German pharmaceutical company thinks global with BCD Travel

In a two-part Q&A, Grunenthal’s procurement leader explains how and why the company is consolidating travel management globally.

Pharmaceutical company Grünenthal chose BCD Travel as its global managed travel provider, after working with them successfully in Germany for 10 years. In a two-part Q&A, Victor Scarante, head of global indirect procurement at Grünenthal Group, gives insights into the company’s cooperation with BCD. He explains how Grünenthal and BCD are consolidating their business travel program worldwide. The first part of the Q&A is about cross-national consolidation, standardization and their travel and expense portal. Part 2 covers hotel and airline optimization, TripSource® and the upcoming global consolidation.

How did Grünenthal come to consolidate its travel management across Europe?

Previously, we used 18 business travel providers across Europe with just as many travel policies. As part of our efforts to become a more globally integrated and cost-conscious organization with well-functioning IT processes, we started looking for a globally active travel partner who could provide business travel services to the whole company. After a tender process, we chose BCD Travel who we had worked well with in Germany for years.

Were there any significant changes in the standardization of the Grünenthal travel policy?

Yes, today we focus more on leadership, information and personal responsibility. One example: Previously, a separate approval process was needed if a business traveler wanted to book a flight or a hotel whose cost exceeded the lowest logical fare by a certain amount. We are currently changing this. In many cases, the traveler will be able to decide for himself, but with more relevant information and guidance. The SAP Concur booking tool will display messages to inform the user where his booking cost stands against the target cost and invite him to consider cheaper alternatives, so as not to exceed the group’s internal travel budget. We have had good experiences in our pilot tests with this innovation.

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How did you proceed with the consolidation of travel management?

The first step was to develop a uniform travel policy and implement of SAP Concur as the central IT tool for travel booking and expense accounting. We also set up an internal Travel and Expenses WorkSpace. It contains all the relevant and up-to-date information on business travel and the use of SAP Concur. These three components formed the basis for consolidation. In order to take full advantage of the optimization, we also opted for additional support from BCD Travel. A BCD employee is on hand to support us in all operational matters relating to SAP Concur, workspace management, and user support. We also took advantage of BCD’s strategic consulting and expanded our hotel offering, among other things.

About Grünenthal Group

Grünenthal is a global leader in pain management and related diseases. The company is headquartered in Aachen, Germany, and is represented by approximately 30 companies in Europe, Latin America and the United States. The company’s pharmaceutical products are available in more than 100 countries.

Check out part 2 of the Grünenthal Q&A

Keep reading: How German pharma Grünenthal pulled off a massive travel program overhaul with BCD Travel

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