It is said that in times of crisis, cash is king.
With COVID-19 still casting its rather ominous shadow over the business landscape, it would appear that these words are undeniably pertinent as we enter Q4 2020.
The last seven months have forced companies to do more than simply adjust to remote workforces. Virtually all CFOs and COOs have had to reexamine their pre-pandemic strategies — specifically, shifting their focus to protecting the financial health of the organisation at all costs. A large part of which requires minimising the common supply chain disruptions that all too often negatively affect working capital.
Now, similar to the Great Recession of 2009, this moment represents a unique opportunity for many companies to seize or sustain a significant competitive edge or risk damaging their financial health across the supply chain.
Rethinking the Supply Chain
Traditionally, turning inventory has occupied the top spot of most supply chain leaders’ to-do lists. However, due to ongoing economic instability and uncertainty, more and more of them are being asked to focus their attention on activities such as minimising the amount of money tied up in inventory as well as the money held up in other parts of the organisation.
This has resulted in a shift of mindset — thinking of the supply chain, not as a construct made up of disparate parts, but as something more holistic where every process has to work in concert to achieve a common goal.
Within order management, for example, incorrect or incomplete orders slow down order entry cycle time and on-time deliveries which, in turn, impacts cash collection and cash flow. One weak link within processes such as accounts payable (AP), order management or accounts receivable (AR) can make all the difference.
Automation: More Than Just Another Technology
Document process automation has been around for decades. However, while it’s often regarded as a “down the road” aspiration for businesses looking to save time and money, it is quickly becoming a necessary solution for maintaining a successful and sustainable business model thanks to its much broader and more transformational impact. Intuitive cloud-based platforms, such as the one Esker offers, help today’s businesses connect every part of the procure-to-pay (P2P) and order-to-cash (O2C) process.
By creating a collaborative environment of end-to-end efficiency, companies can shore up back-office activities such as paying bills, processing orders and collecting cash, while transforming the way customers and suppliers interact within your organisation.
Automation solutions give supply chain leaders an added level of intelligence over the people, processes and technology that constitute their day-to-day operations. Powered by RPA- and AI-driven technology, users have the ability to:
- Coordinate the entire cash conversion cycle — from P2P to O2C — through a single platform
- Perform critical P2P and O2C tasks in real time thanks to end-to-end connectivity between all applications
- Oversee live KPIs, individual or team performances, and the lifecycles of orders and invoices — with customisable dashboards and reporting
- Automate all documents regardless of format, language or transmission method
- Manage local specificities via support of multi-languages, multi-currencies & local compliance requirements
Cash flow is the lifeblood of a business — ready to learn more about the benefits of automation? Esker has you covered. Check out our latest educational eBook, Supply Chain Automation: Optimising Cash Flow in the Age of Uncertainty.
Written by Dan Rogney