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Travel Expense Audit Case Study: Incorporating the Right Tools for a New State of Mind
Incorporating the Right Tools at the Right Time
Challenge In 2015, a global pharmaceutical company realized their global meetings and travel program was costing a considerable $300 million to run each year. Reducing costs of this caliber is no small feat. To make a significant impact on savings, they needed to change their travel and meeting behavior and habits. Their first step was identifying their travel program’s current state, which included:
Highly fragmented travel and meeting management
Limited data visibility, compliance, and oversight caused by complex processes
High costs in peak seasons
Knowing these issues, the company changed their approach to their travel program, which led them to set up the following goals:
Create compliance with local and global regulations
Deliver engaging events with consistent service levels
Implement the most effective use of their financial resources
Solution First and foremost, our global and regional experts focused their attention on implementing standardized processes and procedures. This ensured travel policy compliance with each country’s regulations, duty of care expectations, and robust reporting. Each country also gained dedicated account management with local language support, our online booking tool, global service level agreements and scorecards, back-end reconciliation, and meetings sourcing.
Consistency and quality It was imperative that the company had a concrete solution on engaging events with consistent standards. We delivered on this objective by:
Implementing a strong supplier performance management process to ensure quality and customer interactions
Implementing standardized sourcing and planning processes globally to ensure similar meeting outcomes in every country
Saving and optimizing simultaneously
The company made every effort to use their resources in the most financially optimal way, with a high focus on meetings as a money saver. They consolidated and leveraged common supplier spend between travel and meetings across all countries, and proactively consulted on meeting specifications to identify where costs could be lowered while still meeting business requirements—all contributing to their bottom line.
Planning for impact The implementation could not have been successful without strong and effective communication. Along with a timely communication plan, four daily face-to-face and online trainings were conducted where travelers could provide feedback and ask questions. With the company and travelers on the same page, the habits changed in a positive direction.
Results The new mindset made a difference.
Increased compliance and improved duty of care with updated travel policy and 70%¹ online adoption
85%¹ online traveler satisfaction and 90%¹ offline traveler satisfaction within the first nine months
12%¹ savings in Latin America alone
¹Source: American Express Global Business Travel Reporting