Pets at Home: Retail case study
Pets at Home is the UK’s leading pet care specialist, providing pet owners with everything they need. From food and accessories to vet and grooming services, they offer all you should ever want for your beloved extended family member.
With 9,000 colleagues working in its 450 retail stores, distribution centres, and support offices, Pets at Home faced all the typical challenges of managing a large, decentralised business and were struggling with their expense management process. Webexpenses was the system that solved all their expenses issues.
How Webexpenses helped
Claimants and approvers use the expenses app to manage their own and their teams' expenses on the go. For claimants on the road, they can snap and upload their receipts whilst they’re waiting for the meals.
We spoke to Pets at Home Finance Director - Retail, Jon White, about their experience of using Webexpenses’ system and customer service.
“The implementation has been really seamless, really easy and should be held out as an example, in terms of how we implement systems across our estate – it’s been that good.”
Ahead of implementing the Webexpenses system, how did you used to manage your expenses?
“We were still using a paper-based system with either a form from an expenses pad being filled in and posted to the office, or a digital copy of the form being downloaded, printed, filled in and posted to the payroll team.”
What were the typical challenges you used to face when managing expenses?
“The time is taken to get forms signed by the appropriate approver and posted in, resulting in long waits for reimbursement. This was exacerbated if the form then had to be returned and re-done for any reason.
“Payroll colleagues time manually keying in expenses and returning forms, as well as archiving old forms.”
What was important to Pets at Home when looking for an expense management provider?
“Ease of use for our colleagues. We wanted a system that was intuitive to use and easy to access from anywhere - app as well as desktop. The system needed to give our colleagues the confidence their data was safe and they would be reimbursed quickly.
“Vendor relationship and ease of change. As we have a vast amount of control over our entities it means we don’t have to be constantly asking Webexpenses to alter anything for us or put through change requests.”
How much time has been saved by your finance team and other users with using Webexpenses?
“We have effectively cut the time it takes to approve and process claims in half, freeing up colleagues and payroll time to better serve our customers and the business.”
How many Webexpenses users do you have and across which brands?
“Circa 9000 at present across the Pets at Home and Vets 4 Pets group. We are currently working with Webexpenses to add more as the business continues to grow. There are four entities — two for Pets and two for Vets — as we have added in the private mileage functionality.”
Which key features within Webexpenses are important to you?
“The reporting tool. Being able to build custom reports, reports by cost centre is proving invaluable both at the department and overall level giving us greater control of spend.
“The app is also a great feature as we have many field-based colleagues across the group. This means they can submit their own claims and approve those of their direct reports on the go rather than having to wait until they are sat at a desktop.”
What advice would you give to a similar sized business, looking to manage expenses digitally?
“Do it! The time savings, better compliance and improved colleague engagement with the faster turnaround on reimbursement have been very well received across the group.”
We at Webexpenses have hugely enjoyed working with Pets at Home in helping them reinvent the way they process their expenses. We’d like to think the cat got the cream!
Learn more about the Webexpenses expense management solution.