My role here at CUA is a Procurement Contract Specialist. In my role we see the whole breadth of purchasing activity at CUA, from IT Software to the building of our Branch network.
Based on the spend amount my role is to review, provide advice or feedback and where necessary, negotiate better pricing and terms on any contractual arrangements on CUA's behalf.
My role is also heavily driven towards creating mutual partnerships with CUA's Supplier network. Every day is different, which is the best part of my job.
The reason for going out to tender was to select a vendor to supply corporate travel services to CUA. It had been over six years since travel had been looked at in the organisation.
The travel process at CUA had always been a little disjointed however there were some clear issues that needed to be addressed:
- The total spend on Travel by staff members end-to-end was unknown and therefore needed an in-depth analysis.
- The approval process was very long-winded and was interpreted in lots of different ways.
- Documentation was barely visible as the process involved emails, spreadsheets and phone calls to the travel provider.
- Lack of reporting and transparency meant it was almost impossible to accurately measure travel bookings or areas for potential cost savings.
As an organisation we were crying out for transparency around our spending. Our previous process categorised everything under miscellaneous so it was very difficult to determine the breakdown of spend regarding what was spent on flights or accommodation.
We were unable identify the detailed breakdown or know where the money was being spent could have been done in a more cost-effective way.
Our number one factor for going with Locomote was that it offered us a one-stop shop. The digital experience was really important and ultimately was the deciding factor.
This solution was fit for purpose at CUA and aligned with future strategy going forward to 2017 and beyond. It became a perfect fit.
Ease and speed of the platform. With Locomote all the data is real time so what previously would have taken days and in some cases weeks to go through the process.
CUA can now see a huge improvement in turnaround times. Being able to book in under a minute and have approval when required in under an hour is a fantastic outcome for CUA.
The most positive experience from the tool has been how easy it is to use and to book a trip.
Now that I’ve been using it quite a bit I can book an entire trip process in under one minute without any headache. Then where I need approval that can be done in under one hour.
This is just huge, especially considering it used to take days to get something approved. We have cut so much time out of the travel process which has made the whole experience so positive.
Now that we know what the alternative looks like it is hard to believe we managed for so long booking our travel the way we did!
We no longer have people completing excel spreadsheets and sending emails out, and waiting for replies to come back. Now it’s all incorporated.
That comes back to compliance and the audit process of ‘who said what’ and ‘who booked what’ for approval. It’s all completely transparent now.
Our goal here was to cut the cost of our travel spend and we have exceeded our expectations in only 3 months. So far we have reduced our travel spend by more than 30 per cent.
That’s a colossal saving by anyone’s standard. A big part of that saving lies in the way the platform naturally engendered a behavioural change in employees, and allowed us to have a granular understanding of where our spend was going while enabling us to save costs in how we pay for travel.
For me it was really important to introduce a platform to CUA that people would actually use and enjoy using. Locomote has done exactly that. It has taken some of the pain away from executive assistants booking travel.
It has meant that they are able to manage travel in a much more efficient and easy-to-use manner. To see how happy they are with booking travel now has been a real tick for me meeting my personal goal.