Mobile Procurement and the Frequent Business Traveler

Spend Matters welcomes another guest post from Ivy Montgomery of Vroozi. Back in January, Jason Busch challenged Vroozi to come up with fifty real-life use cases for mobile procurement. This is an ongoing series.

The successful procurement manager is always prepared. Always. Whether they’re at the office, at home, or on the road, today’s procurement leaders know that successfully managing their supply chain means being cool, calm, and collected in the face of adversity.

One of these successful managers is John, an experienced sales executive who understands the value that mobile procurement has on flexibility, preparedness, and problem resolution when it comes to maintaining a successful collaboration.

John is the top account manager at his company. A prototypical road warrior, John spends about 80 percent of his work time beyond the comfortable confines of his own office. Whether visiting with prospective customers or ensuring the continued satisfaction of current clients, John is always ready for anything his job throws at him.

While on a recent trip to visit with potential clients in New York City, John received an urgent phone call from the president of the North American division of the company. If John was caught off-guard, it was only in the discovery that one of the company’s premier accounts was extremely upset. With the urgency of the matter mutually understood, John realized that he would not be enjoying a nap on his flight back home that afternoon; he would be rerouting his journey to Atlanta.

Unfortunately, John has never been to Atlanta. He doesn’t have friends or family in the area, and his flight doesn’t land until 5 pm on Wednesday. Emerging from the airport terminal, he was faced with the somewhat daunting task of obtaining a rental car and a hotel room, each of which would require company approval.

Being the mobile procurement-savvy business traveler that he is, John wasn’t the least bit fazed. Dusting himself off from his unanticipated expedition to the peach state, John pulled out his smartphone and called up his mobile platform.

In no time, GPS located John and found him a list of hotels based on his own profile. John then selected a hotel from this list, which incorporated John’s personal preferences, proximity to the client, and corporate approval. A moment later, John also selected a corporate-approved rental car company.

No stranger to balancing multiple tasks, the company’s leading account manager took advantage of his time waiting in line at the rental car company to send over a purchase request to his boss asking for authorization to spend up to $500 to take the client team out to dinner the following evening. John’s boss agreed, and John was able to smooth over any concerns his client had with some good old face-to-face communication.

Ever the professional, John had used the tools at his disposal to keep calm under pressure and save the day for his company, securing the bonds of their successful supply chain. Not only was John able to get everything he needed for his travel, but he was able to do so easily and efficiently within the parameters of corporate approval.

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