“While very often attention focuses on the latest, sexiest, hottest and most disruptive technology, it is still important to understand the impact of the software that actually runs the business”, such as AP Automation, Procurement…end to end Procure-to-Pay, states Cindy Jutras guest judge for ERP Focus, an online publication providing knowledge and evaluation resources to ERP software professionals.
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ERP, far from a static space, continues to evolve. It’s critically important to be aware of the changes hammering businesses today, such as the move from the Industrial Age to the Digital Age, and how newer technologies, BPI (Business Process Improvement) solutions and digitizing internal processes will facilitate these shifts.
The ERP industry needs professionals with a deep and critical view. Businesses benefit when confronted with rich, nuanced assessments of ERP technologies; utilizing BPI solutions to extend the life of your ERP system with ‘seamless’ best-of-breed’ functionality.
In today’s competitive business environment, even small and medium sized companies are investing in process automation in efforts to reduce costs, increase efficiencies, and maintain customer satisfaction. The universal directive to businesses to “do more with less” is being increasingly satisfied through the application of solutions that offer automation of critical business processes.
According to a 2015 report by Gartner, Inc., worldwide spending on enterprise application software totaled US $149.9 billion in 2015, a 7.5% increase from 2014 spending. And now, Gartner reports, as organizations are looking for ways to shift spending from capital expenditures to operating expenditures, spending is moving toward the automation of processes.
Digital transformation, or the automation of business processes has huge potential to increase business agility and improve results. The challenge is where to start. Integrating AP and Procurement processes in an end-to-end fashion can deliver the best of both worlds and provide further synergies in automation and error reduction. This is truly a case where 1+1 equals 3.
What happens if you don’t automate processes?
Process automation is no longer a desirable solution for modern businesses; it is essential. Without automation, processes that traditionally use phone, email, and paper trails to support and feed ERP systems with information are managed with little or no control. Manual data inputting is universally laborious, costly, and error-prone.
So what are the implications? Take master data management, for example. When vital master data is incorrect, it negatively affects service level quality as well as the reputation of the Finance and Purchasing departments. Without accurate and timely visibility into processes, there is reduced transparency, so maintaining compliance becomes difficult and time-consuming at best. The combination of these effects can have significant impact on a business in the long term.
Business Process Improvement
We were pleased to say that through the implementation of our BPI solutions, for processes such as Procurement and Accounts Payable, our clients are now utilizing today’s connectivity technology and communication channels, specifically the Internet (or Cloud), Mobile Devices, and Social Media networks, together with Rules-based Workflow Technology, to achieve the following results:
- Improved Sales Performance and Customer Experience
- Improved Employee Productivity
- Improved Pricing Controls
- Improved Financial Controls
- Reduced Auditing Costs
- Reduced Process Cycle Time/Costs
- Improved Process Flexibility and Standardization
- Improved Process Visibility/Tracking
- Elimination of Redundant Data Entry
- Improved Process Controls
- Elimination of Paper Forms
End-to-end automation: purchase-to-pay (P2P)
Automating the entire purchase-to-pay string of processes Procurement to AP Automation is one approach to end-to-end automation that can truly enable a company to reap more gain from its system. By starting automation with the purchase requisition process, each of the subsequent P2P processes is improved.
Process area: Procurement / Purchase requisition
It’s estimated that 30%–45% of indirect purchasing (procurement) in organizations is “maverick” purchasing, with price costs averaging 35% more than agreement prices. Standard purchase requisitioning processes employ the use of an internal document that contains a description and quantity of the goods or services to be purchased, a required delivery date, an account number, and the maximum cost. Even the names of suggested supply sources can be included.
Manual purchase requisition processing
A person inside the organization generates a purchase requisition to notify Procurement of items needed via phone, email, sticky notes, etc. In some organizations, a person may order an item directly via phone, sidestepping the requisition process altogether. The requisition is normally sent to a superior for approval in a non-standard process lacking visibility. Upon approval, the requisition is processed by Procurement, and a purchase order is created inside AP. AND, by the way…It’s not just the paper! The Cost of managing paper? $7,500 per worker.
Automated purchase requisition processing
An authorized person creates a purchase requisition for any approved item via an easy-to-use, simple web application with access to existing online catalogs. An automated workflow for approval is immediately initiated, and approvals are recorded in a visible audit trail. Upon approval, an approved purchase order is generated automatically in your ERP system.
Advantages of automating:
- Reduced costs for purchasing, logistics and accounting
- Optimized supplier selection
- Better basis for price and contract negotiations
- Easier process for personnel, enabling greater compliance and user adoption
- Improved incoming invoice processing and reporting ability
- Low total cost of ownership as automation process is fully integrated with the ERP system
By utilizing today’s connectivity technology and communication channels, speciﬁcally the Internet (or Cloud), Mobile Devices, and Social Networks, together with Rules-based Workflow Technology, we can transform business processes from the old and slower 20th century way of operating a business into the new and faster 21st century way of operating a business in real-time.
All of our Solutions are ‘seamlessly’ integrated with QAD EE and SE, and are 100% Web-based providing (24×7 access)
Who is ISS Group?
ISS Group delivers Solutions which Digitize Business Processes to Connect People and Processes via the Cloud, Mobile devices, and Social Networks
55 Madison Ave, Suite 400
Morristown, NJ 07960
Toll Free: 888-547-7476
Direct: (973) 729-0013