BTN Europe presents an overview of business travel and MICE predictions for this year
Ulrika Rosen oversees the global travel programme for Tetra Laval. She explains how Tetra Pak, its food packaging and processing division, rolled out a new online booking tool
We are a truly global company, with 25,000 employees. Everybody is a potential traveller, from frequent travel to someone who travels twice a year. Our field service engineers and technical staff have to travel “now” and can’t wait, often to remote places you’ve never heard of. We began using SAP Concur in 2015 for expenses, but since 2017 we have been rolling it out as an online booking tool.
Make sure the online booking tool (OBT) is the right fit for the market. Look at travel patterns; identify when you use the tool. It’s also vital to know your organisation’s internal processes and supplier base. Travel is one of those categories where it’s become so passionate, even if it is company money.
Consolidation is key. We used to work with 33 different TMCs or travel agencies. But in order to get Concur up and running, they told us you can’t have all these agencies.
Have design authority. When we built the system, I could say yes or no. So the tool’s mainframe travel configuration is the same in every destination. Local teams had no say, which made the process easy.
We used our local counterparts for training staff, worked with finance teams and internal communication teams. We used SAP Concur’s own material, but overbranded it. We also held Webex meetings, open townhalls, face-to-face meetings, and published “how to” videos.
When it comes to support, you need to know who to turn to. HRG did a fantastic job, for both implementation and technical support. But at the start, it wasn’t clear whether the TMC, IT, or my team should answer queries, so our team stepped in.
Get the right project manager from the OBT supplier – it’s important they know about travel. We were in the hands of Concur, and at one point we were forced to change PM. It took some time to get the new resource. Luckily the HRG person and new Concur PM knew each other.
When we do TMC sourcing, the OBT they use is part of our questionnaire. It’s about being open about if the tool is there, and also if the content is there, and if there are problems. For example, one issue in Scandinavia was that SAS wasn’t displaying in SAP Concur – staff started booking outside policy, or calling the TMC. We now use Concur Expense in 76 countries and Concur Travel in 20.
Rolling out a global expense solution can help with hotel sourcing. For RFPs next year, we will not be relying on mixed data from suppliers. Using our expense tool, we can drill down to capture data and compliance.
Sweden-based Ulrika Rosen is category manager, travel, at Tetra Laval, which includes food packaging and processing brand Tetra Pak. Rosen and her team of six look after global travel for 25,000 employees. Tetra Pak has offices in 170 countries