When I got into the enterprise software industry, I quickly arrived at the conclusion that “automation” means different things to different people. I’ve spoken with folks who say they are automated but only use the most basic levels of document imaging, as well as folks that are truly “fully automated,” as I like to say. Let’s face it: most businesses are in the business of making money, so the reasoning behind automating tends to come down to one thing – cost savings. Automation of business processes shaves off time spent manually performing tasks and allows personnel to spend that time doing other things, which translates into direct savings of cash and employee time.
Every day, people simplify their personal processes by setting up direct deposit, automatic bill pay, RSS feeds and other conveniences; businesses can achieve the same streamlining effect by investing in a robust automation solution for things like invoice management, purchasing,expense management, asset management and more.
A fully automated system will typically include:
- Document imaging
- Automatic processing based on defined business rules and approval hierarchies from creation to payment
- Storage of imaged documents and history of transactions for auditing purposes
Optimizing processes through automation empowers executives and makes life easier for the folks on the front lines. Automation obviously won’t directly contribute to revenue generation, but it will impact your bottom line by cutting costs associated with those processes and allowing your organization to grow without adding to the headcount.
What to expect out of automation software solutions:
- Reduced touches throughout the transaction process
- Real-time information exchange between different locations, reducing time spent processing transactions and dealing with discrepancies
- Enhanced compliance through application of business rules that keep personnel in line with company policy
- Increased visibility into processes, simplifying management of Accounts Payable/Warehouse operations and allowing managers to more easily evaluate performance
Automation has proved its usefulness to the world’s industry leaders; it’d be difficult to find a leading company still mired in the dark ages of manual processing. To take a look at some of the streamlining capabilities of today’s business automation software, visit Apptricity for more information.