When working within a modern purchase-to-pay environment, it’s vital that your business doesn’t settle in its transformative business journey. You should continually be refining your strategy to address your company’s current needs and future concerns. With the use of these three elements, ensure your company is equipped to maintain and sustain perpetual business growth.
1. True automation with new technology
Even with support from systems, there are many tasks that are manual, especially with older, legacy systems. Longer processing times slow down the overall purchase-to-pay progression, meaning you miss out on any opportunities for early payment discounts and the potential to save money.
With the continued innovation of automated systems, including smart coding and continual machine learning, each part of your purchase-to-pay process will realize transformative benefits. Smart coding gives suggestions for coding and machine learning that will automate manual tasks e.g. Smart PDFs that categorize PDF-invoices to be processed automatically if possible. Blending technology into a human workspace will free up your team’s time so they can focus their talents on strategic business objectives. Here are just a few other ways continued focus and refinement of automation help:
- Reduce invoice processing costs
- Capture early payment discounts
- Control cash flow and working capital better
- Eliminate costs associated with scan & capture methods
- Rid your team of time-consuming manual tasks
2. Bring Your Business with You on Your Journey Using a Change Management Plan
Developing a change management plan is an important part of implementing successful transformative growth in your business. To implement a successful change in your organization, it’s imperative to familiarize yourself with these four major concepts of digital transformation, as defined by The Hackett Group:
- Culture centricity: Internal support is moving towards using technology to create service-centric organizations.
- Technology: Emerging technologies, along with implementing automated purchase-to-pay solutions, help streamline operations and offer new ways of working.
- Network: Organizations should join a business network and evaluate how they can get the most out of it.
- Business Intelligence: Businesses need to ensure they are looking at the most effective ways to gather data, improve data quality, and create a data governance model.
3. Plan for Your Future with Analytics
Business growth is stunted without the aggregation of smart data that comes from system automation. With it, your data can easily be compiled, augmented, and analyzed to provide key insights into business-critical areas. Analytics will help your organization drive smarter, strategic value through:
- Preventing late payments by analyzing historical trends and predicting the probability of on-time versus late payments
- Locating and resolving process bottlenecks and maverick spend across your organization with intelligent workflow data
- Improving supplier relationships by speeding up cycle times, getting suppliers paid quickly, and positioning you as a reliable buyer
- Acquiring both insight and oversight into all aspects of your organization
With analytics, your business will be equipped with the information and tools needed to fix process bottlenecks, improve efficiency, control spend, and detect fraud. You’ll be better prepared to more accurately forecast cash flow and create a plan for business growth.
Automation allows for the perfect mind and machine blend, so while your team works on strategic objectives, your automated system works on previously manual and time-consuming tasks. A change management plan ensures that you, your stakeholders, and your employees are prepared for a transformative experience. And analytics, taken right from the financial data running through your automated system, provide insights into key areas of potential growth in your business. A great position for any business to be in, in this continually shifting world.
About the Author
This blog was written by Lauri “Lapa” Palokangas from Basware.
Lapa is a technology geek and an IT professional who switched to product marketing 10 years ago. He runs Basware’s product marketing and sales enablement by day and is involved in behavioral economics research by night. For the last 15 years, Lapa has worked in B2B sales, marketing, and product marketing, and his heart is in customer understanding and storytelling. Before Basware, Lapa had a 15-year career at Nokia. In his free time, he engages in endurance trail running.
Connect with him on LinkedIn here.