savings on flights
savings on flights
mobile app adoption
Established in 2001 as the online extension of a traditional Cologne pharmacy, Shop Apotheke offers a comprehensive range of pharmaceuticals products and services. The company, headquartered in Sevenum, the Netherlands, has established itself as the largest mail-order pharmacy in Europe. Shop Apotheke’s expansion into Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and Switzerland led to a significant increase in travel volume. Carmen Herkenrath, the CEO’s executive management manager who oversees the company’s travel programme, recognised the need for a travel management solution that gave the company full transparency and control of spend.
Prior to implementing Navan, employees self-booked business trips on consumer travel platforms based on their personal preferences. Travellers often overlooked the company travel policy, which was only accessible as a PDF and difficult for Shop Apotheke to enforce.
Travellers had to pay for business trips out of pocket before being reimbursed. To be reimbursed, they needed to submit time-consuming expense reports. As well as being highly manual and inefficient, this meant it was impossible for the finance team to track business travel spend in real time.
Recognising that the company’s travel management process was unsustainable and not cost effective, Carmen sought a new provider that aligned with Shop Apotheke’s own digital-first approach.
From referral to enthusiastic advocate
After struggling to find a suitable provider for Shop Apotheke’s needs, Carmen was recommended Navan by one of her peers.
Right from the initial discussions with Navan sales representative Jessie, it became clear that Navan’s digital booking platform met Shop Apotheke’s requirements and had the potential to significantly streamline the entire travel booking and management process.
Carmen and her team were impressed by the intuitive Navan platform, extensive reporting capabilities, and ability to access real-time data.
Initial concerns about partnering with a US-based company were quickly dispelled. With employees primarily travelling throughout Germany and Europe, the Navan platform’s extensive rail coverage was particularly compelling and convinced Carmen of Navan’s expertise in the region.
“I had a great conversation with [Navan representative] Jessie, who showed me the Navan platform and how it could meet our unique needs. After that call, I knew we’d found the right provider for us.”
Executive Management Manager
In just nine months, Shop Apotheke has streamlined its business travel management processes and already achieved notable success.
Straight after onboarding with Navan, Shop Apotheke placed particular emphasis on accurately tracking travel spend and plans.
To do this, travellers were mandated to use the Navan platform for all travel from day one. Any bookings made with alternative providers are only reimbursed if the traveller has a valid reason.
This quickly resulted in a high platform adoption rate, with an impressive 83% of all employees now registered with Navan. Shop Apotheke now has far more accurate travel data and can budget and forecast with confidence.
The fruitful partnership between Carmen and Shop Apotheke's dedicated account manager at Navan has helped set the company up for success. The Navan platform has been adapted to Shop Apotheke’s specific needs, while the account manager proactively suggests ways of optimising its travel programme on an ongoing basis.
Positive feedback, cost savings, and increased efficiency
The feedback from travellers about Navan has been extremely positive and the mobile app adoption rate stands at 71%, an impressive achievement given Navan was only implemented nine months ago.
Before Navan, the documentation of travel expenses was a manual and often flawed process that relied on individuals to submit accurate data. Today, with reporting centralised in the Navan platform, all travel data and spend can be tracked in real time.
The Shop Apotheke team uses the detailed data dashboards for financial planning and to identify potential areas for cost savings. In the first nine months since onboarding with Navan, the company has saved 20% on flights and 13% on hotels.
Carmen has noticed a big change in her workload too. She no longer has to book on behalf of employees who require the company’s only credit card to book travel, and saves a minimum of five hours per week on travel management, which she devotes to more strategic tasks.
“I love it! Navan is really customer-orientated and the interactions we have with Navan representatives are great. When I consider the value we receive from Navan in relation to the cost, I must say: thumbs up!”
Executive Management Manager
At Shop Apotheke, there’s a growing commitment to eco-friendly travel, with a particular focus on reducing the use of domestic flights. Looking ahead, the goal is to mandate the use of train connections for short-haul trips.
Navan's platform plays a key role in this initiative by providing proactive recommendations for more sustainable travel options during the booking process. Customisable system settings streamline the implementation of travel policies in alignment with these sustainability objectives.
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