The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has a longstanding relationship with APX Travel Management (APX), spanning more than two decades. This shared history provides APX with unique insights into the NZDF organisation, enabling opportunities to be identified and put forward to NZDF.
One such opportunity APX identified was to simplify the billing solution NZDF had in place for travel expenses. APX had recently developed 'APX SmartBill', an electronic consolidated billing solution that could integrate with NZDF's financial management software (SAP). NZDF agreed to this solution and worked with APX to transition to SmartBill.
The SmartBill solution encompasses NZDF receiving two consolidated invoices from APX per week; one for domestic travel and one for the more complex trans-Tasman and international travel bookings.
All Air New Zealand and Qantas UATP card transactions are included in these invoices, as are transactions charged to APX directly for domestic accommodation ('charge-back'), along with car rental, ferry, bus and train travel transactions and all associated charges. Incidental costs are also included in the solution, such as passport and visa processing.
As part of the SmartBill offering, APX deals direct with suppliers where there is a discrepancy such as mini bar costs being included in an invoice where the travel policy is 'room only'.
The stand-out benefit for NZDF of implementing APX SmartBill is the visibility this provides the organisation at a glance for all travel expenditure. This enables APX and NZDF to analyse the data and make informed decisions.
NZDF has also reduced at least one FTE as a result of manual reconciliation no longer being required for UATP card transactions.