Our connection with REWE Group
The REWE Group is headquartered in Germany and is one of the leading retail and travel companies in Europe. Founded in 1927, the REWE Group has a presence in 13 European countries with operations in 15,500 markets. The company has over 327,000 employees that work across more than seven business segments.
REWE Group’s Event and Travel Management division provides conference and corporate event services to individual businesses within the company. FCm Travel Solutions, as an affiliate of the REWE Group, worked closely with this particular division to implement a new online tool to streamline their event and travel management.
The implementation of FCm Meeting Solutions, which is an online tool to manage bookings for corporate events and meetings, provided the REWE Group with a more efficient and structured platform to coordinate their conferences and events. The online tool created a new level of process and cost transparency that has already delivered many bottom-line benefits for the REWE Group.
Here’s how we made it possible...
As an internal service provider to the REWE Group, the Event and Travel Management division is responsible for the coordination and organisation of large-scale events and conferences. The six-person team manages all the bookings and logistics for over 600 conferences, meetings and seminars held annually by different business units within the group.
Because of the decentralised structure of the REWE Group, it has been a challenge in the past to maintain full visibility of booking details and processes as well as the overall cost of events. Lack of visibility into the total expenditure for conference management across the business also made it difficult for the Event and Travel Management team to secure volume-driven discounts for conferences when negotiating with suppliers. The increasing number of smaller events being held also meant that pressure was being put on team resources.
REWE Group’s objectives
The REWE Group wanted more visibility of their conference and event management data to:
- identify where there were more opportunities to save through consolidation
- negotiate better deals with suppliers
- identify where hard and soft dollar costs could be reduced through a more streamlined and coordinated approach to bookings and expense management for events.
The company also wanted more control of their processes to alleviate resource pressures and streamline procedures. After making the decision to use an online tool to more effectively manage their work flow, the team specified what they wanted out of the tool such as:
- Price and amenity comparisons of each property
- A faster selection of conference hotels as well as a detailed and auditable documentation of the booking process
- More visibility of data via sophisticated reporting
- Consolidated data to help with the purchasing process and a more streamlined online experience for users.
As part of the team’s decision they engaged the services of REWE Group’s global corporate travel and expense management business FCm Travel Solutions to help them implement FCm Meeting Solutions.
FCm worked closely with the Event and Travel Management team to design and customise FCm Meeting Solutions for their specific needs. Customisation of the tool included an automated bid and offer management process with a uniform user interface (this helped to speed up the price comparison process) and building into the tool a database of more than 15,000 hotels worldwide. Customised cost centre reporting was also programmed in to ensure invoice data was assigned to each REWE Group division accurately.
After the design phase, FCm helped the team to run a pilot phase of the tool. The meetings tool was first tested by the team and then tested again with two pilot regions of the REWE Group in Europe.
Following these test phases FCm helped to coordinate the implementation and roll-out of the tool across the REWE business. This included training the booking office divisions of each of the European regions the REWE Group operates in as well as each of the different business units. Conference hotels that already had business relationships with the REWE Group were entered into the hotel database of FCm Meeting Solutions.
In just under 12 months all divisions within the REWE Group and individual users had been trained and registered on FCm Meeting Solutions.
Barely a year after the roll-out, all objectives for more streamlined conference and event management had been achieved. The Event and Travel Management division could seamlessly track all of their bookings, activity and spend volume was visible and consolidated data could be used to leverage volume with hotel suppliers for larger discounts.
At the same time, all users now benefitted from a more efficient online booking process - reservation requests were completed quickly as only the bare minimum of booking information was required (location, meeting type, number of rooms, event dates) and offers were created and processed within 24 hours. Invoicing was also faster and easier, and the payment process had also been standardised.
REWE Group’s response
“Because of our corporate structure with numerous bookers, various booking channels and separate cost centres, event volumes and capacities, revenue and cost structures were previously a challenge to quantify. With FCm Meeting Solutions, this issue has greatly improved and has become very transparent. Today we cannot imagine working without the meetings tool.”
Head of Event and Travel Management