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Business Travel Tech: Best-in-class Vs All-in-one Tools

There’s really no better analogy for all-in-one tools than the Swiss Army Knife.

It puts just about every tool you could want in a single piece of equipment. It’s all there, at the point of need – you don’t have to carry anything else. The convenience is unmatched, and the flexibility of a tool made of tools is so glaringly obvious, that it has been replicated time and again.

However, Swiss Army Knives are far from perfect, and have come to define the meaning of compromise. The blades are short, and handling certain tools is awkward. It’s perfect in a pinch – but imagine if it was your only knife, screwdriver, or pair of scissors.

Opening a can of soup with a mechanical can opener is so much easier and more efficient than using the little hook and blade on a Swiss Army Knife. A full set of screwdrivers can repair more than the flat edge tucked inside the multi-tool ever could. You’ll cut more wood with a full-size saw blade, and pop open a beer in one try with a wall-mounted bottle opener.

But could you fit all of that into your back pocket?

Most of the time, the best tool is the one you have on you. And that goes for business travel booking tools, too. Even still, why should TMCs struggle with a solution that doesn’t fit?

There are strong arguments for all-in-one tools versus best-in-class tools – but what are the advantages and disadvantages of each when it comes to managing business hotel bookings?

At the end of this post, we’ll explain how HotelHub combines the flexibility of an all-in-one solution with the power of best-in-class software for hotel bookings.

All-in-one business travel tools

All-in-one travel management tools – like Booking.com for Business, Travelperk, and TravelBank – put centralised control of flights, ground transfers, hotels, expenses, and the whole itinerary, in one platform.

The pros

Like the Swiss Army Knife, an all-in-one tool does many things. This means that TMCs can maximise productivity and efficiency, with full visibility and control of in-policy bookings. There’s no jumping from one platform to another, and there’s just one initial setup for each corporate client.

All-in-one travel management tools are good generalists; they can do enough things well for a TMC to get by. They tend to have a lower cost than buying multiple tools, with licensing and API usage spread over multiple accounts. But this initial cost saving only counts if value is delivered at the end.

The cons

Users may find themselves limited, or even restricted. For instance, with hotel bookings, it’s unlikely that you’ll have access to every hotel content API. The general nature of all-in-one travel management tools makes specific tasks harder.

As a result, better value may be found outside of the tool, which could lead to out-of-policy bookings, poor tracking, or at worst – compromised traveller safety.

Best-in-class tools

A best-in-class travel management tool does a single task extremely well, with a high degree of tunability and customisation. As an example, there are tools like Hotelchamp, which are solely used for direct bookings at hotels. Best-in-class tools can be stacked and used independently to solve many different problems, each with a high level of user control.

The pros of best-in-class travel booking systems

The advantages are as clear as comparing a Swiss Army knife to a full-size screwdriver; you have one tool, suited perfectly to the task at hand, and can add it into your toolbox as you see fit.

Because of the high level of control and the specificity of your request, finding an in-policy booking is highly likely, and you can achieve better results for the client and for your company.

And the benefits go far beyond in-policy hotels; TMCs can gain improved operational efficiency, productivity, and enhanced strategic decision-making – which we’ll get to shortly.

The cons

There are two obvious disadvantages to best-in-class tools.

One is having to work over multiple platforms. This takes more management time – and also makes it hard to track and compare between platforms. Reporting may become more difficult as a result, and any value added could go unnoticed.

The other is cost. A custom toolkit costs more than an all-in-one, and takes longer to put together – but for experienced users, it’s the only way to get the control they need. In addition, integrating multiple best-in-class tools and getting them all to communicate is a huge technical challenge, with its own laundry list of costs and hurdles. There may be incompatibilities, and a custom-built solution might be required. That’s going to add up to a lot of maintenance.

But what if there was a way to have the completeness and flexibility of an all-in-one solution, with the power of a best-in-class stack?

How HotelHub gives TMCs the best of both worlds

HotelHub is a different approach to corporate travel solutions for TMCs. HotelHub can be tailored to work with any hotel booking API, and offers seamless integration between best-in-class tools, all in one place.

Read more: How Does HotelHub Work?

Think of HotelHub as a best-in-class tool with the flexibility of an all-in-one.

It only does one thing – corporate hotel bookings – but it does it by combining all the best hotel content sources in one place.

Hotels can be sourced through the GDS, aggregators, direct connects, OTAs and other non-GDS content providers (including Booking.com and Expedia).

TMCs can add negotiated rates, policy notes and codes – and the platform will deduplicate and present not just the lowest rate, but the best rate in terms of profitability and amenities.

Why’s that important?

Because not only does this mean that TMCs can make more money while charging their clients less, it also means that traveller experience is improved. We all know that in the end, customer satisfaction is what keeps us all in business – and having a toolkit that delivers the best possible value makes that easier.

And HotelHub offers benefits that are both operational and strategic.

It makes booking hotels for corporate clients faster, improving efficiency and productivity, as well as costs.

That’s because HotelHub acts as a universal translator between booking platforms, and can centralise data from many different sources. You won’t have to keep track of all your bookings manually, or compile spreadsheets and reports from every source.

HotelHub makes it possible to do it all in one place. It automatically adds ​​the hotel segment  to the PNR, and integrates with all payment modes: including Agency or Corporate Bill-Back.

It also enables TMCs to create and control their hotel strategy. Having all content sources booked and tracked through HotelHub gives TMCs clear visibility of booking volumes through highly accurate reporting, as well as the ability to shift booking share to preferred properties.

This enhances supplier value and increases bargaining power and rate competitiveness, further improving customer value.

It’s everything a TMC needs for a successful hotel strategy.

The best of every hotel booking engine – in one place

We’re HotelHub, creators of the world’s most advanced hotel booking software. To find out how we combine data from hotel content APIs into a single platform, and how to power your own white label hotel booking engine that pulls data from multiple sources – get in touch.