Alkermes is a global biopharmaceutical leader headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, with a research and development center near Boston, Massachusetts. This innovative company focuses on developing breakthrough medical treatments to improve the quality of life for anyone suffering from challenging health conditions.
The global staff members at Alkermes are constantly on the go, whether it’s meeting with health care providers or traveling across the world while working on the next innovation.
Looking at ways to efficiently manage travel expenses is essential in the life sciences industry. Using an automated program to handle these duties saves everyone a lot of time and energy.
Alkermes has worked with SAP Concur since 2008, as this technology allows management to gain end-to-end visibility of critical information while also automating various processes, such as travel bookings, reimbursement requests, and improving back-end efficiency to enable employees to focus on what matters the most.
One of the top benefits of using SAP Concur solutions is automation. The automation of manual processes allows daily business operations to run much smoother while also making it easier to review analytics and real-time data in one location.
Simple Travel Booking and Management
The vast majority of Alkermes’ travel expenses occur through domestic air travel, as employees can book these flights through SAP Concur or use a designated Travel Management Company (TMC). Most employees use SAP Concur to book air travel due to its simplicity.
Travelers can quickly check schedules and book everything in one place. SAP Concur is fast and easy to use, as employees never have to pick up the phone, which saves everyone a lot of time.
The SAP Concur travel library also provides visibility for travelers that go to events or conferences that require them to book directly to the hotel to receive the conference rate. All of this travel data is available in the SAP Concur travel library, which helps the team notify travelers of any potential weather or health dangers at their location, which is particularly important in today’s environment.
The ability to check out travel reports in real-time is also highly valuable. For example, the finance team can review travel patterns to verify an expense question or look at a report to see which companies are used the most frequently. All of this data also makes it much easier to negotiate preferred rates or look at spend analysis.
Reimbursement Requests and Mobile Receipt Capture
SAP Concur also makes it easy to complete and submit reimbursement requests. The SAP Concur mobile app is especially useful for frequent travelers that are always on the go. They can easily submit reimbursement requests in transit while not worrying about keeping track of paper receipts.
Expense Pay expedites the user’s reimbursement once the expense reported is approved for anyone traveling in the United States. This automated process reduces the time needed for the finance team to create payments, as employees only need to include their bank account information in the SAP Concur profile. The payment is automatically extracted while synchronizing with the users’ bank account. Typically, the payment will go to the personal checking account within two to three days once the report is approved.
Staying in Compliance
Alkermes must always follow compliance guidelines since it’s in the life sciences industry. The Open Payments Act requires the company to provide disclosures and adhere to a variety of state legislation.
SAP Concur enforces these rules by putting hard stops in required fields to ensure information is never left out. The SAP Concur manual also uses an audit tool to ensure each expense report complies with the travel and expense policy. A combination of human interaction and automation streamlines the entire process, as over 1,500 reports are generated each month.
Alkermes has also integrated company-paid credit cards used by staff members to ensure these expenses flow immediately into SAP Concur.
The company has a 97% credit card adoption rate, as SAP Concur provides additional visibility into inclusive funds to better check for fraud and other policy violations. Credit card integration also reduces the chance of user errors that often occur by manually entering expenses.
Manage Complex and Customized Reports
At Alkermes, team members also use SAP Concur Consultative Intelligence specialists to develop and manage complex reports on their behalf.
These reports are wide-ranging, as reviewers can look at outstanding expense reports for employees or see if a manager is late on approving a request.
A series of burst reports also automatically generate weekly, biweekly, and monthly for staff members across the entire organization.
This proactive approach is an effective way to identify any potential problems before it’s too late. These detailed reports can also be generated at any time, whether managers need information on a specific cost center or if they need to review the activation dates for new employees. All of this information is readily available, making it easy to investigate any potential issues and correct any errors before it is too late.
Increases Spend Management
Gaining visibility into each reimbursement request that’s late or waiting for approval improves spend management while reducing the number of surprises at the end of the month.
Automatically Generate and Distribute Reports
The automation of reports allows managers to quickly minimize late submissions and improve accountability while saving a lot of time for the finance staff.
Boost Staff Productivity
SAP Concur solutions offer comprehensive help desk support that allows expense staff members to focus on critical tasks without constantly being interrupted to answer simple user questions.
Centralized User Support
Alkermes uses the SAP Concur User Support Desk to offer extensive help desk support services for travel, expense, and credit card inquiries. Instead of answering the same type of questions repeatedly, a script is provided to the SAP Concur team that allows them to field these calls. This enables staff members to focus on more strategic tasks while also saving them a lot of time and energy.
Users can immediately get the answers they need, while staff members can focus without dealing with constant interruptions.
However, technology is only a small part of the story, as a partnership requires trust and building long-term relationships with each other. Conducting regular phone calls with the audit policy team is essential, as it enables a client success manager to reach out to make suggestions or ask any questions. The ability to work with someone from SAP Concur is a win-win situation for everyone, as they understand the business while also offering in-depth solutions to overcome any potential challenges.
The ongoing investment and evolution of the SAP Concur solution are also important, as new suppliers and partners continue to make a positive impact. Investing in the future is a big point of emphasis, as change remains the one constant in the tech industry. SAP Concur continues to put significant resources into each product to make things better, whether it’s into data, video, or web services. The strong partnership of SAP Conquer and Alkermes will continue for the long-term with many more successful years to come.