In 2000, Marriott International in Bethesda, Md., deployed its procurement card program through its newly created shared services finance organization. And gradually the program was expanded to its current levels where p-cards are used by more than 5,500 employees across 800 properties and locations in the U.S. But to truly leverage Marriott's global spend, p-card program administrator Dana Scheurer knew the program had to be expanded beyond U.S. borders.
And therein lies the challenge of today's procurement card program administrators. Expanding the number of users and spend on a p-card program here at home is mostly a matter of internal benefits selling. But moving it overseas brings on issues of currency, technology, card acceptance and even cultural issues among users that many program managers may not expect. Marriott smartly tied its p-card expansion to its shared services organization's growth, but not all companies will have the solution come so readily.
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