In the current climate, it’s understandable that the phrase ‘streamlining costs’ immediately triggers ideas of a struggling business. We think of the people, companies and entire sectors that are cutting outgoings simply to survive in these challenging times.
However, another application of this term is being seen in the dynamically changing fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector. For many growth-orientated FMCG businesses, streamlining costs can be a vital way to manage business outgoings during a period of growth.
When an aggressive business growth forecast is driving you forward, the challenge soon becomes about saving critical time and money, especially when selling directly to the consumer. One of the most failsafe solutions for keeping costs on track is digital process automation.
Why is automation necessary?
As an SME grows to take on more and more daily transactions, something must change to allow this growth. The sheer number of new manual tasks simply cannot be completed on time by the same amount of staff. Additionally, the finance manager won’t have enough hours in the day to provide accurate financial forecasts that steer the business in the right direction.
As a business leader, you obviously don’t want ongoing operating costs to spiral – or the wage bill to increase unnecessarily. The answer is streamlining the operating costs and utilising the knowledge within your management team more effectively.
This is exactly why automation is necessary.
Using digital process automation for an immediate impact
Proven ERP software developed specially for SMEs can be implemented much quicker than software applications that rely on bespoke software. This is something we’ve helped organisations with time and again, backed up by numerous success stories.
While automation sounds like a complex or unattainable process, it comes as standard with a number of leading business software applications, including SAP Business One using Boyum Print and Delivery.
Here are just a few examples of how digital process automation can help SMEs streamline costs and save critical time and money:
From user events to schedules times, flexible triggers can be used to activate a batch run or mass delivery of standard electronic documents like sales invoices or purchase orders. This eliminates the need to manually attach and send documents through individual emails, saving SMEs hundreds of work hours in a short period.
Automated Bank Reconciliation
Reconciling customer payments can quickly become a tedious and time-consuming task. When there are hundreds or thousands of monthly direct debit payments that need to be reconciled manually from bank statements with the company accounts, errors can easily occur. By implementing an automated or semi-automated statement reconciliation process, small teams can save significant amounts of time while also reducing the risk of human error.
For businesses that sell consumer goods online, the returns management authority (RMA) process is yet another painstaking manual task. Again, this is prone to human error, with replacements sometimes sent even when it’s not justified. Thankfully, it’s another task that can benefit from automation. By capturing key information early on, credit notes and replacement sales orders can be automated, saving businesses hundreds of work hours and enabling personnel to focus on more important tasks.
Any time saved in a business is an asset. However, time saved by the senior managers could be seen as even more valuable – due to their higher rate of pay and ability to make the most impact within that time.
Being able to schedule automated delivery of all the standard weekly management reports by email has been a revelation for many of our clients. Emails can be sent to the management team at 6am every Monday, for example, ready for the 8am meeting.
As well as saving time generating these reports, the reports themselves are of a higher quality, allowing for more concise and effective weekly management meetings.
By automating repetitive manual tasks, growing businesses can save valuable time for their staff and, in turn, amplify the potential of their workforce. The examples above just touch the surface of what is possible with SAP Business One and Boyum Automation, using Print and Delivery.
Additional advanced workflow templates are available that can be tailored to meet your specific needs. At Thinc, we regularly work with our partners at Net EDI to provide SAP Business One solutions, which include automating multiple Electronic Data Interchanges that handle extremely large amounts of data.
If you’d like to get a better idea of where your business stands – and potential areas for improvement – we can guide you through your competency in IT management, digital maturity, cyber resilience and business continuity.
Alternatively, if you want to find out more about your options when it comes to automation, the team at Thinc is ready and waiting. Contact us today to discuss how you can use SAP B1 and Boyum Automation tools to maximise return on investment.