It’s a challenging time to be a business leader. Container costs have tripled, energy costs are soaring across the board, inflation is wreaking havoc for all, an unjust war has left Ukraine in shambles, the Great Resignation has shaken the workforce, and the global supply chain hasn’t had a chance to breathe and bounce back after COVID – just to name a few.
Some might take this as a sign to halt or postpone pursuing making any big organisational changes to their business such as adopting new technologies. However, it might be just the right time for leaders to scope new opportunities and have a positive impact on their organisations.
Automation Enables Business Continuity
In a Forbes article, it is revealed that “A resounding majority (90%) of global executives said automating workflows post-Covid-19 will ensure business continuity… Nearly the same number (89%) thought digitally transformed companies have a competitive advantage.” And the competitive advantage is clear.
For starters, there’s a lot your business can gain from digitised procure-to-pay processes. Digitisation enables procurement and AP to work remotely seamlessly. With easy access to users’ relevant programs, they can continue with business as usual from wherever they’re located so long as they have an internet connection and a device.
From the AP side, without having to depend on outdated business functions and paper invoices, operations keep flowing as usual – the only change is that it’s digitised. You can also keep all your information organised and safe for any potential audits in a secured but easy-to-access digitised repository that includes all relevant invoice and transaction information.
From the Procurement side, digitised processes offer streamlined support for multiple workstreams including indirect goods, direct goods, and services procurement. Digitised procurement offers a more consumer-oriented user experience (UX) that not only eases training and onboarding, but also packages capabilities and admin rights based on unique roles.
And for all departments, the appeal of incorporating emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), natural language processing (NLP), and a conversational UX into their jobs only further support the decision to adopt Digitised operations.
Other benefits include the following:
Digitisation enables greater spend visibility and analysis. Built-in reporting features offer the flexibility to both customise and automate reporting. With this sort of insight and oversight, your Procurement and Finance teams have better visibility into where money is going, where savings opportunities are hiding, and ways to reduce overall costs.
Digitisation enhances supplier management and relationships. Many global organisations have a long list of suppliers to manage, but having these suppliers set up in your digitised procurement solution makes it easier to store catalogs, easily create and approve purchase orders, and enable your suppliers to receive and fulfill orders quicker.
In challenging times, a reliance on physical paper and manual processes significantly slows down the entire payables process, and in some situations makes it impossible to keep up with your normal business processes. But there’s a way you can minimise disruptions to your financial supply chain and day-to-day business. Automation.
Automation does more than just speed up the process – it mitigates risk, supports a flexible and remote work environment, offers real-time insight into exactly where your business stands at all times, guarantees you can take care of your suppliers, and ultimately provides visibility no matter where you are or what’s happening in the world. To bounce back from today’s challenges without major economic fallout, businesses need data to not only make the right decisions but also make them quickly. We’ve now seen how critical it is to have visibility over your global supply chains for resilience and continuity to prevent shortages, ensure safety, maintain profitability, and futureproof your business.
Automation allows you to focus on what’s important – employee welfare, minimising supply chain disruptions, and business continuity – instead of getting caught up in manual, repetitive processes. It’s about more than just making money – it’s also about ensuring the safety of your employees and protecting the supply chain.
Additionally, sustainability and transparency have become vital topics when it comes to employer branding. If you’re hoping to attract the right kind of employees, maintain your brand reputation, and perhaps adhere to local mandates or requirements regarding green initiatives, then digitising processes is a great way to do so.