How SAP Concur Solutions Helped the Peabody Essex Museum's Virtual Transformation

When COVID-19 emerged earlier this year, businesses around the world were forced to make changes both large and small to stay afloat. Retailers shifted their business online. Restaurants moved to take away only. Offices closed and home offices were set up. Business travel ground to a halt and Zoom became a communications standard.

For some organisations, though, survival required more than a simple pivot. For instance, when the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) in Salem, Mass. closed in mid-March, it faced the new challenge of giving would-be visitors a museum experience online. So, the staff moved quickly to create a universe of digital content that people could access from home.

Moving an entire museum online is, as you’d guess, no small task. Which is why the PEM’s decision three years ago to digitise its back-office operations has made this transition and time far more manageable. By adding SAP Concur solutions to manage its invoice, expense, and travel processes, employees have been less burdened with administrative tasks, and vendors brought on to help create PEM’s virtual world have been onboarded and paid more quickly and easily.

“We really haven’t missed a beat,” said Nathalie Apchin, PEM’s chief financial officer. “Our staff is creative. Using technology such as SAP Concur solutions provides seamless processes that allow them to focus on creating engaging, artistic experiences.”

Valerie Blatt, who heads up SAP Concur global SMB, said that PEM’s move to automate and digitise its vendor invoice, expense, and travel processes is just one example of a larger trend she’s seeing among small- and mid-sized businesses. Once seen as a luxury reserved for large companies with big budgets and IT departments, many SMBs are turning to automation software — particularly today as organisations do all they can to protect cash flow, be more efficient, and control costs.

“If you don’t have those processes automated, with visibility into the data, you can’t pinpoint opportunities to gain discounts or drive cost savings, and dollars just go out the door,” Blatt said. “Peabody Essex Museum is a great example of pivoting a business model to meet customer needs.”

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