Automation remains a hot topic in business, particularly as AI-driven tools gain greater efficiency and have the ability to reduce some of the heavy lifting in everyday tasks. For companies looking to optimise the way they operate and realise cost savings, automating key systems and processes can transform a business and its supply chain. In fact, it’s estimated that automation can result in cost savings of up to 75 per cent.
However, the vital factor in realising these cost savings is choosing solutions that benefit all parties in a transaction. This is true innovation and will have a longstanding effect in trade when buyers and sellers are able to converge on one single platform that allows for optimised trading relationships for all parties.
Keep reading to learn how your business can realise cost savings through automation, or download our free business survival guide which outlines how businesses can leverage the power of automation to accelerate growth.
Use software that delivers efficiencies for all parties
Some software solutions, such as your accounting or ERP system may make it easier for your finance, accounts receivable and accounts payable teams to reconcile transactions, run reports, and invoice customers. However, this is typically where the benefits stop with these platforms. Outside of features such as eInvoicing that may make processing invoices more efficient for both customers and suppliers, software that delivers efficiency for only one party often truncates the supply chain and creates barriers. Instead, businesses should choose solutions that benefit them, their customers, and their suppliers.
Solutions that genuinely deliver efficiencies for all parties in a transaction, not only have a greater adoption rate, but can provide functionality such as streamlined payment processing, multiple payment options, and integration with other business systems. By doing so, businesses can eliminate up to 20 hours per week of invoicing and payment administration.
Further, it’s not just cost savings that are driving businesses to automate systems and processes. According to Bain & Company, the recent pandemic reprioritised the importance of business objectives that drive the decision to automate. Key factors outside of cost savings include improved customer experiences, improved business continuity and resilience, increased ease of generating business insights, and lower risk. Using one connected platform that benefits all parties in the supply chain helps businesses achieve these objectives.
Choose integrated solutions that provide operational efficiencies across the supply chain
One of the biggest differences between stand-alone automation solutions that deal with a single process or benefit one party and integrated solutions is the ability to reduce trade barriers and prioritise cash flow for both trading partners. Adopting a single platform not only provides operational efficiencies for all parties in the supply chain, but acts as a mechanism for flexible terms of trade disconnected from either the buyer or seller. This works through having a third-party finance provider supplying funding for the transaction. The supplier gets paid in full and on time (or early), and the customer can choose from a range of payment options that align best with their cash flow. Offering these on-demand, point-of-activity lending solutions not only lowers credit exposure for the supplier but it offers customers more flexibility over how and when they pay. Your customers can even further extend their payment terms by using a credit card to fund their instalments (depending on the terms offered by the customer’s credit card provider).
The benefits offered to both suppliers and customers that allow for trade terms and cash flows to be better aligned have positive flow-on effects. For instance, when a supplier gets paid on time, they can better budget for ongoing expenses and plan investments in growth. Similarly, a customer can better align their cash inflows and outflows to use the revenue generated through their purchase to pay it off, rather than requiring a single lump sum of working capital to fund the invoice. It’s these benefits that stand to transform how businesses and supply chains operate, as a single integrated platform can make it possible for all parties to have their interests met in every transaction.
Transform your business and realise cost savings with Spenda
Business automation is transformative, but it has longstanding benefits when it delivers cost savings and operational efficiencies across the supply chain, not just one party. For businesses looking to optimise systems and processes, choose integrated platforms that make terms of trade flexible and beneficial to both parties while reducing financial risk in the process.
Whether you’re looking to bridge short-term cash flow gaps, expand your financing options, or gain greater control over how and when you invest in growth initiatives, Spenda’s solutions can help. Our Business Survival Guide: How to manage cash flow in uncertain times, outlines everything that businesses need to do to optimise their cash flow and grow.