From Assessment to Successful Introduction of a New Travel & Expense Ecosystem
Date : September 29, 2015
A Concur Travel and Concur Expense solution delivers key improvements, addresses more than 100 business requirements.
Changing to enable growth

The client’s executives and sales professionals travel constantly to execute the company’s global strategy and maintain its position in the highly competitive pharmaceutical industry. The company’s outdated processes and tools for managing travel posed a burden to maintaining nimble operations and rapid growth:

  • Administrative assistants relied on outdated approaches for supporting travel 
  • Sales “road warriors” spent significant time recording their travel expenses, taking valuable time away from their clients
  • The internal audit function required substantial manual effort to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements

The company sought a solution that would:

  • Improve user experience by reducing the number of steps required to report and process expenses 
  • Integrate travel and expense management
  • Provide greater visibility into P&L and regulatory implications of business expenses for both homeoffice employees and the sales force 
Industry, process, and technology expertise guide the solution

For assistance with assessing its current capabilities and designing a solution, the company turned to West Monroe Partners, which offered a strong blend of industry expertise and recent experience improving travel and expense management processes—particularly applying Concur solutions.

A West Monroe Partners team first met with users across the business—including administrative staff, sales professionals, and accounts payable personnel—to identify and understand “pain points” related to:

  • Entering and approving expenses and booking travel
  • Reconciling data
  • Supporting the company’s out-of-date travel and expense environment

The assessment revealed several key issues, including:

  • Duplicate data
  • Confusing data-entry fields
  • Difficulty seeing expense data while approving expenses
  • No integration between the Concur expense system and the company’s travel system
  • Use of multiple types of corporate credit cards, some of which did not integrate with Concur

A road map for change

Applying its significant technical Concur experience, the West Monroe team conducted a deeper evaluation of the company’s system to understand its ability to handle the desired business requirements. After validating its findings with system users, the team proposed a three-stage road map for:

  • Updating the Concur Expense system to reflect new policy and compliance requirements
  • Implementing Concur Travel to replace the existing system

The company then asked West Monroe Partners to execute the proposed road map.

From design to successful deployment 

West Monroe Partners held design sessions and documented the company’s future travel, expense, and credit card ecosystem. This process encompassed more than 100 new requirements—from Sunshine Act compliance to reconciliation of expenses with travel itineraries to new back-end reporting templates. 

Then, the West Monroe team orchestrated a smooth migration to the new and improved systems and processes over a weekend—with immediate positive impact on the business. 

Change management was key to successful implementation. West Monroe Partners led nationwide training for the company’s sales force, line managers, and support staff. In addition, the West Monroe team developed a robust communication plan and continued to provide user support once it completed the system deployment. 

Immediate positive business impact 

With current Concur Expense and Concur Travel capabilities in place and well integrated, the client is realizing the benefits it expected: 
  • The internal audit and Sunshine Act compliance teams have greater visibility of sales force and home-office expenses.
  • Updated expense policy configurations alleviated time-consuming bottlenecks for both sales and administrative personnel. 
  • In Concur Travel, the company gained a more user-friendly system and interface than its legacy system provided. 
  • The company was able to discontinue use of credit cards that did not integrate with Concur and thus required complicated reconciliation procedures.
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