When I ask end-users about their biggest card program challenges, an unfortunate common response is lack of buy-in. A program that begins with strong management support may take a hit when a program champion retires or leaves the organization. This can cause a program manager to scramble in defense, which is especially frustrating considering Commercial Cards have proven to be an excellent payment option. Following are steps you can take to combat or even prevent internal resistance.
Strive for Consistency
Regularly share card program successes, so management continues to receive the message about the program’s value. This should not be a random task. Broaden your promotion to reach management throughout the organization. Internal job changes can mean you get a manager from another area someday. If he or she is already familiar with Commercial Card benefits and how the program has helped your organization, this can drive your program forward versus backward, keeping it up to par.
Aim for the Green
In golf, the green is the target. The same is true in business except the green is money (USD currency). Management typically wants to see the impact of the card program on the bottom line. Within your promotions, feature the savings achieved and rebates earned. It is beneficial to include a mix of: 1) meaningful industry statistics, such as average process savings, and 2) specific metrics about your card program.
Learn from your peers who can tell you what works and what does not when seeking management support. Chad Robison, CPCP, Purchasing Card Program Manager, Intermountain Healthcare, relayed that he regularly informs management about the status of their card program. A key part of this is sharing industry best practices on various topics and noting whether his organization follows them. This is a great addition, as it provides education and encourages dialogue about how to improve the program. Management becomes more invested in its success.
Address Program Risk
Conducting a risk analysis to document program controls and what is needed to close any gaps can help ease management concerns. If a risk analysis has been on your to-do list for too long, check out the related content from Recharged Education, including a template available for purchase.
About the Author
Blog post author Lynn Larson, CPCP, is the founder of Recharged Education. With more than 15 years of Commercial Card experience, her mission is to make industry education readily accessible to all. Learn more…
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