B2B companies that want to incorporate digitisation have a major challenge in the automation of their processes. Not only is it a basic step in digital business transformation, but it also represents a major step forward in improving your order-to-cash processes. Falling behind in the digital upgrade of your company can put you at a significant disadvantage compared to your competitors.
The importance of process automation
Sales activities, which cover the entire sales process, involve many departments in your company. It is a team effort where everyone uses their own resources and generates their own information. All this produces a lot of data and creates a workflow that, without the right solutions, slows down the sales process and can lead to errors.
In the case of invoicing and accounting, manual tasks become unfeasible when an organisation has to manage a large volume of customers. Therefore, the automation of tasks in the finance department has to be the spearhead for the implementation of these technologies.
The ultimate goal is to optimise the entire Order to Cash process so that all areas can work quickly, smoothly and efficiently. Automation will be particularly useful for you in:
- The evaluation of transactions, especially credit sales decisions. These are activities that involve repetitive tasks that can impair decision-making. In this respect, automation allows the departments involved (sales and finance) to focus on better controlling operations. These platforms, in particular, systematically assess whether or not to admit new credits according to pre-established and personalised risk criteria, eliminating errors and manual tasks.
- Creating collection processes, communication or alerts are necessary activities that could become bottlenecks if a management technology is not used. Moreover, one of the characteristics of these solutions is that they adapt to the needs of each business, both in terms of volume and complexity.
Disadvantages of not implementing process automation in your business
B2B companies should aim to improve cash flow and delivery times by optimising production lines. In that sense, the automation of Order to Cash processes plays an important role in increasing customer satisfaction as well as the company’s revenue. But what happens if you, as the person in charge of your business, ignore this need?
Poor utilisation of time and resources
If staff have to spend part of their day doing repetitive tasks or managing a large flow of information, they will not be able to focus on other more valuable tasks. For this, there are solutions with Artificial Intelligence, capable of learning and doing these activities, working relentlessly and minimising errors. In this way, your team will be able to dedicate more time to analysis and decision making.
Lack of control
Over time, a business often stores so much data that it becomes unmanageable for people. This leads to loss of control, unpaid invoices, missed payments and unhappy customers, as well as the chaos that comes with a lack of up-to-date and shared information when working as a team.
Having the ability to store this and other data on a single platform will improve the efficiency of your team’s work and customer relationships. It will also allow a more transparent view of how a strategy is working and allow you to change it, if necessary, before it is too late.
Loss of traceability
Traceability is also closely linked to big data and analytics, as it allows your business to know all the information about your customer base. In this sense, not knowing their status and track record can cause problems for the company.
Some companies use a manual database where they try to keep some control of their business, but this involves a lot of time and effort. When the volume of work is high, more errors and loss of information are likely to occur, affecting overall performance.
No real-time reporting
For some industries, such as logistics or e-commerce, not having this type of technology today is unfeasible. With the automation of the so-called last mile, they have managed to significantly reduce costs and time spent. A sales process that does not have all the information in time is very difficult to complete. And the worst thing is that this result will only be known afterwards, after having invested effort and time on the part of the team involved.
In short, B2B companies that do not automate their processes will not be able to compete in a market that is very focused on optimising their business. Therefore, Accounts Receivable management platforms, collection automation and other related tasks play a key role in the digital transformation. If you don’t incorporate them into your organisation, traceability, time and resources will not be optimised, as staff will have to manually perform repetitive tasks that will lead to significant inefficiencies.