How AP Automation Can Help Solve Your Company’s Scaling Challenges

If you’re looking to grow your business, an automation solution in your accounts payable department is a guaranteed strategy for solving your company’s scaling challenges. 

Modern businesses are abandoning slow and environmentally toxic paper-based processes in their AP departments in favor of an automation solution. Manual data entry and invoice processing are error-prone practices that cost your company valuable profits, while AP automation software will set your business up for long-term growth.

In our digital age, the businesses that succeed are the ones that take full advantage of what technology and software solutions have to offer. AP automation software is one cost-effective way to modernize your business and smooth out your scaling hiccups so you can finally reach those business goals. 

Cost Savings for Invoice Processing

Have you ever thought about how much profit your company has lost on invoice late fees or overpayments? 

World-Class Accounts Payable Departments pay an average of only $2.42 per invoice processing while others pay as much as $17.61 or more for manual invoice processing. Accounts payable departments that utilize automation software take advantage of cashback deals and discounts while teams who use manual invoicing drown in a tsunami of expensive AP staff time, managerial overhead, facilities, supplies, and IT support.

Human error is an inescapable consequence of manual processing and late payments are more common when your payable team has a large number of invoices to manage. These entry errors cost your business working capital and slow the capital cycle. 

AP automation software will not only save your payable department from burnout, but it also has automated workflows so you can capture early payment discounts. With no insult to your hard-working accounting team, AP automation software is simply smarter and faster than human workers. 

The software uses artificial intelligence (AI) and intelligent data capture (IDC) to quickly and flawlessly process invoices with automated workflows. Manual processes are error-prone but automation software will never cost you an overpayment because it is built for accuracy.  

Your Payable Department Will Be More Productive

AP automation software uses automated workflows so your payable department can ditch the paper invoices and slow manual processes. Your finance team will finally be free to be more productive in other areas of your business.

Your current team can use their talents to focus on scaling your business by transitioning to tracking AP metrics. AP automation software offers cash flow visibility and key metrics to track like the average number of invoices, average invoice processing time, and average cost per invoice. 

When your finance team is free to measure AP performance, they can focus on using AP automation to scale the business. When you can track it, you can improve it and your business can only benefit from having a clearer financial picture of cash flow in your AP department.

Integrating a cloud-based AP automation solution will also relieve your company of paper that litters the office. Employees will eliminate time-consuming tasks like sifting through filing cabinets for that one missing document. With a payable automation system, past invoices and purchase orders can be easily located with a simple digital search because all important documents are stored in a secure and centralized location.

When it comes to solving your company’s scaling issues, every minute of an employee’s time is valuable and an accounts payable automation solution is the missing key to freeing up time for focusing on business growth.

Automated Workflows Improve Relationships With Vendors

Delayed payments can hurt your relationship with vendors and other businesses. No one likes to wait forever to get paid and a manual invoice approval process can take as long as two weeks or more. 

AP automation uses automated workflows that fix the approval process and cut down payment times to two or three days. Imagine how much your vendor relationships can improve when business payments are made faster than ever before. That vendor will likely prioritize working with you because they know that your payment process is flawless and they will never have to badger you for their next payment.

Payment automation puts your current payment approval workflows to shame by automatically sending the invoice on to approval by a manager immediately after the software processes the documents data and matches it to the PO. No more slow emails asking for a stamp of approval or physical transfers of documents between desks that slow down your average invoice approval time. 

These automated workflows make the payable process headache-free for your team while improving valuable relationships with the vendors who help your business run.

Automation Software Prepares Your Business for Long-Term Growth

If you want your business to be around for the long haul, you need to keep up with the technological advancements that speed up business activities and processes. The market demands faster processes and AP automation is a critical business function that will prepare your company for long-term growth. 

AP automation will shorten your invoice processing times so your company can handle a larger number of invoices. As you stock up on those early payment discounts and cashback deals, your company will see more cash for business expansion. Vendors will also be pleased to do business with you when they know they can count on seamless payment experiences.

As your AP team has more free time to focus on studying metrics to improve efficiency, your company can create accurate budgets and reach those scaling goals faster than ever possible with manual processes. Automation software is a top business strategy for scaling because it will grow with your company instead of holding you back.

Digital transformation isn’t a business venture for the future, business owners need to prioritize automated solutions today. Your company may be facing scaling challenges because you need to catch up with the times. Today’s competitive market landscape requires automated workflows that free up your employees’ time to focus on growth and AP automation is that big step forward in your digital transformation journey.

If you’re interested in improving your company’s scaling issues, start by preparing your business for modernization. Read more about DocStar AP Automation Software From Mosaic and Contact Us today to improve scaling with AP Automation.

What is Sales Order Automation and How Does It Work?

Sales order automation is the software that businesses are raving about because it speeds up order cycles times and provides a better customer experience for consumers.  

Manual sales order processes have become a practice of the past as innovations in automation push the need for digital transformation. The key to business success is properly implementing technology and digital tools into every step of business processes. The truth is, if your company isn’t taking advantage of these tools then your average sale cycle time will fall short of customer expectations and you will lose business to competitors. 

To help you understand all of the tools that are out there to help run your business effectively, we’ve provided an outline of sales order automation that will speed up your sales cycle and leave you with happier customers.

What is Sales Order Automation?

Sales order automation is software that uses artificial intelligence like intelligent data capture to process orders. Automation software removes the need for manual data entry and manual data transfer by automating administrative tasks. 

Sales order automation software allows for quicker cycle times by working much faster than manual processes. 

Sales order automation software allows for quicker cycle times by working much faster than manual processes. The software also removes room for entry errors and bottlenecks in the process that are common consequences of manual data entry.

Traditional sales order processing requires manual data entry in the first step of the sales cycle chain and this step is where the most common mistakes are made. Because administrative workers filter through a large number of orders and enter the data from the order forms into spreadsheets, entry errors like incorrect quantities, wrong shipping address, lack of stock, types of items, and warehouse location consequently occur. 

These mistakes are common human errors, but they disrupt the entire chain of the sales order process and packages are more likely to be missing products, arrive at the wrong address, or arrive late. When these mistakes happen, businesses risk losing frustrated customers. Companies can also lose revenue with returns, shipping costs, and discounts to make up for their mistakes as more packages need to go through the sales order processing cycle all over again.

Automation software removes these errors by implementing artificial intelligence that has much stronger attention to detail and simply does not get burnt out as human workers do. Entire processing times grow faster with automation and sales orders are more accurate when they reach the warehouses for item picking, sorting, packaging, and shipping. 

How Does It Work?

Sales order automation relies on intelligent data capture that uses Optical Character Recognition to extract data from customer order forms. Once the data is extracted from the document, the software quickly reviews the order to ensure that all of the necessary information is present. The data is all kept in a secure cloud-based system so that no data goes missing or unchecked.

Processing automation essentially streamlines order processing time by doing the hard work for you in a centralized location. Workers no longer need to enter order data into ERP because IDC automatically captures the order data then extracts it to index the data into your ERP system. The ERP system then automatically reviews and validates the order information and moves it onto the next step in the process.

If the software finds the form’s data to be complete, it then sends the order to your company’s ERP system for sorting and packaging orders. If the automation software finds a missing field like an absent shipping address, then the order is automatically sent to a staff member who can contact the customer for missing information. Other than that, there is no human intervention necessary in the entire sales order process which minimizes entry error rates significantly. 

Without staff needed for these administrative tasks, companies can reassign staff to other departments to increase productivity in other areas of the company and save revenue on payroll. When sales teams are relieved from stacks of paperwork and menial tasks, they also become more motivated and engaged at work.

The automation software offers seamless integration with preexisting systems and business’ sales processes while creating a smoother sales workflow. The software also stores customer data like product order history in a secured cloud for operational efficiency and easier marketing efforts like personalized emails about products based on past buys. 

Customer Satisfaction

Sales order automation offers several benefits for customer satisfaction and an exceptional customer experience. One of the biggest benefits of sales order automation is faster cycle times which leads to quicker delivery times. Automation software also offers more visibility into order tracking so customers can receive updates on where their order is and when it will arrive. 

Beyond just tracking and shorter delivery times, customers can also benefit from one-click repeat orders and product suggestions that are more tailored to the individual consumer. Automation software also offers more personalized customer service experiences with chatbots that can answer frequently asked questions and provide support throughout the buyer’s journey. 

As we mentioned in the introduction to this article, the market will continue to demand better customer experiences and faster deliveries as technologies advance and businesses move into digital transformation. Sales order automation is just one way to speed up your business processes and personalize the consumer experience, but there are so many other tools to take advantage of. 

Your business can also benefit by implementing automation in your Accounts Payable department to fix the invoice approval process and speed up the B2B payment cycle. Your customers aren’t the only ones who deserve fast deliveries, the businesses that you work with will also expect to be paid more promptly than the traditional two weeks invoice processing cycle. 

Digital tools are on your side to take the stress and pressure off of your staff and increase overall productivity.

Digital tools are on your side to take the stress and pressure off of your staff and increase overall productivity. This automation software seamlessly integrates with your current business processes and the software teaches itself quickly, so there is no reason to wait, it’s time to begin your company’s digital transformation!

For more information on software to build your business, check out our blog post on Contract Lifecycle Management Software. Contact Us today to begin your company’s digital transformation with automation software.

How to Speed Up Customer Order Processing

Customer order processing can be stressful and time-consuming but it doesn’t have to be. Updates in digital workflows with automation have changed the game for multiple business processes like customer order processing. 

If your company struggles with bottlenecks in your order processing procedures like shipping to the wrong address, running out of stock, delays in shipment, mountains of paperwork, and human errors in data entry, then it’s time to reevaluate your customer order processing practices. 

Online retailers and eCommerce businesses like Amazon have taken over the consumer market and if your business wants to keep up, then faster processing is a top priority. The market will soon demand faster and easier everything, or customers will take their business elsewhere.

We’ve provided an outline for how to eliminate these error-prone processing procedures and update your business with sales order automation so you can stay in the game and even develop an edge up on your competitors.

Customer Order Processing Step By Step

Before we get into how to speed up your customer order processing practices, let’s break down the process step by step.

Step 1: Order Placement

After customers place orders to your business, the order information like items, quantities, shipping details, and shipping address are recorded and entered into ERP by the order management department to prepare the order.

Step 2: Picking Inventory

Once the order management team compiles the order information, it is sent to a warehouse or business location where workers pick out the necessary inventory to complete orders.

Step 3: Sorting

After the inventory items are located and picked, warehouse workers sort the individual items to fulfill each order.

Step 4: Packing 

When items are collected and sorted by order, workers can then package each order, weigh the package, record shipping costs, and add a shipping label.

Step 5: Shipping 

The last step in this process is shipping and transporting the orders to the consumers for fulfillment. The shipping process includes loading the package into a vehicle for transport where it will go through the FedEx or UPS system for delivery.

Traditional Customer Order Processing

Traditional customer order processing operates on physical labor and manual data entry. In every step of the process, workers gather information from the customer orders, compile it, and set it up for the next step. Because of this chain structure of processing, if a worker makes a mistake at any step of the process, it can throw off the entire fulfillment process and result in an incorrect order.

Some of the most errors common occur in the first step when purchasing orders are placed and data is entered into ERP by the order management department. If the business processes numerous orders or moves too quickly, it is easy for employees to incorrectly enter data. If a worker records an order delivery as the standard 3-5 day delivery time instead of the 2-3 day delivery time that the customer paid for, then the order will fail to be processed fast enough and the company’s customer satisfaction rates will be hit. 

Some other common human errors include entering, incorrect shipping addresses, item quantities, types of items, lack of stock, and the warehouse location of the items. Verbal miscommunications may also be made when sorting the orders and gathering inventory. When these mistakes are made, the entire manual order processing chain is fed incorrect information and even if another worker down the line catches the mistake, the fulfillment process becomes slowed and bottle necked.

This leads to extra work and later returns that require more order processing. Your customer base will become frustrated if they need to reach out to customer service representatives when their order is missing items. A customer service rep may result offering a product to the consumer for free or giving a significant discount to avoid losing their business. These mistakes cause lost profits, waste time, and hurt the customer experience. 

Standardize Your Order Forms

Standardizing your order forms can be an entry stepstrep into faster order processing. How do your customers place orders? Many companies have online shops where customers can place an order from the comfort of their homes. Businesses also offer the option of placing an order through a staff member in a company store if it is out of stock at that physical location. Few companies also still allow customers to place orders over the phone to a staff member who enters data on their end. 

If your business has multiple avenues for placing orders, then these order forms must be standardized. If your order management department is processing a large number of orders per day then it will slow them down to adjust their entry practices based on a collection of different forms. By standardizing your customer order forms, the process becomes less confusing for workers and mistakes can be minimized. 

By standardizing your order forms, your business can also prepare for the transition into sales order automation for an even faster fulfillment process.

Sales Order Automation

Sales order automation is the key to speeding up the customer order processing system. Sales order processing software uses Intelligent Data Capture technology (IDC) to increase productivity and cash flow by removing the object of human error by manual data entry.

Workers no longer need to enter order data into ERP because IDC automatically captures the order data then extracts it to index the data into your ERP system.

Processing automation streamlines order processing time by essentially doing the hard work for you in a centralized location. Workers no longer need to enter order data into ERP because IDC automatically captures the order data then extracts it to index the data into your ERP system. The ERP system then automatically reviews and validates the order information and moves it onto the next step in the process.

If there is an error in the data, such as a missing shipping address, then the software will recognize the mistake and send the order information to a staff member who can review the order and contact the customer for necessary information. Other than that, no workers or manual intervention is needed for customer order data entry. 

By implementing sales order automation, companies can increase productivity and cash flow. Bottlenecks in the process are removed when the automated processing workflow removes room for human error and operates flawlessly at a much higher speed. Companies are free to re-assign employees to more important tasks and even cut down on payroll if workers are no longer needed.

Increase Customer Satisfaction

Beyond the benefits to your staff member’s time and resources, automation software also offers key benefits in increasing customer satisfaction. Customer expectations may even be exceeded as orders are processed and fulfilled faster than the estimated delivery time.

Remember when we talked about traditional order processing practices and how manual entry runs the risk of late deliveries? Well, with automation, the placement to delivery process is much faster so consumers will be pleasantly surprised when their order arrives before schedule. Faster shipping times provide a competitive advantage against other businesses. 

Orders are also far more likely to be correct because order data and inventory levels are stored in a cloud-based secure system that can be accessed and updated warehouse management through company tablets or mobile devices. This ensures that stock data, product availability, and inventory records are up-to-date for accurate order processing and even on your business’s website. Gone are the days of customer frustration when customers place an order only to be hit with a message that the item is out of stock a day later.

The customer experience is improved when they are in the know about the status of their order and estimations on transit times.

This cloud-based system also opens your business up to real-time order tracking by your staff and your customer. The customer experience is improved when they are in the know about the status of their order and estimations on transit times. 

Conclusion

Sales order processing automation is the future of business practices and traditional manual processes will soon become extinct. We have entered into a digital age that has allowed for massive innovations in the way we work and the speed at which processes operate. 

Demand forecasting predicts that the customer experience is more important than ever and companies will lose business if they don’t prepare for the ever-growing future demand for speed, transparency, and efficiency. Happier customers make a happier business, so throw out those manual systems. 

Your business can also benefit from automation in your accounts receivable and payable department. Similar to how customer order processing can free up businesses’ time, AP automation fixes the invoice approval process and speeds up B2B payments for increased productivity and cash flow.

Your business procedures will see a monumental advantage through automation as valuable time is saved. For more information on ways to digitally transform your business, check out our blog post on Contract Lifecycle Management Software

Contact us today to begin automating your business practices for faster customer order processing.

Contract Lifecycle Management Software

In most organizations, business contract management is handled across various departments: Sales, Finance, Legal, Fulfillment, sometimes even more. The analog manual process involves business contracts stored in file cabinets in one department or another. Often an old contract is used as a template for the new contract. Tracking service level agreements to make sure all deliverables were met may be hit or miss. Unless you can afford to hire an administrator to manage the contracts, it is usually a haphazard contract management process.

Dave is the new hotshot salesperson on the team. It’s rumored that he actually did sell ice in Alaska. He is bringing in new contracts and driving everyone crazy because our contract management system is out of sync. Compliance changed all contracts due to safety concerns at the beginning of the year. Dave is working with an old contract he found in his sales files. It means every contract that he has produced is out of compliance. Even worse, suppliers, contractors, and others will need to sign new, updated contracts. To a salesperson, this is like being banished to purgatory. The whole negotiating process may start over if a new contract is produced. This challenge doesn’t happen if your team is using contract lifecycle management software.

Welcome to the world of contract management software. A new salesperson joins the team. He or she can access a contract template that is compliant and approved by legal. Legal created the template that is housed in your cloud-based contract management solution. Contract creation happens by accessing your dashboard on your laptop, tablet, or mobile device. Your contract repository is no longer a physical file cabinet. You now have the power track version control, not with a WORD document search, but with intelligent contract management software that will find whichever version you want or need.

Most of us concentrate on the final cost in a negotiated contract. Every contract has customizations that the software can alert you about. From service level agreements to renewals and terminations, every deliverable could make or break your bottom line. With a contract management solution that is easy to use, your contract portfolio is securely accessible in a cloud-based environment. Some contract management platforms are the digital manifestation of traditional, physical storage. That’s not what your company needs. Most business users need a contract lifecycle management solution that provides them with more!

Contract Lifecycle Management Software

Contract lifecycle management software will help your team be more productive. Your supplier risk management team will never be caught with an expiring contract, nor the costs associated with that challenge. Imagine your legal team is no longer bogged down, creating contract templates or one-off customizations. Saving time and increasing productivity with contract management software will positively impact your bottom line.

The new hotshot salesperson can immediately locate the old contract. Your contract management software will alert him or her to any deadlines that were not met. Are you due a refund for underperformance? With your new contract management processes in place, you are alerted to any challenges before the contract even expires. Your hotshot salesperson has the leverage to negotiate from a position of knowledge. Your supplier management team can make recommendations concerning any business that has a contract with your business. They will immediately know if this partner met their contract promises.

Contract Collaboration

Not only does contract management extend through various departments in your business, but also your supplier’s extended team. The contract negotiation process with CLM Software ensures that your team and the supplier know what is expected on all sides. Approval workflows provide an audit trail for the contracting process. Our user interface is intuitive and easily integrated into your existing contract lifecycle management solution.

Your team will be alerted to the renewal process, deliverables, challenges, and suddenly instead of a manual analog paper process, your team is free to consider the entire contracting process. Would software as a service save money? Are the cycle times for this entity out of the norm? All of these answers can be easily found with a contract management platform. Are you ready to join the 21st Century? Get started now!

 

Implementing Sales Order Automation

If your organization provides goods or services, your sales order process is a completely necessary part of your day-to-day activity. Unfortunately, this process can often be a time-consuming drain on employee productivity. Most organizations just see this as a necessary evil that won’t ever change, but by strategically implementing smarter processes, your organization can completely transform what was once a frustrating process.

We’ll be sharing more on what Sales Order Automation looks like, and how DocStar and Mosaic can help implement it for your organization.  

 

What is Sales Order Automation (and why it’s important) 

Sales order automation (SOA) specifically focuses on streamlining time-consuming manual pieces in the sales process. By automating these necessary tasks, your sales team can focus on value-adding activities rather than spending excess time on data entry. 

A common concern in any organization is whether or not crucial tasks get completed. Specifically, in the sales process, employees may enter incorrect data or neglect to enter it completely. This can lead to inaccurate billing, missing sales, and a loss in time in productivity. Automation ensures the correct data is entered and that it follows the correct steps in the process. It helps simplify the sales cycle, empowering customers and prospects to complete purchases and better understand your organization’s products or services. 

The Sales Order process has evolved greatly since the days of filling out carbon sales order forms and manually entering it into a register. Mosaic’s partner, DocStar, has led this evolution by providing advanced automation technology that allows for a streamlined sales process with little to no human intervention.

By taking advantage of this technology, you can improve your customer relationships, streamline employee tasks, and gain a competitive advantage. It may seem like SOA is a massive leap from where your business is currently, but with the right tools and knowledge, your organization can quickly evolve. 

 

DocStar’s Sales Order Automation functionality

An automated Sales Order process starts in one of two ways, either a scanned purchase order or a digital document. By accepting both formats, your organization can best support your customer’s existing way of submitting orders, reducing any potential learning curves or friction. 

Once the order is received, it goes through Intelligent Data Capture (IDC). IDC automatically captures and extracts structured data (such as a customer’s past purchases) as well as unstructured data (like written communications). Once IDC recognizes and indexes the order, it can be passed along to the next step. This step eliminates the traditional step of receiving the sales order and then manually entering the data into your ERP. 

The order is then automatically received by your ERP, which will then validate the data from the order. Key pieces such as customer name or number, part numbers, and other information are reviewed. If there is an exception or data that requires manual review, it will automatically be sent to the correct employee to validate it manually. If the data is valid, it will create a sales order in your ERP and the purchase is one step closer to being complete. 

This entire process can happen with next to no human intervention, except for scanning in an order at the beginning and data validation at the end. Because this process is hands-off, your employees can be more productive, leading to more sales and more growth. 

 

Next Steps

If the concept of completely transforming your Sales Order process sounds overwhelming, don’t worry, Mosaic is here to help you through the entire process.

Give us a call at 800.387.7859 to discuss your current Sales Order process and where you want to go.