Retail Zoo, owner of Boost Juice and other brands, is using SAP’s Concur to automate its expense management, and is now in the process of deploying Concur’s online invoicing product as well.
Accounts receivable/accounts payable manager Lauren Miller said the company started using Concur for expense management about two years ago, and is now in the process of implementing Concur Invoice.
In addition to Boost Juice, Retail Zoo also encompasses Betty’s Burgers, Salsa and Cibo Espresso.
Miller said that before Concur, expenses were tallied in an Excel spreadsheet.
“You had people dump receipts on your desk and expect you to pay them within the next day or so,” Miller told a SAP Concur forum.
“We have a large number of people who work in the field as well around the country, supporting all of the Boost Juice stores, and they would have mailed them in through Australia Post, it would take a week to get them.
“We really had no oversight over our costs, we had no way of tracking our costs, and it was really really challenging.”
Retail Zoo already used SAP for its accounting system so was then able to plug Concur into that.
Miller said Concur’s ease-of-use helped it over the line compared to other expense management products the company looked at.
The company used Concur’s consultancy services to help with the implementation.
“Making a change that affects the whole business is really scary but once you’ve implemented it - and the implementation process was probably the easiest bit, the people were the hardest bit - it made all the difference,” Miller said.
Retail Zoo initially chose a handful of people to file their expenses using Concur, before scaling up usage.
“We chose a few people who I knew would be able and happy to use the system first,” Miller said.
“After a month of them doing their reports, it helped us also to understand the bugs that we might want to fix and be a bit more agile.
“That really made a big difference for us, getting a few people to do it and champion it to the rest of the business.”
Miller said the system made it much easier to understand where Retail Zoo’s costs were.
“It’s really good for us to see the categories of spend that we’re doing on expenses,” she said.
“We recently had one of our Concur reps come in and do an overview and take us through some of the categories of spend and some of the trends in our business that we didn’t know about.
“Just having that information there to be informed when we make decisions for our business in terms of maybe there’s cost savings in travel somewhere or there’s different behaviours that we could be doing to save our business money [was valuable]. We wouldn’t have had that oversight before.”
The company is also using some third-party integrations with Concur, including Uber.
“Most people are integrated on Uber, it makes it real easy for them [to keep track of travel receipts],” Miller said.
“It [also] allows us to go to Uber with a spend - this is what our employees are doing - and it gives us some information to use if we’re looking into cost savings or any deals or anything like that.”
Miller also noted SAP Concur had been helpful in creating new capabilities for its products where a need existed.
“If it’s not in place now, and if Concur hears it’s a problem, they work towards a solution to try to give you the services that you need,” she added.