Unprecedented times are a true test of personal attitudes and business continuity planning. While the coronavirus pandemic brought some industries to a grinding halt, it had the reverse effect on the supply chain in “essential” verticals.

According to Healthcare Finance, “hospitals and health systems across the U.S. typically buy 22 million N95 face masks a year. However, during the months of January and February, demand for N95s surged 585% in forward buying anticipation of a coronavirus outbreak. The level of demand suggested a minimum consumption rate of 56 million masks in 2020, nearly a three-fold increase when compared to a typical year.”

Exponential demand translates to a large number of critical communications that need to circulate such as invoices and statements, in order to complete the order to cash lifecycle. As a result, those who manage the administrative functions of billing and accounting may become strained especially if any of their document processes are manual.

Many small to medium-size businesses still process invoices manually from start to finish. During periods of high volume, some businesses enlist key employees to help with the overload, taking them away from their core business activities and responsibilities. This only adds more stress to an already stressful situation.  

Amidst the chaos, how do you ensure the overwhelming stack of business-critical documents handled through manual processes will not be misplaced or misdirected into the wrong envelope with sensitive customer data or confidential information?

Streamline back office operations through business process automation

Automating document processes offers many benefits including, reducing administrative burden, minimising errors, simplifying billing and creating greater transparency and visibility throughout the entire document workflow.

Document automation provides companies with a clear audit trail that tracks the status of an invoice throughout the billing cycle. Recordkeeping is completely visible and searchable, something a manual process simply could never provide. Information may be found more quickly and easily to speed up the process. Automating back office operations eliminates the need to reconcile manually between disparate systems while gaining better reporting capabilities for future forecasting.

Standardised and streamlined invoice processes will allow wholesalers and distributors to better position themselves to receive cash quickly. The quicker a business is able to send their invoices to their end customers, the faster that business will be paid which positively affects their cash flow.

Digitally transform through technological innovation

The ability to stay connected was put to the ultimate test during the height of the lockdown. Technology and digital solutions helped customers bridge the gap between possibility and reality and in some cases kept businesses afloat.  In order to best prepare for the future – the main facets of what keeps cash flowing should be connected and optimised into one, easy to use digital platform. Connecting back office systems into one centralised solution saves time, increases security and protects consumer data, which is of particular importance when dealing with compliance mandates and government regulations. This allows businesses to have secure and easy access to information along with archiving capabilities for future retrieval.

As COVID-19 persists and even afterward “essential” members of the supply chain will be inundated with the administrative task of handling all the paperwork, billing, accounting and order management. Without improving back-office operations, wholesalers, distributors, and manufacturers run the risk of falling far behind and potentially suffering financial implications.

Invest in the future success of your company

When embarking on your digital transformation, it is imperative that you select a technology partner with a comprehensive yet flexible document automation platform that will help you:

  • Optimize Resources- Automate document processes and eliminate repetitive tasks so high-value employees may focus on high-value tasks
  • Improve Customer Experience- Provide customers with access to secure, targeted business documents through the channel they prefer
  • Ensure Security and Compliance – Add intelligence to your document process and other safeguards to ensure the right documents go to the intended recipient
  • Increase Productivity – Send single or batch documents from anywhere whether on-site or remotely.

Quadient helped customers maintain critical business operations during the COVID-19 pandemic through their powerful, yet easy-to-use solutions and continues to assist customers with developing a process automation strategy.

Future proof your business with Quadient’s Impress document automation platform. Our best-in-class suite of solutions gives SMB's the flexibility to automate manual processes to help support today’s demands and adapt to tomorrow’s changing requirements. The platform’s modular architecture easily integrates into legacy systems, letting you leverage your existing business intelligence. Append new applications and services as your business grows, and evolve at your own pace without having to invest in new technology down the road. Equip your company with the right tools to add efficiency and agility to your document processes to better prepare you for the future and the next perfect storm.

Payal Khandhedia

Payal Khandhedia

Global Product Marketing Manager, Business Process Automation

Payal Khandhedia is a Global Product Marketing Manager at Quadient focusing on business process automation. Payal brings a wealth of rich leadership, strategic insight and product analysis experience from her tenure and roles in product management and marketing positions held at leading Wall Street firms like Morgan Stanley and OppenheimerFunds. Throughout her career, she has built a strong personal and professional brand predicated on excellent customer relationship management and communication, complex problem solving, change management, and product and sales strategy among others. 

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