Are You Having Trouble With Your Business Processes? Maybe It’s Time To Automate Them
Many organizations struggle to manage their core business processes. A 2015 study by Tipalti, which polled 100 senior finance decision makers and executives, found that “51% were dissatisfied with the processes they use to pay their suppliers.” And the problem isn’t confined to the Accounts Payable department. Companies struggle to manage a whole host of processes including purchasing, expense reporting, and record keeping.
If you’re having trouble with the business processes that are essential to keeping your company running, then it’s time for a serious look at how you can improve. While problems like poor data entry, lost invoices, and slow processing might not seem that important, they can blossom into bigger issues that could actually sink your company. And that’s the last thing you want.
So what’s the answer? Many companies are finding that the issues with their business processes can be solved using business process automation (BPA) software. While automation isn’t the answer for every issue in a company, it is a big help when you’re trying to get a handle on managing your core business processes.
Warning Signs To Watch Out For
Every company is going to face some issues with managing their business processing. So how can you tell the difference between normal challenges that every company deals with and issues that are serious enough to threaten your company? Here are some warning signs to watch out for:
Difficulty managing information
The more a business grows the more information your departments have to manage. If your company is having trouble keeping up with and tracking the information flowing through your departments, it’s probably time to update your processing systems.
Tasks getting overlooked
It’s so easy for one employee to finish their task and move the project along, only to have it be overlooked by the next employee who was supposed to pick it up. And all too often when the next person does pick up the project, they learn that they don’t have all the information they need to finish processing.
Processing slows down
Overwhelmed departments can start to lose track of important information and fall behind on processing. Invoices get misfiled, receipts for travel expenses are lost, and the next thing you know you’re responsible for late-payment fees or scrambling to follow-up with an employee who should have been reimbursed months ago.
Can’t enforce policies
When your business processes get so hard to manage that you can’t enforce company policy you’ve got a big problem on your hands. And all too often, you don’t know a compliance violation happened until it has caused significant problems for your company.
Errors slip through
The busier a department gets, the greater the risk that errors will go undetected. This is an especially big problem if you’re using manual data entry in your business processing systems. Human error will always slip into your files when employees enter data manually, and if these errors are going undetected you need to figure out how to fix that.
Still using paper or spreadsheets
Paper files are difficult to process, easy to misplace, and time-consuming. And certain electronic formats aren’t much better. PDF files can’t be altered and text-search within them is limited, while spreadsheets are riddled with errors and notoriously difficult to manage.
Fixes Offered By Automation
Every one of those issues can be solved using business process automation. A reliable BPA system gives you the tools you need to take back control of your business processes.
Get control of your information
An automated system captures information that comes into your departments in digital format. That keeps incoming information from being lost and it makes it simple for the system to track the information. And you can even go a step beyond simple image capture by using a system that offers image indexing, which gives you more control over your data.
Stay on-target with tasks
Automated processing moves tasks along from one step to another, usually without needing assistance from a human employee. And when human employees are needed to handle a processing exception or grant approvals, the system will send reminders until they finish the task.
Processing speeds up
There’s no danger in an automated system of losing track of important information or falling behind on processing. The system tracks deadlines and keeps things moving automatically. And that’s a huge benefit. In the AP department alone, faster processing means no late-fees, a chance at quick-pay discounts, and improved cash flow.
Easily enforce policies
The best BPA systems let you customize them to match your company policy. Once you’ve customized the system, it automatically enforces company policy. In the purchasing department, for example, you’ll be able to set limits on which employees can make purchases and which vendors they purchase from.
Prevent and catch errors
Electronic data capture technology is much more efficient than manual data entry. NextProcess offers higher than 99% accuracy when scanning paper files into the system. And not only do BPA systems help you start out with fewer errors, they’re also good at catching errors. They can flag duplicate documents and anything that falls outside your custom parameters.
Switch to digital document management
Going digital uses less paper, which is good for the environment and for your finances. It’s also going to save money because you don’t have to maintain storage facilities for paper files. And it’ll save huge amounts of time since digital files are far easier to store and search through. Plus, you can easily backup digital files. And there’s less risk of losing them to fire or water damage.
If you’re ready to see just how much automation can help fix your troubles with core business processes, get in touch with NextProcess. We’ll be happy to give you a demonstration of our BPA products and answer any questions you might have.