Businesses have known for years that digital transformation needs to happen. However, many companies have struggled to initiate Digital Transformation in an effective way. Historically, a big cause of DT struggles has been a lack of buy-in from the executive level. Without the support of this kind, initiatives tend to flounder. Why? Because DT is less about technology and more about a top-level business strategy that can drive investments and business decisions. Without this momentum, the best technology in the world will struggle to take hold. So let’s look into a few related areas.
An end to DT Sluggishness: Executives are turning their attention to DT initiatives potential driving their implementation. Organizations that were dabbling in digital transformation are now rushing to prioritize it, acutely aware that the proper prioritization of digital transformation projects can lead to hundreds of millions in savings. And so the broader, executive-level vision that should underpin this newfound executive enthusiasm for DT. A key part of digital transformation is automation. The organization of the future depends on automation to create massive efficiencies and new capabilities and embraces automation as a way to unleash human capital to pursue more creative, higher-value goals.
Starting Automation: Automation is at the core of most successful digital transformation projects. This is why we are seeing various forms of AI enjoying massive adoption across multiple organizations . But lots of organizations aren’t sure where to start executing on automation-driven digital transformation projects. Which part of the business? What department? What are the goals? So start with low risk, a fast time-to-value process that impacts the most important part of your business revenue. One of the easiest places to locate such processes is in the supply chain. The supply chain is benefitting from a range of automation and automation-adjacent technologies. And one element of the supply chain that is ripe for automating is sales order management.
Ditching the Manual: Large portion of small business owners is still running manual supply chains. In the US alone,49% of the total sales totalling $7.37 trillion are still processed manually. These stats mean that the conversion of purchase orders into sales orders still happens the way it did decades ago. By hand, one by one. Customer service representatives take a purchase order and manually key it in, doing their best not to make a mistake. That process is terribly inefficient. With manual sales order processing, you see:
Some businesses have tried to improve this dated approach with robotic process automation. But RPA is a hit and miss technology. 50% or more of RPA implementations fail to deliver sustainable returns on the investment. Instead, by 2022, 80% of organizations that pursue a cloud-first strategy will forego the use of RPA in favour of low-code integration platforms.
Sales order processing needs is true automation: As an alternative to hosting an order management automation solution in-house or outsourcing a revenue-generating process, a SaaS approach helps to preserve capital by automating sales order processing without the risks of outsourcing, additional IT complexity or associated expenditures:
· No software or hardware
· No maintenance
· No loss of control
SaaS offers the opportunity to implement automated sales order processing rapidly and cost-effectively, without the need to build or expand an in-house network. Mature SaaS models can put the most powerful automation technologies at an organization’s disposal, so the enterprise can dynamically adapt to new business challenges and deploy solutions quickly. Companies get the capabilities expected from an on premise software solution, but move from capital to operational expenditure and gain flexibility for variations in document volume and number of users. With a SaaS solution, fax, email or web sales orders can enter into an automated workflow for approval upon receipt. Orders can be dispatched to the appropriate business units where staff receive timely alerts that prompt them to sign-off on documents. Each order can be processed according to business rules for specified document attributes. Every step of the workflow process can documented, and all documents can be automatically archived and retrieved immediately for reference or auditing. With a sales order automation solution, over 80% of orders can be touchless meaning there is zero human involvement in the process of a purchase order turning into an error free sales order. This drastically increases an organization’s capacity to process their customer orders, while substantially shortening the fulfilment time. The outcome? Better revenue, better ROI, and better customer experience.
Way Towards a Digital Future: Digital transformation can be a daunting task. It’s hard to know where to begin, and hard to be sure you’ll succeed. This is why starting with a smart automation sales order is crucial. It’s an easy-to-understand business process that directly impacts revenue. If you could allocate fewer resources to it, then you will recapture revenue. Global connectivity means that sluggish and inefficient supply chains hurt everyone. For companies that hesitated to digitize, the end is now.
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