5 Questions to Ask Before Going Global

Congratulations, you've done it! You've successfully rolled out your T&E solution to rave reviews. But now your road warriors in other places are asking for the same options when it comes to booking travel or reporting expenses.

Or, maybe you're still in the software selection process, but you know that a global deployment is inevitable. Whatever the case, going global is not for the faint of heart. And mid-rollout is not the time to discover that your software partner failed to cover some key information.

With deployments in more than 100 countries worldwide, we have some experience in helping businesses sidestep some "global gotchas." Here are five questions your provider should be asking you (and you should ask yourself) to help ensure a more successful global rollout.

1)  Does rollout here make financial sense? 

Both soft and hard costs are incurred when you deploy in a new country, so weigh the costs and the benefits. For example, if the team "in country" takes fewer than 100 trips per month, it may not make sense to deploy a travel solution. But, if they submit more than 30 expense reports per month, the ROI for an expense system may be justified.

2)  Do we have the right support?

  • Local support – Do you have resources "in country" to help gather company-specific data and manage the project? Do they have sufficient bandwidth to lead or support the effort? Does the solution provider offer local resources?
  • Language support – Do you have resources available that speak (and understand) the local language? If you're rolling out in Germany, arming a team with an English-German Translation Dictionary isn’t a sufficient substitute for the real thing. Even more important, the software itself should support the local language, customs and regulations. If you want your employees to use the system, don’t ask them to use a product filled with unfamiliar or irrelevant terminology.

3)  What are the "glocal" considerations?

Local and global (i.e. "glocal") implications can impact the success of your deployment. This includes:

  • Local processes – If the team has been calculating VAT manually or they have a unique way of handling per diems, identify and plan for these practices ahead of time.
  • Infrastructure and capabilities – Is there dependable infrastructure and connectivity in the country? If not, mobile access could be a necessity. Additionally, some countries (like China, for example) do not have sufficient availability levels of flight and hotel inventories, making deployment of a travel shopping experience impractical.
  • Legal requirements – The local team must have an understanding of anything that could impact the timeline and success of the project. This includes legal requirements such as local labor laws. For example, the European Works Council has guidelines that must be followed when implementing new software in companies that operate at the European Union level.

 

4)  What communication and training support is available?

Whether you are training team members or your provider will do it, consider the following:

  • Will each country have its own training or will countries be grouped for communication and training?
  • Does the software provider offer any communication or training support?
  • Is onsite training available?

  Be sure to identify the team, the language and solidify your rollout and communication plan early in the planning process to help ensure a more successful rollout.

5)  How will we measure success?

The way you measure success will be unique to your business, but your software provider should have recommendations as to what data you need to capture in order to track the savings and measure process improvement.

 

Just Ask Us

 

As a global company in our own right, Concur understands that global deployment is complex, to put it mildly. To learn more, view "Global Business Takes International Savvy," which delves deeper into taxes, reimbursements and what you should consider when going global.

 

Whether you're thinking of taking your company overseas or looking for ways to improve the visibility on where your business's money gets spent, we can help. Here's how

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