Inefficient paper-based approval processes replaced by digital workflows and mobile receipt capture
Inefficient expense processes
With production facilities in Denmark, France and Italy, research centres in Denmark and the US and a worldwide sales and distribution reach, Lundbeck has been reimbursing between 2,500 and 3,000 employee expense claims a month during COVID, and expects this to increase to 4,000 post-COVID.
Bettering the lives of people living with brain diseases requires a multifaceted approach. Beyond developing transformative medical therapies, Lundbeck strives to make a difference for patients and supports its employees in this endeavour by smoothing their working practices and administration.
Because of the scale and geographical spread of the company, this is a complex operation and was being hampered by archaic and disjointed systems with many countries running local Travel & Expense (T&E) applications and a widespread reliance on Excel spreadsheets and paper receipts. Lundbeck was using SAP Travel Management on-premise in its shared service centre in Krakow, but key processes remained paper-based in many countries.
Employees had to collect their receipts and have the claim approved by their manager as a hard copy. If the manager worked at another office, the documents would have to be mailed there and then sent on for processing at the shared service centre.
“Everything was done with hard copies and physical signatures and employees globally were submitting costs using different General Ledger accounts so nobody had control over all the local systems and approval flows,” says Michalina Pasierska, Senior Manager and S2P Process Owner at Lundbeck. “If there was any problem with a receipt it would have to be mailed back to the team again and this meant that it could take up to three months for expenses to be reimbursed. There was a lack of transparency with errors and paper chaos from a global perspective and it was a very time-consuming process for our local finance and shared service teams.”
Lundbeck wanted to leave sales reps free to concentrate on their core work rather than expense administration so sought a digital expense system that could be operated on mobile devices.
That search led it to SAP Concur. Working with its Danish IT consultancy of choice, NNIT, Lundbeck conducted a fact-finding exercise to smooth its implementation of Concur and then embarked on a global roll-out which, by April 2021 had covered 32 countries.
“NNIT is our preferred IT consultancy partner. We invested in Concur training together with our partner and they provided us with their secure resources from other countries. We were able to build the knowledge and create a very robust and efficient project team with NNIT on board.”
OBTAINING A PERFECT PICTURE OF EXPENSE SPEND
With Concur, Lundbeck’s finance teams have reduced the time taken to administer 72% of claims by 65% and employees are reimbursed within eight days rather than months. Previously, it took 5.5 full-time equivalents to audit expenses and that has now been reduced to just 1.5 with occasional help where there are different language requirements.
Employee satisfaction levels are running at more than four out of a possible five and the introduction of company credit cards is reducing employee time spent on claiming expenses by 20%.
“Concur enables us to categorise expenses which gives us an almost perfect picture in terms of accruals,” says Pasierska. “Previously finance teams were spending a lot of time to come up with valid month-end expense figures and with Concur, it’s now just a matter of running a report. We also understand where people are spending their money, whether it is legitimate or not and we were able to discuss with our compliance teams whether certain types of behaviour are appropriate.”
Looking to the future, Lundbeck is interested in the mobile mileage capture tool, Concur Drive. It also plans to integrate SAP Concur with its CRM application and
to improve audits to add more value around its compliance policy.