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The UK's Institute of Travel Management has tied up a deal with ETABid which will enable members to automate request for proposals.
The Institute claims using the Wimbledon based business travel technology company's electronic RFP tool will cut the time taken over the tendering process by an average of 70% and halve that spent by suppliers.
The technology is designed to handle the sourcing of travel management companies, self booking tool providers and now car rental arrangements. ETABid plans to extend it to airline negotiations later this year*.
ITM research shows 87% of buyers who have used e-RFP tools are satisfied or very satisfied with the results. Almost all (98%) said they derived “high or medium value benefit” from greater transparency and improved work flow while 96% said the technology helped them manage the process more effectively and improved the quality of responses.
Despite this, use of such tools is “the exception rather than the norm,” says ITM executive director Paul Tilstone. â€˜We want to change that. It should become standard practice to automate RFPs since it produces significant benefits for buyers and suppliers alike.”
The new car rental version of ETABid requires suppliers to submit rates according to ACRISS (Association of Car Rental Industry Systems Standards) codes, which identify factors such as vehicle size, number of doors and whether or not it has air conditioning.
Managing director Karen McGee says: “The tool brings greater pricing transparency than is usual to the car rental process. For instance, buyers can look at all the responses and see that a particular rental company is the most competitively priced everywhere, except for compact cars in New York or vehicle delivery in Edinburgh. They can then go back to the supplier and negotiate on those particular points.”
*The ITM already offers members e-RFPs covering the hotel sector through an arrangement with ABC Connection.
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