Meetings and events are generally planned and organised by the company’s own employees. Different departments and managers organise and book using a wide range of different channels, which means it’s no surprise that conferences and events remain a kind of black box at many companies, including large ones. It’s naturally difficult to obtain a consolidated overview here.
The Deutsche Post DHL Group recognised this and set itself the goal not only of increasing transparency in its conference activities, but also of offering its users a convenient booking solution – and thus also lowering indirect costs.
The MICE team at the DPDHL Group introduced HRS Meetings Solutions for online events booking in spring 2017. This had been preceded by an intensive pilot phase. The adapted solution, referred to internally as "myMeeting", is integrated into the online booking system Cytric, which DPDHL Group employees already use to book their business travel. Preferred suppliers have been integrated into it, so that they can make bookings easily and in compliance with guidelines.
Integration into Cytric
Along with bespoke training sessions and communication measures, integration into the trusted Cytric system quickly ensured widespread acceptance by users. "Intensive collaboration with HRS led to successful implementation," says Simone Langer, Team Lead Procurement Marketing and Media EMEA at the DPDHL Group. The tool is very convenient for the company’s events planners to use, she adds.
The new way of booking meetings has also led to further advantages for the company, with online requests and booking saving a lot of time compared with the traditional offline RFP process. At the same time, transparency has improved significantly as a result of consolidated booking using a single solution. "One stop shopping" has enabled additional synergies to be achieved, as services such as technical equipment, catering, transfers and other event locations can be booked directly, as well as conference rooms and hotel rooms. "This is a new industry standard," says Claudia Elke-Uzarek, a MICE expert in procurement marketing and media for EMEA.
Consolidated booking using a single platform saves a lot of time and improves transparency.
To ensure that the new booking tool would meet the company’s requirements, individual adjustments were discussed and incorporated in a series of workshops. These included the integration of the company’s own approval process and a prescribed structure in which the cost centre and billing address must be entered.
The structured process and direct access to further services have significantly reduced process costs and have introduced a new level of financial transparency into the conference and group segment. "We now have a high degree of efficiency and data transparency that we wouldn’t have achieved without HRS Meetings Solutions," says Christian Heid, VP Corporate Sourcing Manager for Marketing, Travel and Consulting at the DPDHL Group.
The company is also benefiting in another respect: to submit a tender, suppliers must accept the standardised payment and cancellation conditions stipulated by the DPDHL Group and the Code of Conduct. This helps to ensure compliance with the CSR guidelines.
An end-to-end process as the goal
In the next step, the DPDHL Group and HRS want to roll out the conference solution to other markets. It will also be possible to book other services and add-ons online, such as additional staff, speakers, entertainment facilities and equipment for events.
For an actual end-to-end process, however, event bookings now have to be integrated into the established payment and invoicing processes at the DPDHL Group. This missing piece of the puzzle is scheduled to be tackled in 2018.