Automating in businesses for survival

Two-thirds of Australian businesses report revenue decreasing during the COVID-19 pandemic in comparison to the same period the previous year.

The recession which was caused by COVID-19 will create further financial challenges for Australian businesses, and Australia’s gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to be reduced by $34.2 billion over the course of the year.

This information comes from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

“For business leaders, navigating successfully through a crisis means focusing not just on short-term survival but on pivoting the business and processes to reduce unnecessary costs, optimise team performance, and be prepared for the long-term future of business,” says Managing Director at MessageXchange, John Delaney.

“Automation and digitalised processing tools, such as e-invoicing can deliver these benefits and help protect small and medium businesses from the negative effects of a recession.”

Automating areas of the businesses that would otherwise involve mundane, repetitive tasks, such as data entry can provide the business with a better value for operational costs and employee productivity.

MessageXchange has identified the areas in which automation can improve:

Supply chain management

Automating these processes makes both companies more efficient. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) and accounting software uses electronic data interchange (EDI) to streamline supply chain management. For example, when a buyer’s inventory decreases to a predefined level, its ERP software can automatically raise and send a purchase order through EDI to the supplier’s system.

This process can create a faster payment cycle and improve cashflow for suppliers, while giving the buyers the advantage of processing invoices faster and building credibility with suppliers.

Accounts payable processes

Automating the exchange of invoices reduces the errors associated with manual data entry, which means companies don’t incur costs to fix these mistakes. In fact, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) estimates e-invoicing can save up to $21.69 per invoice. Automating some of the checks and verifications across invoices, purchase orders, and deliveries, can also help reduce labour-intensive processes.

Goods receipting

When businesses are waiting to receive goods from suppliers with no precise knowledge of when the goods will be delivered, they can’t plan ahead effectively. This can create unnecessary costs. Suppliers can send advanced shipping notices (ASNs), with information about what is being sent, how it’s packed, when it will arrive, and more, using EDI. This information lets businesses allocate staff members to process deliveries, making the process of receiving goods much cheaper and more efficient.

“Being smart about investments and company spending will be the key to businesses surviving in an unstable environment,” says Mr Delaney.

“Automation technology is an important factor for business success and will be pivotal in businesses overcoming challenging times.”

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