How Machine Learning Enhances Your Business Process Automation Software
More and more companies recognize the value of business process automation (BPA) software. If a business doesn’t already have some form of digitization and automation to help streamline their financial processes like accounts payable and purchasing, then there’s a good chance they already have plans to digitize.
Now, companies are less likely to question whether using BPA software is a good idea. They’re more likely to wonder what type of BPA would work best in their company. Automation and digitization software options aren’t all the same. Some software—especially older programs that haven’t been updated in a while—can be messy and difficult to use.
In contrast, high-quality BPA software-as-a-service (SaaS) with innovative, up-to-date features can reduce costs, speed up processing, automatically enforce company policies, and free up employees from repetitive or mundane tasks. Plus, with Machine Learning technology, the software keeps getting better and better the more you use it.
How Does Machine Learning Work?
Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence. Basically, it examines data and looks for patterns to improve the way the software processes data. In practice, BPA software with machine learning technology becomes more useful to you the longer you use it.
As the software learns patterns in your data, it gets better at matching purchase orders with invoices, catching exceptions, noticing issues with suppliers, and much more. As you use BPA software to do the same type of task over and over (such as paying invoices, generating purchase orders, or processing T&E payments) machine learning notices patterns and learns how to better assist with those processes.
What Can Machine Learning Help With?
Depending on the type of BPA software you’re using, machine learning can assist with a wide variety of business tasks. It’s often used for customer service, legal processes, banking, and financial operations. Machine learning in SaaS solutions can also improve supply chain management, support quality control, and make data more available and useful to a company.
Example 1: Procurement
Let’s take procurement as an example. The procurement department has moved into center stage recently as companies face challenges related to inflation and the supply chain. Machine learning can offer data-driven support to procurement as they work to manage supply chains and plan for various “what if …?” questions that face procurement.
Supply chain management relies on complete, accurate data to get insight into the current state of the supply chain and plan for future possibilities. As a software program using machine learning, like NextProcess’ Purchase Order Module, processes more of your company’s purchases, it generates insights based on patterns in the data. These insights are typically more complete, accurate, and useful than data available from programs that don’t utilize machine learning.
Example 2: Accounts Payable
Another example of where machine learning can help is in the accounts payable department. AP generates huge amounts of data related to company purchases, payments, cash flow, and supplier relationships. It’s also a department that needs to be particularly vigilant about the dangers of fraud since check fraud is one of the most common types of fraud that companies face.
By tracking and learning from patterns in AP data, machine learning enables improved insight into the accounts payable process. Your software becomes better equipped to notice unusual invoices which might indicate fraud or some other issue that a human should double-check and resolve. It also helps with managing cash flow because you’ll have more accurate and reliable data related to payments.
How Can I Use the Improved Data and Processing?
In the two examples we looked at above, we focused on how machine learning supports improved data collection and processing. The advantages of having better data to work with cannot be overstated. You need to be able to analyze patterns and trends in your data whether you’re assessing your company’s current state or planning for the future.
Data patterns are where machine learning excels. The algorithms can analyze and even interpret data, improving the quality of information available for decision-makers in your company. Plus, all this information is recorded as part of normal software processing. You’ll have accurate, easy-to-find data about every financial transaction available in a digital database that updates in real time.
In addition, you’ll have access to the data pattern trends that the machine learning notes and uses to make the software processing more efficient. Since machine learning uses these data trends to learn, predict, and customize, you can also use the data trends to learn about the state of your finances, predict possible outcomes, and customize your business’s response to anticipated challenges.
Where To Find a Customizable, Flexible Solution?
With NextProcess software, you’ll be able to customize each software module to fit your company from the start of implementation. One of the key benefits you’ll get from NextProcess is full implementation support and integration with your existing ERPs. We’re with you through every step of the implementation process to help make sure it goes smoothly. We’ll also make sure that your software is working exactly how you need it to before we consider the implementation complete. And even after that’s done, we’re available to help if you have any questions or want to change your customized settings.
Once we’ve started implementation, the software will “learn” as you use it, making it even better suited to your company’s needs and your way of doing business. We’re constantly innovating and updating, and your BPA software will automatically receive our latest upgrades related to machine learning, optical character recognition, big data, and more. The SaaS solution also easily scales to your needs so you’re not overpaying if you have a slow month and you’re ready to scale up as your company grows. If you’re curious how our suite of BPA software-as-a-service solutions with machine learning can help your business thrive, contact us today. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have and set up a free demo so you can see our software in action.