In these times of globalization and internationalization, business travel
activities are increasing both nationally and internationally. For the
first time, business travel expenses were cited as the second-largest
controllable corporate expense,1 behind
salaries and benefits. Most companies can no longer afford to put travel
expenses on the back burner, and many have appointed special travel managers
who, in joint projects with financial teams, are taking a closer look
at controlling travel costs. The challenges they face include:
- Reducing the enormous process costs and the piles of paper that are
- Cutting direct purchasing costs
for airfare, car rental, and hotel
- Managing the settlement of travel expenses using one system for subsidiaries
in multiple countries
- Monitoring all travel-related expenses in greater detail, when most
data is spread over multiple system sources
- Increasing flexibility for the staff on the road, while coming to
grips with an efficient travel policy
At the same time, new Internet travel engines
are popping up every few months, making travel choices seem almost
infinite - at first glance. Yet none of these sites can offer the complete
range of solutions needed to manage and control business trips from A
This is what makes Travel Management unique: SAP Travel Management concentrates
on the automation and integration of the entire business trip lifecycle.
SAP Travel Management services, shown in
Figure 1, are available as a part of mySAP Financials. It can be
run in a mySAP Financials or mySAP Human Resources (HR) system, or in
a separate system using SAP's Application Link Enabling (ALE) technology
to communicate with Financials and HR systems. It is a powerful tool designed
- Help companies handle policy-compliant online booking of travel services
like flights, car rental, and hotels2
- Incorporate exact calculation rules for travel expense settlement
with total legal and tax compliance
- Offer easy ways to handle approval workflow
- Provide full integration with mySAP Financials and mySAP HR to further
expedite accounting and reimbursement. Customers can even choose from
numerous ready-to-run country-specific versions for the private and
public sectors in order to support their international business units.
|Travel Management Functions via the mySAP Workplace
These features are available via multiple
access modes: via R/3, via mySAP Workplace and portals, as an Employee
Self-Service, or on a mobile device. In addition, SAP Travel Management
gives companies the opportunity to make the most of their travel data.
As data owners, companies have all data at their disposal for 100-percent
reliable reporting, e.g., via the business content in SAP Business Information
Warehouse (Figure 2).
|Travel Management Content in the Business Information Warehouse
The Solution Map in Figure 3 provides
an overview of all SAP Travel Management functions supporting the business
|SAP Travel Management Solution Map 2001
When electronically managed business travel goes hand-in-hand with the
optimization of the administrative travel processes, companies reap substantial
savings. In many organizations, process costs are disproportionately high
- simply too many stakeholders are involved in managing each business
trip. The entire process can be streamlined using SAP Travel Management.
What's more, when companies use SAP Travel
Management to achieve cost transparency and better insights into the sales
volumes accumulated with travel suppliers, they boost their negotiating
power, creating an immediate impact on direct purchasing costs.
Cutting down travel costs is not just a question of using the right tool;
an adequate in-house travel policy is also essential. But in the end,
the key to savings is compliance with this policy. One of the basic laws
of managed business travel is that the higher the policy compliance, the
higher the savings. SAP Travel Management strengthens the role of travel
managers by helping them achieve this goal without reducing the choices
and flexibility of travelers.
Travelers and Their Needs
Of course, when traveling, you need to focus on the purpose of the trip
without getting bogged down in administrative tasks. On the other hand,
travelers need flexibility: when business plans change, itineraries must
change with them.
What about a wireless check of your current itinerary? Need to reschedule
your return trip? What are the visa regulations for Venezuela? Why not
feed the system with the expense data from credit card clearing, in order
to reduce manual entry efforts?
To accommodate travelers' needs, SAP Travel
Management offers a number of additional services - both online and offline
- to accompany the business trip lifecycle. In addition to familiar Employee
Self-Service (ESS) travel functions, full SAP Travel Management features
will be available via many portals where a travel workset is appropriate,
including the SAP portals for managers and consultants.
Want to Learn More?
For more on SAP Travel Management, see www.sap.com/travelmanagement
Simone Roth joined SAP
in early 1999 and is with the Product Management Team of SAP Travel Management.
She holds a master's degree in Business Administration and Applied Linguistics.
You can reach her at email@example.com.
Based on 2000-2001 American Express Survey of Business Travel Management.
Online booking facitilites are provided via a direct link from SAP Travel
Management to the world's leading global distribution systems: AMADEUS