Let’s start by fast-forwarding to January 2022 (hard to believe it’s already just 4 months away, right?). You’re at a gathering, hopefully with lots of people that don’t have COVID. Midnight hits, the champagne flows, and the alcohol-fueled resolutions start coming hard and fast. In spite of being tipsy, more than a few people every year seem to remember how much they want to get in shape. So they plunk down the payments for a gym, they go for a week, and then they never go back.
During that week of extreme productivity, you’re pretty likely to hear from at least one person on how sore they were just from doing simple exercises like running or jogging. That’s sort of the point of today’s post. Even when you have a relatively simple task in front of you, it’s still going to take some significant adjustment if you haven’t done it in a really long time. For example, during the pandemic, many of us got used to working at home and slower speeds of business. Those of you who run your own business probably got used to slower productivity, too.
Now that business and consumer demand have picked up considerably since then, we’re all seeing just how much adjusting people need to do as they go back to the workplace or figure out a new balance between home and work. This time right now is the perfect opportunity for you to get ahead of your competition via automation because your technology doesn’t need to make time-consuming social adjustments. From a business perspective, this pandemic has shown us why automation really does keep things “business as usual” when the rest of the world is recovering.
Let’s look at each of those and think about how to use this information to your advantage:
- Complacency and resistance are stopping AP automation
- Digital payments are up, but full automation is not
- Business-to-consumer processes are more automated now, but business-to-business processes are not
- Most businesses want to automate right now but are struggling to gain momentum
- Suppliers are having a huge impact on showing why AP automation is critical
Don’t Get Comfortable
The old cliche goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” That’s good advice to follow in most cases. However, in the business world, there’s always a premium placed on innovation. Businesses that can innovate stay open for a long time. Businesses that don’t innovate may have short-term success but little to say for extended growth. Don’t be afraid to spend money now to save lots more later on.
A Good Start On Payments
If you’re already digitizing payments or have begun that process, you’re ahead of many companies at the moment. If you want to get further ahead, though, automate the entire AP process. That includes the steps of invoice capture, payment, and searching for inefficiencies in your processes.
Think About Fellow Businesses, Too
Automating the process when dealing with customers is an excellent start. If you want to be a long-term player, automate those same processes when you have business-to-business transactions, too. That’s probably one of the best ways to maintain your status as an innovator.
Identify The Obstacles
Sometimes, obstacles are internal. You could have reluctant employees or perhaps even your own apprehension. Those issues are easier to address because you can control how much information you obtain on something new, like automation. The external obstacles are the hard ones, though. Sometimes, suppliers and vendors just don’t accept digital payments right now. If you have good relationships with them, a simple nudge might be all it takes. If those suppliers and vendors have no interest in going digital, they’ll have questions to answer if you end up going in a different direction with other suppliers and vendors that are more up-to-date.
Suppliers Are Showing The Way
Payments to suppliers are up because consumer demand is up. In many cases, the influx of orders is way beyond the stress capacity of your AP employees even prior to the pandemic. All of these extra interactions with suppliers are showing why automation is the best way to keep up with the world right now.
Lucky for you, we have the tools to help you assess your obstacles and give you the best information on how to do an efficient transition to a fully automated AP experience.
Reach out to us and let us conduct an AP health check to give you the most specific spots that need your attention. Keep us updated on your progress on our social media pages, and keep checking our blog for more info.