Accounts payable

5 practical ways to beat the recession with automation

In the wake of COVID-19, and as the specter of recession looms again, it’s a timely reminder to review your technology and ensure you’re getting continued value from your investment. With a little thought and knowledge, there are almost always opportunities to improve the results you currently get from your applications and environment, and save time and money to get started.

In this article, the first of three, we suggest five specific ways to get more bang for your buck by adopting or improving your business processes through automation.

1. Reduce the cost of attracting and retaining employees

It’s commonly believed that automation allows your employees to be more productive and accurate, and get things done faster, which is always great for your bottom line.

But there’s also a greater reward, and it has to do with the well-documented skill shortage and the Great Resignation.

If you’re struggling to recruit qualified resources, consider freeing existing staff from repetitive tasks that limit their personal growth and instead invest in developing them so they can take on more valuable (and interesting) roles. As a result, your employee retention improves and recruitment and training costs decrease. And of course, you can scale your operations without increasing your headcount, or making those impossible demands on employee time that drive people away.

Automation ideas: Streamline accounts payable, financial reporting, and data entry roles.

2. Reduce the costs (and discomfort) of bad data

When it comes to data, small human errors can cost you dearly.

For those dedicated to data entry, it only takes a second to misplace a decimal point, record an incorrect phone number or address, or enter the wrong quantity or wrong items in a customer’s order. . At best, the mistake can lead to an apology, at worst, major efforts to recover a damaged business relationship – or even a legal battle. And of course, there’s the time it takes to fix the mistake and pour oil on troubled waters.

In short, the more opportunities you can eliminate human data entry from your business processes by using automation to collect, process, store and share data, the lower the risk and expense to your business.

Automation ideas: Remove manual data entry (and re-keying) from order taking and financial reporting.

3. The old concept of “doing more with less”

While automation is often scarily sold as a means to replace people, we prefer to think of it as an opportunity to free them up to tackle more important (and interesting) tasks or to develop the capabilities of the company without having to recruit additional employees. .

Processes that involve paperwork are the perfect “low fruit” for rapid improvement. There are so many options to ingest and precisely sort incoming data without lifting a finger that it’s no fun. But it’s exciting to realize that the time wasted asking a human to do a job that technology can do better can be eliminated. Although there are always exceptions, manually handling them can take as little as 5% of the initial task time.

Speaking of their successful adoption of automation to improve their accounts payable process, Whakarongorau Aotearoa (formerly Homecare Medical) said, “Without the accounts payable automation, we would have already added at least one more person to the team. supplier accounts. We have taken the right strategic path. It could have been very different for us if we hadn’t made that investment.

Automation Ideas: Eliminate document sets, invoice approval search, request or request review/approval workflows, order dispatch notifications, appointments, payments, collection of data from multiple systems, etc.

4. Speed ​​up workflows that normally slow down your business

Complex workflows are inherently slow. They typically involve multiple touchpoints, approvals, and reviews, and are likely to remain in unaudited “task” piles. As a result, there’s always someone eagerly awaiting an outcome, whether it’s good news for an insurance claim, paying a bill, or a place in an educational institution. superior.

Automation Ideas: Accelerate multi-touch application, check-in, registration, approval and complaint processes, as well as your entire supply chain or project services.

5. Become independent

When times are tough, you need to tighten your company’s spending belt where you can. Thus, you will want to maximize the wealth of internal capabilities of your existing administrators and developers to visualize, create, integrate, manage and refine your workflows.

The big “however” is that to do this you’ll need an app that gives you DIY process automation features. With a modern cloud solution, your users should have access to easy-to-understand, built-in visual tools to create one-step or multi-step workflows like quote or quote approvals. They also need to be able to apply data integrity logic to fields, including custom formulas, to ensure the data is accurate (returning to point 2). When you can turn to your own team to streamline and automate repeatable tasks, you’re already reducing your technology budget and mastering your own efficiency efforts.

Automation Ideas: Design and build your own custom automated processes to make life easier for customers and staff using no-code, low-code, or no-code tools.

In summary, the wise use of automation can help you consciously control employee costs, improve productivity, eliminate costly errors from the equation, accelerate your pace of business, and empower your employees to eliminate redundant tasks. All this at a time when your profitability is under attack again.

Fusion5 is all about helping customers do better business, so they can go from good to great. So our next two articles will focus on practical ways to get the most out of your cloud investments and how you can generate the kind of intelligent insights that will make a monetary difference in your decision-making process.

In the meantime, if you want to pitch automation ideas and get practical, thoughtful answers, get in touch with us here.