The SAP Concur Innovation Awards are an opportunity for us to highlight industry-leading stories of innovation in travel and expense. We recently announced the five winners of the 2019 awards. In a global field of winners, the one UK company was RED.
RED is a leading global staffing organisation with a mission to become the talent provider for the entire SAP ecosystem. Its story is a textbook example of how SAP Concur can help you work smarter.
Like lots of companies, it was problems with a time-consuming, paper-based expense process that first brought RED to SAP Concur. The company implemented Concur Expense in 2016 and was quickly impressed by the results. Since then, the company has gone on to implement the full range of spend management solutions within the SAP Concur platform and is seeing big differences in all areas.
The first big win in using a single, connected and easy-to-use platform is that everyone is gaining time. Lisa Wells, Company Travel Administrator, highlights one example: “Before, you would have endless emails going back and forth. Now, if I need to book a quick flight for someone I can just log on to my phone and book it with no problems at all.” Luke Braham, Head of Technology Operations at RED, adds: “Managers can now do expenses on the go rather than handing receipts to their PA when they get back. We’re not getting rid of those people, but they’re now freed up to do the things that are important.”
Duty of care is in much better shape thanks to RED’s use of Concur Locate. Luke says: “Disaster recovery for us is not about systems or technology, it’s about people. With Concur Locate we’re able to track global disasters and communicate with employees to ask them to check in and let us know they’re OK.”
SAP Concur has also helped RED embed its policies in the business much more effectively. Luke says: “SAP Concur has allowed us to redefine our policies and procedures. Our policies are now built into SAP Concur and they are very granular and specific so we can be consistent about what is and isn’t allowed and stop policy breaches.”
Perhaps one of the biggest wins is around the visibility the platform has given RED. There’s greater confidence in compliance. Luke says: “We’re HMRC compliant because our expenses are digitised and we can look back at receipts from six months ago with no problem.”
Real-time information is transforming managers’ insights. Luke comments: “When managers wanted to know how they were tracking against budget previously they had to ask finance to pull together a spreadsheet. With Budget, the information is available in real time and they can see live data every minute of every day. It’s a huge benefit.”
And then there’s the money the company has been able to save. Luke highlights one example: “I was able to pull up a report in Intelligence within six seconds that told me we spent £67,000 on taxis in 2017. I was therefore able to suggest that if we moved to Uber Business we’d have predicted yearly savings of £20,000.”
RED’s use of SAP Concur reflects its approach to its business. John Sealy, Chief Financial Officer, says: “What we try and do at RED is think about how we provide a quality service through our employees, our processes and the relationships we build with our consultants.” And Luke concludes: “We are constantly looking at ways we can develop the SAP Concur product and push the boundaries of spend management.” It’s why the company is one of our 2019 Innovation Award winners.