Written on October 24, 2012 at 11:42 pm, by Guest Blogger
Want to know how your peers manage day-to-day challenges in travel and expense? Concur is sharing the best practice stories of its clients about everything from travel booking to policy enforcement. From the technology industry to the education field, the process varies – this is how they do it.
Company: Safety-Kleen Systems, Inc.
Industry: Environmental Sciences
Overview: Safety-Kleen helps businesses cope with the task of staying green. From cleaning paint guns and printing presses, to collecting and recycling automotive or industrial waste, the company helps manage waste safely.
How they do it: Managing travel
I enjoy working in travel because it’s dynamic environment that’s always on the move. To keep up, it’s important to keep a handle on all the changes in the business travel industry – by keeping an eye on industry news, getting feedback from employees and talking with peers.
My best tip for managing travel is to check in with colleagues – attending events like Fusion is a good start, but it’s more effective to connect with people in your own backyard. I encourage Concur users to attend group meetings to find out some of the issues they’re facing.
For instance, I attend a user group in Dallas that meets once a quarter that always includes a presentation of a challenge, and an open discussion of creative solutions. At our last meeting, I gave a presentation about audit rules and led the discussion that resulted in a lot of good ideas. Hearing about other people’s experiences managing travel has always been valuable to me.
At Safety-Kleen, we have a centralized travel process that uses Concur to manage our travel and expense system. We also employ Carlson as our travel agency with Concur Travel, where we book all of our travel – airfare, hotels and car rentals. We mandate that our business travelers use Concur because we’ve found it’s an effective way to reduce costs.
In the last five years, Safety-Kleen has seen a big shift in the technology our road warriors use. Smartphones, tablets and other devices are used for travel that never existed before. It’s our challenge to keep up with all of these technological shifts, though my job is made easier with integration – when Concur Travel was integrated with Concur Expense, it strengthened our travel management process.
Tricks of the trade
My best trick is to learn how to customize Cognos. I have taken Cognos’ standard reports and tailored them for Safety-Kleen’s unique needs. For example, for our total report on employees, I added in the employee number and cost center as fields to run a more complete report. I also run a report on employees by date and type total, to supplement a reporting package I do every month.
We are able to manage our policy better by running a report that identifies unused tickets – airfare our employees may have purchased and paid for, but never actually used. All of these things combined make my job easier, and give us a better handle on managing travel.
Thomas Lyman has been director of Accounts Payable at Safety-Kleen for seven years.