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Jan Achterveld from VodafoneZiggo

Vodafone Ziggo
Jan Achterveld: "In particular, listing VAT on the AirPlus statement represents a huge improvement in administrative efficiency."

Insight, transparency, consolidation and process optimization

VodafoneZiggo is a Dutch company offering fixed, mobile and integrated communication and entertainment services to consumers and businesses. VodafoneZiggo is a jointventure of Liberty Global, the biggest international TV and broadband internet company with brands as Virgin Media, Telenet, Base, UPC & Cable and Wireless, and Vodafone Group, one of the world’s biggest telecommunication companies.

Today VodafoneZiggo, with both brands Vodafone & Ziggo, is one of the leading communication and entertainment service providers for consumers and businesses in the Netherlands. Ziggo provides 9.7 million services to its customers with nearly 4 million televisions, over 3 million internet connections and 2.5 million fixed and mobile telephone services subscribers and more than two million Wi-Fi Spots throughout the Netherlands.The retail and corporate market utilize products such as data communications, IoT, fixed and mobile telephony, television services and electronic payment options.

We spoke with Jan Achterveld, Senior Commodity Lead Commercial & Services in the Procurement department of VodafoneZiggo, who has been working with AirPlus since 2011 and he explained how VodafoneZiggo benefits from the payment solutions AirPlus provides.

VodafoneZiggo has worked with AirPlus International since January 2011. What is your experience so far?
“We are very satisfied with the collaboration. Especially the collaboration between AirPlus and travel agent Uniglobe THL Travel is truly a partnership, with a lot of internal communication and coordination. For me, the clear strengths here are collaboration, ease from worries, solution-oriented thinking, information-sharing and a clear overview of expenses. We started the collaboration to handling business trips, but this quickly broadened to handling hotel bookings, meetings and international conferences, given that these are substantial cost categories for VodafoneZiggo.”

How did VodafoneZiggo arrange for meetings and events in the past?
“It was all over the place. We used to manually enter each and every invoice, from the different suppliers, into our ERP system to be processed. This was a huge administrative burden for the organisation, both for the meeting schedulers and the financial administrators. This led to more and more payment issues and lack of oversight. And, as we did not have any management information, there was no clear understanding of our total expenditure. We even had to calculate the VAT percentage ourselves and a colleague had to enter it manually, which was incredibly time consuming. We are very satisfied with the solutions that AirPlus and Uniglobe THL Travel now provide us with.”

In 2011, VodafoneZiggo started using the AirPlus virtual payment solution to pay for meetings and events.Can you explain how everything works?
“At that time, we were looking for a flexible solution that would allow administrative processes to run smoothly. Together with Uniglobe THL Travel, we found the AirPlus virtual payment solution to be the best fit. We had very high expectations for this solution because it seamlessly aligns with the vision of achieving more transparency, insight and administrative efficiency. When using normal credit cards or corporate meeting cards, expenses were paid, but we could only see a total amount. There were no references or details, even though that is exactly the information we needed to be able to check whether our travel policy was being complied with. We receive a detailed breakdown of the total bill and even the VAT information is reported. The electronic statement (eBilling) is read into our financial systems, making the whole process a lot faster than before. We are very happy with this!”

How exactly does it work andhow does it affect the schedulers?
“Uniglobe THL Travel books all our meetings and AirPlus consolidates all the data and payment details. In addition to the ease and efficiency at the back end, this process has provided an enormous benefit to our internal customers inthe front office. In 2015, the government initiated regulations for work-related costs (a percentage of the total payroll maybe spent on staff for outings, business meetings, gifts, business dinners, etc.). To comply, companies have to record detailed information related to these work-related costs, such as the agenda for a meeting, a list of participants, the nature of the meeting, and so on. To gain more insight into its staff meetings and to gather the work-related details, we built a web-based meeting portal with Uniglobe THL. When someone uses the portal to find a suitable location, they enter the relevant city. Then a list of all the locations and meeting rooms will appear with which VodafoneZiggo has a contract. The requester simply enters the details of the gift, meeting or other typeof event, making it easy to create a clear overview for the reporting of the work-related costs regulations.”

What advantages does the virtual payment solution have to offer VodafoneZiggo specifically?“What’s really nice is that both the AirPlus statements and the AirPlus Information Manager offer us detailed information regarding our travel and meeting spend. For each meeting, you have the name of the event, date, number of participants and a breakdown of costs into different categories including: accommodation, food and beverages, room rental fees and technical equipment. This provides complete transparency which helps strengthen our negotiations with suitable locations. It is also important to use this information during negotiations, to prove what additional spending we generate in addition to the standard meeting costs. In particular, listing VAT on the AirPlus statement represents a huge improvement in administrative efficiency. The best thing is that we can tailor the AirPlus statements and reports so that these list exactly what we want and need to see.”

Finally, is there anything you would like to see improved or different?
“We are really pleased with AirPlus and the superb communication with our AirPlus Account Manager.”

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