Samsara is a leader in the industrial Internet of Things (IoT) space with more than 1,300 employees around the globe. The company’s solutions combine hardware, software, and cloud in order to power real-time visibility, analytics, and AI. Its customers include transportation and food and beverage companies, plus cities like Boston and Fort Lauderdale. Due to Samsara’s rapid pace of innovation, including more than 100 features in the last year, regular get-togethers are needed for its extended team to stay completely up to date. The company gathers its staff for twice-yearly sales kickoffs (SKO) traditionally held near its San Francisco headquarters. After COVID-19 hit, it was clear to the company’s leadership team that the August 2020 event would need to be online.
While the options for hosting videos and presenting speakers online were straightforward, the best way to host lunch for attendees was less clear. The marketing team was in charge of the event and connected with finance to explore the best options. Samsara had worked with Uber for Business in the past to set up ride vouchers for its holiday party, as well as streamline business travel for its employees. They realized there may be a good Uber Eats option.
“Originally, we discussed asking employees to spend a set amount on lunch and get reimbursed,” says Meteb Al-Fayez, Procurement Manager, Samsara. “The challenge was that it would have created a lot of paperwork for both the employees and finance team. We spend an average of 2 minutes processing each expense report, so there was the potential for more than 45 hours worth of work. This doesn’t even count the time the employees would have spent writing the reports themselves.”
Al-Fayez connected with Uber for Business to discuss the corporate options it offers using the Uber Eats platform. Given that the SKO lunch was just a one-day need, Vouchers for Uber Eats made more sense than an ongoing corporate meal program. Vouchers are time-bounded, configurable meal benefits delivered to the recipient as a unique code, so Samsara could set the voucher rules and policy controls, plus track redemption rates.
“Our employees prefer not to put expenses on their own credit cards and wait to get reimbursed. Uber Vouchers helped us avoid this scenario and was a great option for us,” says Al-Fayez.
The SKO lunch program was an immediate success and resulted in:
- Happy employees: The vouchers were easy to use, and the employees didn’t have to hassle with an expense report.
- Cost avoidance: Samsara only paid for the amount spent by employees using the vouchers, not the maximum amount allowed, as they would have with a gift card. The cost was based on actual usage.
- Reduced administrative time: The finance team avoided spending as much as 45 hours on expense reports.
- Streamlined cost center management: The Uber for Business dashboard made it easy to assign the funds spent to the correct cost center on the back end.
“It’s rare that a project comes in under budget. Uber for Business helped us lower the meal costs for our sales kickoff, while also supporting local restaurants,” says Angelina Elhassan, Samsara’s Director of Events and Field Marketing. “We really liked that the voucher costs were based on actual usage rather than projections. It was a true win-win.”
Since the success of the SKO, the Samsara team has already started using Vouchers for Uber Eats to connect with employees, customers, and prospects during lunch-and-learns and other virtual events.
“I’ve been giving some employees access to our Uber for Business dashboard so they can create vouchers for their own events,” adds Al-Fayez. “They are empowered to manage them directly, and my team knows the associated costs will be easy to track.”