals, travel managers have the tools necessary to maximize cost savings and ensure company trips are successful.