Supply Chain Automation: Optimizing Cashflow in the Age of Uncertainty
It is said that in times of crisis, cash is king.
Considering all the recent volatility today’s businesses are facing — supply chain slowdowns, rising interest rates, record-breaking inflation, inflamed geopolitical conflicts and lingering post-pandemic economic effects — it would appear that these words are undeniably pertinent as we close out Q2 2023.
As a result, CFOs and COOs must reexamine their strategies and focus more of their attention on fortifying and proactively protecting the financial health of the organization.
This moment is a unique opportunity to develop a plan of action — not only to minimize the common supply chain disruptions that all too often negatively affect working capital, but also build a more sustainable and resilient business model.
Rethinking the supply chain
Traditionally, turning inventory has occupied the top spot of most supply chain leaders’ to-do lists. However, due to the current crop of challenges, more of them are being asked to focus their attention on activities such as minimizing the amount of money tied up in inventory as well as the money held up in other parts of the organization.
This has resulted in a shift of mindset — thinking of the supply chain not as a construct made up of disparate parts, but as something more holistic where every process has to work in concert to achieve a common goal.
Within order management, for example, incorrect or incomplete orders slow down order entry cycle time and on-time deliveries which, in turn, impacts cash collection and cashflow. One weak link within processes such as accounts payable (AP), order management or accounts receivable (AR) can make all the difference.
Automation: More than just another technology
Document process automation has been around for decades. However, while it’s often regarded as a “down the road” aspiration for businesses looking to save time and money, it is quickly becoming a necessary solution for maintaining a successful and sustainable business model thanks to its much broader and more transformational impact.
By creating a collaborative environment of end-to-end efficiency, companies can shore up back-office activities such as paying bills, processing orders, and collecting cash, while transforming the way customers and suppliers interact within your organization.
Automation solutions give supply chain leaders an added level of intelligence over the people, processes, and technology that constitute their day-to-day operations. Powered by AI technology, users have the ability to:
- Coordinate the entire cash conversion cycle — from P2P to O2C — through a single interface
- Perform critical P2P and O2C tasks in real-time thanks to end-to-end connectivity between all applications
- Oversee live KPIs, individual or team performances, and the lifecycles of orders and invoices — with customizable dashboards and reporting
- Automate all documents regardless of format, language, or transmission method
- Manage local specificities via support of multi-languages, multi-currencies & local compliance requirements
Cashflow is the lifeblood of a business — ready to learn more about the benefits of automation? Learn more by listening to Esker’s appearance on the latest Let’s Talk Supply Chain podcast.
About the Author
Daniel Reeve is Vice President of Sales for Esker North America. Business professionals and partners alike have counted on Dan Reeve for over 20 years. In Europe and the US, people know Dan as a competent and professional resource. He’s quick to respond or he’s in the Rocky Mountains near his home in Denver.