Your Guide To Using Automation to Improve Accounts Payable and Procurement In The Manufacturing Industry
This is the first post in our new Automate Your Industry series. Today, we’re talking about how Accounts Payable and Procurement software can make a difference in your manufacturing company. We’ll have more industries coming in the next few weeks. For the few posts, though, we’ll be looking at specific ways that companies in manufacturing can benefit from NextProcess’ software modules.
Many times when people talk about how automation relates to manufacturing, they’re discussing industrial automation that uses machines to carry out manufacturing processes with minimal human intervention. Manufacturing is where this sort of process automation first started. Faster, streamlined, efficient workflows help keep plants running. And that’s not just true for on-the-floor processes. It applies to office tasks as well.
Business process automation (BPA) software makes it so a program can take over many tasks that would traditionally be completed by a human employee. It lets you automate office tasks related to accounting, purchasing, capital project management, and much more. In today’s post, we’re focusing on accounts payable (AP) and purchasing automation and how it can help your manufacturing business.
Aligning Accounts Payable and Procurement with Automation
You might be wondering why we’re talking about procurement and accounts payable together instead of in separate articles. This is because aligning procurement and AP comes with a surprising number of benefits. And those benefits can be particularly useful in the manufacturing industry.
The supply chain is a key point where manufacturing companies need things to go smoothly. In many cases, you’re working with complex order workflows that may involve multiple suppliers, contractors, and vendors. To manage all that efficiently, you’ll need a system that lets you keep close track of invoices, purchase orders, and goods received documents. You’ll also need a good way to keep track of your contracts and vendor information.
Of course, this process can be done manually on paper or digitally using a program such as Excel. It’s been done that way for years. However, manual processes or digital programs that were never designed to handle a complex supply chain are not the best solution.
With automation, you’re able to spread up, standardize, and streamline the entire procure-to-pay process. Instead of having all your files on paper or stored in a cumbersome digital format, you can pull everything together into one simple program. Our software modules reliably convert paper files to digital. It can also pull in information from your ERPs, Excel, or any other program you’ve been using.
Accounts Payable and Procurement Software: Better Together
You can automate accounts payable and purchasing independently of each other if you want. There’s no rule that says you can’t use AP Automation or procurement software by themselves or with software from another manufacturer. We’ve designed our NextProcess programs to minimize software conflicts, and any of our modules will integrate seamlessly with your existing ERPs and many other programs.
If, however, you do want to automate both procurement and accounts payable using our software suite, you’ll find that you get a few extra benefits that make the procure-to-pay process even more simple. For one thing, using these modules together makes it incredibly easy to follow paperwork trails. If you click on an invoice in the accounts payable module, you’ll see a link that can take you directly to the associated purchase order (and vice versa). Instead of having to switch between different programs you just click, and you’re there.
Implementation also goes much more smoothly if you get your automation programs from the same place. There are no software conflicts or delays waiting for two different software companies to figure out how to work together. Similarly, customer service is much more simple since you’re only dealing with one software supplier. Plus, it’s easier for employees to learn to use both your accounts payable and purchasing programs if you get the software from the same place.
How Automation Helps with Procure-to-Pay in Manufacturing
Let’s take a closer look at some examples of how NextProcess software can help with manufacturing-specific issues in the procure-to-pay process.
Our first example is for a manufacturing company with a shipping fleet. As part of our business process automation, NextProcess lets you track information related to each vehicle. We capture the VIN, maintenance costs, mileage, etc. We’ve found that this feature has made it possible for several of our clients to identify a “lemon” in their fleet, which helped them save money in the long-run.
Here’s another example. When you’re placing an order, suppliers often have a variety of ways to specify a quantity. For example, you might place an order by item, cases, truckloads, etc. If you place an order for a certain number of cases and the supplier’s invoice lists the quantity by truckloads, it can be a time-consuming challenge to reconcile goods received with your purchase order and invoice.
If you’re using NextProcess software, we go in “behind the scenes” and add automatic quantity conversions. We’ll build these conversions to your custom needs so you can quickly check that your suppliers delivered exactly what you ordered. This takes a lot of the work out of 3-way matching, which also makes inventory management much easier. We can also customize your priorities in 3-way matching based on your industry-specific needs to speed-up the process of matching invoice, receiver, and purchase order.
Why NextProcess Is The Best Choice
NextProcess is committed to helping your company improve your business processes. Not only does our BPA software give you the processing tools you need to automate accounts payable and/or procurement, but we also work specifically with your company to customize our software to your needs.
Our software is highly configurable and flexible. We don’t make you adjust your process to our software. Instead, we do everything we can to adjust our software to your company’s specific needs. We’ll be with you through every step of the implementation process to tailor our software to your manufacturing company and make sure everything is working just the way you need it to.
Even after implementation is done, our responsive customer service team will be there to answer any questions to have and keep things working perfectly. We’ll also keep all the software up-to-date without your company having to worry about a thing. Plus, our software scales to your company’s needs. You never need to worry about overpaying for something you’re not currently using or about falling behind as your business grows.
If you’re ready to see how much AP automation and purchasing software can help your company, contact us and schedule a free demo. We’ll answer any questions you have and give you a first-hand look at how our software can improve the way your company handles purchasing, inventory, and invoices.