At SAP Concur, a major component of what we do is freeing people up to focus on the more important aspects of their job. By taking care of expense admin, sorting out invoices and automating as much as we can for business travellers, we’re looking to give people time back to do the job they’re paid to do – which is more fulfilling, more interesting and benefits their company too.
This means that we work in dozens of different fields; from football clubs and airlines through to construction companies and charities. In all of these, of course money is saved and businesses run more efficiently, but what we are aiming to do is to help individuals to take control of their time and spend it in the best way possible.
But as we’ve grown our public sector offering, this has taken on a renewed importance for us that work in the field with our customers; some areas we work in really drive this point home.
For example, take our offerings being used by an accountancy firm. Without the ability to automate cash flow and populate expense reports, their work slows down, clients get less service and the firm makes less money due to wasted time.
Now apply that loss of time to ‘blue light’ service – our emergency services and other vital services. Rather than simply profits being lost, people may also not receive the help that they need due to this lost time. The stakes are certainly raised when working with emergency services. And with multiple examples of funding cuts impacting these services, it’s never been a more important time for them to be able to utilise their time properly.
Working in the public sector team we’ve seen some eye-opening examples of manual tasks eating away at time. For those working in social care, they often need to drive past their appointments to the office to get their caseload, work a full day and then drive past their house back to the office to complete and file paperwork. How many appointments a year could be completed with this paperwork available to be completed and stored on an online system?
A similar problem faces those working in the police force, with special constables being a prime example of again, time spent needlessly on important administration. After a day on the beat, special constables need to collate paper receipts, find the nearest police station and get them signed off manually – again, more time that we want to free up for them to focus on keeping people safe.
Whoever we work with here at SAP Concur, we value and understand the time pressures being faced and how we can help through administration. But some recent work with public-facing emergency services has really driven home the importance of this work. Technology is a powerful tool but it’s often forgotten about at an individual level. It’s not always multi-million pound savings and finding huge instances of fraud – it’s the half an hour that someone providing a vital service gets back, allowing them to help that one more person.