How to Save Critical Time and Money Through Automation

In the current climate, it’s understandable that the phrase ‘streamlining costs’ immediately triggers ideas of a struggling businesses. 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?

If a growing SME is undertaking a much larger number of daily transactions than when they installed their accounts software, something has to change to facilitate this growth. The amount of manual tasks simply cannot be completed on time by the same number of existing personnel. 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

It’s well-known that 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:

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1.    Flexible triggers

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. Eliminating the need to repeatedly save and insert documents to individual emails, this can save these SMEs hundreds of work hours in a short period.

2.    Automated Bank Reconciliation

Reconciling customer payments can fast become a painful and laborious task. With hundreds or thousands of monthly direct debit payments, all needing to be manually reconciled from bank statements with the company accounts, it’s also prone to error. Moving to an automated or semi-automated statement reconciliation process will save large amounts of time within a small team of personnel, as well as eliminating the risk of human error.

3.    Returns management

For businesses undertaking ecommerce sales for consumer goods, the returns management authority (RMA) process is yet another painstaking manual task. Again this is susceptible to human error, with replacements sometimes sent even when it’s not justified. Thankfully, it’s another task that can benefit from automation. Capturing key information early in the process can enable the automation of credit notes and replacement sales orders to give back hundreds of work hours for better use.

4.    Management reports

All time saved in any 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.

The ability 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.

The possibilities are endless

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 merely touch the surface of what is possible with SAP Business One and Boyum Automation, using Print and Delivery.

Additional advanced workflow templates are available, which can be customised based on your specific requirements. At Thinc, we regularly work with our partners at Net EDI to deliver SAP Business One solutions that include automation of multiple Electronic Data Interchanges, with extremely large volumes of data.

Find out more about automation

If you would like to get a better idea of where your business stands – and potential areas for improvement – our Self-Assessment Resilience Audit 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 utilise SAP B1 and Boyum Automation tools to maximise return on investment.

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