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Three Expense Policies You Should Consider Revisiting

Three Expense Policies You Should Consider Revisiting

“Are you reallygoing to reject that expense report because of that?” We ask our customers this question all the time — and guess what, they usually say “Nope.” They’re just adhering to their company’s travel and expense (T&E) policy without really considering the context of the expense. Many T&E policies we’ve seen are outdated. More often than not, these policies were either put in place when the company only had a handful of employees traveling or they were based on industry standards that haven’t been revised in over a decade. With business travel on the rise, it isn’t just the overall reimbursement amount that has increased, but also an increased burden on employers to audit these expenses.

From our experience implementing our AI-powered expense audit solution for over 1,000 companies, we’ve identified three expense policies your company should seriously consider revisiting.

‍Don’t be too strict on meal spend

$10 limit for breakfast, $15 for lunch, and $25 for dinner – this is the standard policy most companies have around meal expenses, but how often do auditors truly follow this? It’s becoming increasingly common for auditors to approve expense reports that don’t stick to these strict guidelines, as long as employees don’t go over the overall daily limit of say, $100. We recommend setting an overall daily meal limit or per diem rather than a meal-based one. This change will ensure that your auditors are paying attention to the expense reports of employees whose behavior they actually want to address, rather than focusing on someone who spent $5 extra on lunch, for example.  

Give your employees more time

T&E policies usually require expenses to be submitted for reimbursement within 90 days of incurring the expense. Let’s say an employee submits a receipt that’s older than 90 days. It’s likely that this expense just slipped the employee’s mind or they just found it while cleaning out their suitcase. Are your auditors really going to go through the trouble of asking the employee why they didn’t submit the receipt earlier? Probably not. There are various reasons for delayed submission, but usually, the employee is given the benefit of the doubt. We recommend increasing the permitted expense age to 180 days to give employees more time to submit their expense reports and decrease any potential back-and-forth between employees and auditors.

‍It’s okay to enjoy a glass of wine once in a while

Sure, no one wants their employees getting drunk on the company dime, but it isn’t uncommon for employees to sip a glass of wine at dinner – especially when they are traveling on business, away from their families, and eating all by themselves in the hotel lobby. Okay, I didn’t mean to paint such a dampening picture, but it’s quite true! Expecting companies to pay for a drink used to be a complete no-no in the business world, but today, companies are more flexible about alcohol. So, either allow it up to a certain dollar amount, say $100, or track an employee’s behavioral trends over time without interrupting the reimbursement process.

Those are just a few of the ways you can change your expense policy to help reduce the stress on both your auditors and your employees. For more ideas on how to best structure a T&E policy that promotes a healthy expense culture, download our whitepaper.

Cauvery Mallangada is an Implementations Manager at AppZen, the world’s leading solution for automated expense report audits that leverages artificial intelligence to audit 100% of expense reports, invoices and contacts in seconds.

Optimizing Your Warehouse Space—and People—For Peak Performance

The freight transportation industry is traditionally not overwhelmed by the peak holiday shipping pandemonium recently experienced by some prominent logistics providers, but for integrated providers offering multiple supply chain services, warehousing is one area that often comes under strain from consumers and partner companies during this time. While the distribution process frequently ends at a consumer’s front door in a small package, it begins mostly with large shipments and pallets of freight arriving at a warehouse—the temporary but bustling home where the thousands of SKUs are then processed and shipped.

Even though we are bombarded with imagery and industry news reports of advanced robotics and automation within the warehouse environment, the reality is at multiple touch points there are still human hands utilizing these tools and human feet navigating the numerous aisles of inventory.  Technological innovations will undoubtedly continue to drive new and greater efficiencies within the warehousing and distribution industry, but true operational efficiency often begins not with sophisticated tools and technologies, but rather with an excellent team on the ground floor.

Listen to Your Internal Publics

Your team is invaluable to the success of your warehouse. They interact with your facility daily and can recognize operational weaknesses before upper management even identifies them as being problematic. By listening to and valuing your team’s input, you gain an extremely beneficial and added level of oversight. Not only does fostering a sense of collaboration throughout your facility decrease potential operational dysfunction, it also enhances everyone’s sense of belonging to your company.  Team morale significantly improves when employees are possessed of a genuine desire to help your business succeed and feel personally invested in your organization’s welfare.

To help attract and retain such employees, warehouse and logistics managers should aim to cultivate a top-down culture that demonstrates exemplary leadership. In addition to listening to employee concerns, managers should implement initiatives such as annual surveys to help employees realize the value placed on their input. After reviewing and analyzing the results of this annual survey, it’s important to provide constructive feedback on how employee concerns are being proactively addressed by leadership. Developing such initiatives provides companies with a wealth of analytics for gauging employee satisfaction while also offering up insights on improvements needed in other key areas.

Strengthen Your Labor Force

With more high school students attending college than ever before, there is perhaps less interest in considering alternative options like trade school as a path for a future career. In light of this trend, warehouse managers must get creative and invest in the necessary resources to ensure they are adequately staffed.

-Educate New Hires: In what is often unfairly deemed a low-wage, unskilled labor environment, prospective employees have more opportunities than expected for learning new and more sophisticated skills. An entry level position in warehousing permits individuals with limited experience the chance to learn new software applications, diverse logistics functions, as well as earn specialized material handling certifications. These and other opportunities are excellent training grounds for those pursuing a career path outside of a traditional four-year college.

-Recruit New Hires: Look into developing visible recruitment initiatives that inform students of the diverse career possibilities that exist within the logistics field. Many part-time positions serve as great entryways for students to learn and explore the industry, while those who are not pursuing a four-year college path can begin careers that offer real opportunities for professional growth.

-Implement New Technology: Tools are only as good as the hands which use them. Use these innovations to your people’s advantage and enhance your overall workforce productivity.

Assess Your Warehouse Layout

Present day consumer expectations have become ever more demanding as the overall warehouse real estate market has grown tighter: 89 percent of storage space in the United States was built before 2000 and development of new space is not keeping pace with demand. It’s important for warehouse managers to optimize existing space since developing new property is often a long and arduous endeavor. Consider these limited cost strategies:

-Revisit Your Blueprint: Perform a detailed inventory analysis and reevaluate your warehouse blueprint to see where process improvements such as repositioning frequently picked inventory can be made.

-Space Utilization: Think in cubic feet. Depending on what you store or manufacture, there are a multitude of different racking, storage and other creative options available for getting the most out of your space, no matter the square footage.

-Optimize Workflow: Set your people up for success. Performing the above steps should allow for greater productivity and efficiency gains as employee work tasks become more streamlined.

Although the space available to develop new warehouse facilities may be limited, warehouse managers who use these tactics are making the most of a challenging situation. With the pressures of e-commerce overhauling many traditional dynamics of warehousing & distribution, we can expect to witness more providers scrambling for much needed additional capacity, so a little bit of innovation can go a long way.

We are so enticed by the power and potential of new ideas and tools, we often forget that successful operations start with employees, are supported and enhanced with technology and guided by the vision and ingenuity of trusted leadership. With the right culture in place and by recruiting and developing the right talent, in regards to operational efficiency, the old adage rings true: the simplest solution is often the best one.

 

Frank Granieri is Chief Operating Officer of A. Duie Pyle and a member of the company’s Board of Directors. He joined Pyle in 2012, bringing more than 15 years of transportation industry, logistics and executive management experience to his role with the company. Facilitating company activity in marketing, sales, technology and logistics consulting, he is also responsible for A. Duie Pyle’s Custom Dedicated, Warehousing & Distribution and Brokerage business units, which comprehensively serve a wide-array of industries. 

 

How to Find a Perfect Employee

There comes a time when you need to make a sensible decision. It happens to almost everyone. A film director wants to have the best people on set like Johnny Depp or Lupita Nyong’o, a smart job seeker wants to have his CV written by the best team like UK.CareersBooster.com or https://www.resumesplanet.com/. There’s the feeling of satisfaction that comes with knowing you have the perfect person for the job. These tips can help you hire the right candidate(s) that you really need.

Hire Candidates with the Right Skill

It’s important for you to hire the candidates who have the right skill you need for a particular position. The reason why you consult assignment writing service is that you have an assignment to do. So also, the reason you employ a candidate is because he/she is able to offer what you need. If your candidate is lacking in the important skills you need, it could affect the job performance and have an overall effect on the company. Make sure you define job positions as clearly as possible. This would help to keep off unqualified candidates, thus saving the time you would spend in screening many candidates.

Get in Touch

You might need to hire former employees, this happens sometimes. Stay in touch with past workers who did a great job for your company while they worked for you. To do this, you might need to carry out a survey among your present employees and ask questions that will help you to know their favorite co-workers and why.

Also, you should keep in touch with candidates who have applied to your organization in the past. This is possible through email marketing so that they are aware of job positions as soon as they are available. Some recruiters even end up recruiting amazing candidates who weren’t hired during their first interview with the company.

Inspect Resumes and Other Credentials Thoroughly

You need a good hiring manager for this. The credential of a candidate gives a lot of information. First of all, since it states the qualification of a candidate, it shows employers the most likely and suitable candidate for a job position. The resume or CV of a candidate also shows to an extent the level of intelligence and diligence of that candidate.

As an employer, you would come across all sorts of resumes, some are intelligently crafted while some are mere smoke screen meant to conceal candidates’ weaknesses. Therefore, you should always go through resumes carefully and thoroughly and also cultivate the habit of verifying information before making your final decision.

Advertise Job Openings Through the Right Medium

Use the right medium to advertise an opening so that you are able to target the right audience with the talent you are looking for. Advertising via the wrong medium can become wasted effort.

For example, you want to strengthen your online presence as an organization, post ads on YouTube or any other online platform where you think you will find your audience. Or do you need positions for students to work part-time, partner with paperwritingpro.com or other online platforms that students visit frequently. You can also use LinkedIn to connect with candidates that interest you.

Use Professional Recruiters

Yes, this means you need to pay people to help you recruit but this also means you are able to invest your time in other important things while you leave your hiring process in the hands of competent people. There are qualified HR companies that would help you get the right employees and they would deliver on time.

Be Transparent as Discuss Your Salary

People want to be sure that their job has good pay. Therefore, as an employer, you have to be as transparent as possible when it comes salary negotiations. Negotiate but don’t hide the necessary information that a candidate needs to know about the salary. Good candidates (especially those who know they have a lot of value to offer your company) may be discouraged if they don’t get the information they need about their pay. So, talk about your salary structure and ensure you do it honestly.

Conclusion

The recruiting process can be a rather stressful one so it is best to put all things in place to ensure you hire just who you need. These are 6 ways that can help you get the “best man” for the job. Your recruiting process just got better.

 

 

About the author

Kurt Walker has been a research supervisor at Brilassignment.co.uk for about three years. He’s also a data analyst and content writer at bestessaytips.com and he has the passion for topics like education, technology, robotics and inspiration.