Automated management of travel costs: transparency and profitability guaranteed

GENERALI Espaa belonging to the GENERALI Group, is one of the main insurers in the Spanish market. Present in the country since 1834, it serves more than 3 million customers, individuals and businesses. Currently, GENERALI has 1,752 employees in Spain. And one of the most active branch networks in our country with nearly 1,600 customer service points. In addition, it offers a comprehensive insurance offer, where personalized solutions and innovation are essential. With these two basic principles, the Group displays its commitment to sustainable development as one of the fundamental pillars of its corporate strategy.

And it is precisely this commitment to sustainable development that leads GENERALI to promote its digital transformation and its dematerialization policy. Concretely, in the field of travel expense management, the insurer has also sought to set up an automated process. The additional goal was to integrate and streamline all functions into a single workflow that would include everything from reporting to publishing. And, always, under the premises of efficiency and analytical control.

With this, the managers of GENERALI Espaa aimed to automate the management of travel costs to optimize and save time in the administrative environment. But also to improve the employee experience and, of course, to minimize the use of paper in this type of process.

Secure the path by first identifying weak points

GENERALI used a traditional system to manage the expenses of its employees. They registered the tickets so that their managers could approve them. They then filled out a form that was printed and sent, along with the tickets, to the central management service. Here, each ticket was collated and, if it was positively validated, the payment to the employee was approved.

This method presented a series of drawbacks such as the lack of agility and immediacy, aspects necessary to avoid lengthening these processes. Also, do not respond to two of the company’s strategic bets: digitization and its commitment to a paperless corporate culture.

Periodic claims, lost time, recurring errors and the lack of visibility and transparency have prompted the insurer to seek the support of automated travel expense management to improve this dynamic. Also, to provide a better user experience for everyone involved.

Mart Jo Ruiz, Accounting Director at GENERALI Espaa explains that “due to the large number of employees and its extensive distribution network, it was necessary for GENERALI to make the leap to a fully digital application. An application that would also eliminate paper to meet our commitment to sustainable development. We were also looking for an application that would further streamline administrative processes. “

Clear things to choose well

After identifying areas for improvement, GENERALI made a comparison between the main suppliers in the sector. He opted for ZTravel because of the versatility of its use, as it offers virtually the same services through the web and the APP, through ZTravel Next. Also because it was a solution that adapted well to the daily life of workers.

Mart Jo Ruiz, Director of Accounting at GENERALI Espaa specifies that “the implementation of ZTravel by GENERALI is relatively recent, but we can confirm its good reception thanks to its fully digital approach, the multi-device possibility to access the application and intuitive to use. In addition, GENERALI, always concerned about the well-being of its employees, offered two training sessions via Teams to explain how this new application works ”.

After the solution was opened to the entire company at the end of January, employees located throughout the country regularly use the new system to pay all the costs incurred by their travel for commercial transactions. However, in this day and age when travel has been drastically reduced, the most relevant thing about this implementation is that it has made the process digitized and paper removed. Two of the objectives pursued by GENERALI Espaa with this initiative.

The brake or accelerator of COVID-19 change?

The accounting director of GENERALI Espaa assures that “there is a big difference between the pre-COVID situation and the current situation. If GENERALI had had this application during confinement last year, the procedures would have been easier in a hectic stage for everyone. A moment when, in addition, the company eliminated the management of paper payments ”.

These types of scenarios lead to rethinking new goals and revisiting old formulas to see what can be improved. Definitely, the incorporation of this application confirms its usefulness to solve the current needs determined by the pandemic.

Some needs that we see, basically in terms of security. Organizations need to care for and protect their employees now more than ever. For this reason, risk management is now taking a priority role in the company’s travel expense management strategy. Automation makes it possible to design more reliable business models. Risk reports or geolocation systems facilitate communication and the identification of the areas most at risk. All for the sake of protecting workers when they travel.

Guaranteed benefits

At present, the deployment of the new system is gradual among employees. Many of the functions that were previously expected to result in travel-related expenses are currently not being performed due to restrictions stemming from the pandemic. As the vaccination process progresses and mobility resumes, the use of the application will become widespread among GENERALI Espaa employees.

However, Mart Jo Ruiz insists on the benefits they have obtained by automating the management of expenses. Benefits summarized in the following points:

Agility in processes Mobility management via APP Automatic calculation of mileage costs Easy plan management Reconciliation of payments with paperless company cards thanks to a fully digital approach Intelligent process control thanks to automatic expenditure validation Configuration personalized validation workflows Advanced and integrated management of accounting with company systems Security in the payment of expenses Reduced risk of non-compliant expenses Effective monitoring and control of transactions

However, the accounting director of GENERALI Espaa insists that “now we are working with a tool focused on business intelligence. It facilitates intelligent decision-making and provides precision in data through the use of OCR + intelligent recognition technology, the various interactive control panels it offers to optimize data visualization and comprehensive and rigorous reporting. ‘he introduces “.

And, generally speaking, according to Mart Jo Ruiz, three of the main benefits ZTravel offers are the elimination of paper, process simplification and multi-device access designed to always adapt to your employees’ preferences.

In conclusion: everyone wins

Without a doubt, we are faced with an application that streamlines and simplifies the work of employees and travelers in the professional field. Especially in the operating environment because with just one photo the expense settlement process becomes an extremely simple task. But, it is also a management model that benefits financial managers, as well as those in charge of validating expenses. In this case, with review via email or APP, approval of expense reports is done quickly and easily. While, for the administrator, having all the information in the cloud and with automated and integrated processes is also easier and more secure.

We’re talking about agility, speed and safety. We are talking about tracking and the possibility of having additional control over all expenses since the settlement reports provide first level information to analyze and decide. Comprehensive reports and, above all, very visual and useful for decision making based on relevant data.

But, we also talk about optimizing profitability, efficiency and saving time and reducing errors, satisfaction, thanks to the improved experience for all or greater visibility of customer habits. expenses. Visibility that provides a holistic understanding of business expenses. But we are also talking about greater transparency in travel policy and simplified expenditure management.

Finally, it is important to emphasize that ZTravel is fully integrated into the various business applications and connected to the accounting system. In particular, it has the advantage of linking each user automatically and updated to their profile, which allows quick access to their settlement and payment history. Looking to the future, GENERALI Espaa expects this solution to be fully implemented internally in order to generate widespread use once the scenario can promote greater mobility of its own employees.

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