Purdue has begun a transformation of the travel process from the manual, paper based process of the past into an electronic booking and expense system. This transformation is a result of the Business Services System Plan which included the automation of Travel. In order to achieve this transformation, a four-way integration has been built between the Concur Travel and Expense system, ALTOUR Travel, JP Morgan Chase, and SAP. As a result, some business practices will be changed, or discontinued. The objectives of the redesign are:
- To Streamline the travel process
- To simplify the process by automating the booking, authorization, and reimbursement of the travel process
- To integrate a Travel Agency in order to increase available services to travelers; and to provide visibility into the travel spend for leverage in negotiating discounts with suppliers
- Provide improved risk management
- Implement a travel card program to reduce traveler's out-of-pocket expenses
Concur Travel and Expense – Concur is the leading provider of integrated travel and expense management solutions, and is a trusted partner by many universities across the United States. It's Software as a Service (SaaS) model delivers travel and expense management driven by Purdue University policies. A few of the benefits of using the Concur Travel and Expense system include:
- Through workflow, provides automation of the booking, authorization, and reimbursement processes eliminating the paper Form 17 and Form 25
- "One stop shop" for booking, and expense reimbursement, with Purdue travel policy built in for better compliance
- Automatically capture e-receipts to eliminate paper and keep travelers organized
- Provides smartphone apps to make travel arrangements, attach receipts, submit requests/reimbursements, and/or approve others travel/expense from anywhere, anytime
- Facilitates the new cash advance process
There are four basic roles in Concur: Traveler, Approver, Delegate (Arranger/Assistant) and Administrator.
- Traveler: The traveler may choose to create his own trip (Request and/or Booking), or may choose to have a delegate book trips and prepare expense reports on their behalf. However, every traveler must submit his/her own request/reimbursement.
- Approver: The approver role is for supervisors and fiscal approvers that will be responsible to approving the booking, OR approving the expense. This role may be delegated by the employee to another approver within his/her department.
- Delegate (Arranger/Assistant): The delegate may create trips and/or expense reports on behalf of a traveler; or may be delegated the authority to approve trip requests and/or expense reports based on the authority the person assigning the delegation has given.
- Administrator: The administrator will be responsible for assigning credit cards in the system, issuing cash advances, maintaining the Company Info pane in Concur, maintaining audit rules, modify users, maintain lists, manage expense types, etc.
ALTOUR Travel – Established in 1991, ALTOUR has grown to be one of the most sophisticated and highly respected global leaders in the travel world, with an annual volume of over $1.2 billion. ALTOUR has more than 68 offices and 1,200 travel professionals throughout the US and Europe, with one of those offices being in Jeffersonville, IN, which will be the main supplier of Purdue services. ALTOUR has more than 12 years' experience implementing and integrating with Concur Travel. A few of the benefits of an integrated travel agency are:
- 24/7/365 travel support from a dedicated agency
- Online booking fulfillment, as well as agent assisted offline booking for complex travel arrangements
- Accurate tracking for unused tickets, International Rate Desk, Service Level Agreement
- Benefit of combined purchasing power of the agency for discounts on hotel and car rental
- Improved efficiencies in risk management
- Provides visibility of spend for leveraging contracts
JP Morgan Chase – The University's current Purchasing Card provider is JP Morgan Chase, who is a large provider of business credit cards throughout the world. By leveraging this current relationship, Purdue is able to provide a Corporate Pay/Corporate Liability card to our travelers. The card is a VISA branded card, and is widely accepted around the world. The benefits of using the Visa Travel Card include:
- Reduces travelers' out-of-pocket expenses
- ATM Cash Advance availability while in travel status (up to $500)
- Insurance benefits
- Worldwide Travel Accident Insurance $500,000
- Common Carrier Baggage Reimbursement $1,250
- Rental Car Collision Damage Waiver
- Hotel/Motel Burglary reimbursement ($1,000)
- Charges will be imported into Concur daily, and are easily assigned to a travel reimbursement
SAP – The University's ERP system will be integrated with Concur to provide payment to travelers for reimbursement, however there will no longer be a need for reimbursement requests to be keyed into SAP. Reimbursements will be extracted from Concur daily and loaded into the SAP system for payment. Benefits of this integration are:
- Reduces time, effort, and errors of the staff in the keying roles
- Traveler's get paid much quicker, via ACH instructions already on file in the SAP system
Changes in Business Practices
In an effort to improve the travel process, over the years Purdue has added resources and business practices to assist in the travel process. Some of these practices will be replaced by a piece of the four-way integration described above.
- Egencia Corporate Travel – Egencia Corporate Travel is an online booking tool that has helped Purdue provide discounts to our travelers over the last several years. This service will be replaced by the online booking tool within Concur, and fulfilled by ALTOUR. This service may continue to be used by a department until the Concur rollout has reached the area. Profiles will be closed in Egencia as soon as all trips have been taken by the holder of the itinerary.
- Hotels.com – A few years ago, Purdue teamed up with Hotels.com to provide a cost-effective means of booking hotel reservations. A ghost credit card was behind the scenes in an effort to reduce out-of-pocket expenses for our travelers. The implementation of the Visa Travel Card, and integration with JP Morgan Chase will eliminate the need for the service. Departments may continue to use Hotels.com until the Concur rollout has reached the area.
- American Express Corporate Card – Purdue has offered an American Express Corporate Card to faculty and staff for a number of years. Although the card is a 'corporate' card, the cardholder is responsible for applying for the card on their own personal credit, and paying the balance in full each month after being reimbursed by Purdue. The new Visa Travel Card is a corporate liability/corporate pay arrangement, and will not be reflected on the cardholder's personal credit. All card charges will be reconciled within the Concur system. The Visa Travel card will replace the current American Express card, but cardholder's may continue to use the AmEx card until the Concur rollout has reached the area.
- Certified Travel Arranger Cards – Certified Travel Arrangers have been invaluable to the travel process and will continue to be in the future in the role of delegates to travelers. However, the Pcard that has been issued in a CTA's name will be discontinued and airfare and hotel will no longer be charged to a Pcard. The travelers that the CTA supports will now be issued a Visa Travel Card, and that card number will be stored in the traveler's profile within Concur. All travel arrangements made by a delegate/arranger will be charged to the traveler's card without the delegate/arranger needing to physically touch the card. The CTA cards may continue until the Concur rollout has reached the area.