When Logoplaste implemented a new SAP Concur travel and expense (T&E) solution across 18 countries with the help of Accenture, it achieved a user rating of 4.3 out of 5 within just a few weeks of the move to the cloud.
In our recent webinar Learn How Logoplaste accelerated Their Move to the Cloud with SAP Concur Solutions and Accenture, the global plastic packaging materials company shared nine lessons that they learned during this hugely successful implementation.
Take a note of these tips from Logoplaste to help plan and execute your own SAP Concur cloud journey:
1. Get credit card companies onboard ASAP
Even though credit card feeds can be setup relatively fast, don’t forget to factor in the time to complete the administrative tasks involved.
Ana Jaques, global travel and solutions manager at Logoplaste, recommends engaging credit card companies on day one. “Credit card companies are always a pain point in an implementation like this because they all have different processes and are very, very bureaucratic” she says. “It’s important to start engaging them as soon as possible to avoid any surprises.”
2. Review/update your travel policies
When you move to digital, Accenture recommends that a global template approach based on your company’s T&E policy be established before the project starts.
Where possible, global harmonisation should be enforced for all countries and deviations to the global template should only be allowed to meet local business and statutory requirements. Low volume countries should have simple solutions.
3. Outsource tax and VAT requirements
Even though SAP Concur solutions have a built-in TAX/VAT Engine, the tax requirements of certain countries can be quite complex. International VAT should be managed outside of SAP Concur tools with a specialist company. We have an ecosystem of partners who can support with this.
“Some countries, such as Mexico for example, have some complex tax requirements, especially from the integration perspective” says Sérgio Brito, SAP Concur Portugal CoEx (center of expertise) lead at Accenture.
4. Take reporting seriously
To be able to make the most of a global T&E solution reporting needs to be taken seriously from the beginning. With visibility into what’s being spent where and when in your business you’ll be able to make more informed business decisions faster.
“You want to run reports and slice and dice the data, and not make it not too complex, so you can make educated decisions to manage your processes” says Brito.
5. Consider integration and technology requirements
If your T&E solution doesn’t integrate with an existing platform, it can compromise the success of your move to the cloud. Better to find this out sooner rather than later.
“Concur mainly runs on a web browser and mobile apps, so check that your company has all the required versions at the required levels so that Concur can run smoothly” advises Brito. “If you have SAP as an ERP or an HR system, you can also leverage the native integration as we did at Logoplaste, but you need to check you are on the right versions.”
6. Engage people from all departments
T&E processes need to work with many other business functions including IT, human resources, credit scoring, accounts payable, travel management companies, and procurement. Engage employees from the start and include representatives from all teams to ensure high end user adoption.
“This kind of project will affect everyone from the shop floor to the CEO – all of them have expenses to be reimbursed or travel bookings to submit,” says Jaques. “You have to manage it over the entire company and departments such as accounting, procurement, HR and IT.
7. Prioritise master data
Master data quality is key for the success of a project and is critical to ensure a smooth transition into run mode. The recently implemented data privacy regulation in Europe may challenge your implementation from a data privacy perspective.
“You can have the best tool in the world but if the data is not correct, it can generate stress to the employees, and impact user satisfaction” says Brito.
8. Simplify processes to tackle change resistance
You need to be ready for resistance and try to minimise it. A good change management plan is key to keeping everybody informed and making sure your implementation runs smoothly.
“When you have a new process there is always some resistance to change,” says Brito. “Concur is an easy-to-use solution, so it's not complex, but take the opportunity to harmonise and simplify the processes so that once you arrive, the user community will quickly see the benefits of using Concur.”
9. Look to the future
Finally, João Carvalho, Head of SAP Concur, Southern Europe and Francophone Africa, advises looking beyond immediate pain points to anticipate future challenges and build a roadmap for the future.
“We want to accelerate expense processes and deliver a good experience to our employees – that's totally valid – but it’s also important to think about the broader picture” he says. “It’s not expense only, it’s not finance only, it’s not a small department in one company. At the end of the day, this type of project touches the entire pyramid of the company, so think about where you want go next.”
Listen to the webinar to hear the full story about Logoplaste’s accelerated move to the cloud with SAP Concur solutions and Accenture.