The information you need to improve your business’s performance is in the data resulting from every transaction.
It’s clear that knowing today’s buying trends puts businesses in a great position to know what will be hot tomorrow. But crystal balls are in short supply, Ouija boards have fallen out of favor, and palm readers are just not that reliable. So how can companies predict next year’s bestsellers in enough time to capitalize on the information? How can they decide who the best, most reliable suppliers are? And how can managers and directors judge their department’s performance? It’s all there, in the transaction data. But like finding diamonds or gold, you have to know how to mine for it.
- Predicting winners – It may seem relatively obvious; you track the sales on every item to see which are most successful. This will help you forecast both demand and spend, enabling you to better manage your inventory. Don’t forget to factor in other variables, like seasonality, when performing analytics. If you also add Big Data into the mix, you can also factor in economic conditions or material shortages or excesses that can change and affect future sales. Then all of this information can be used to create stronger, more responsive, and timelier marketing campaigns.
- Choosing suppliers – An accounts payable workflow solution that includes e-invoicing can give you the kind of information you need to assess which of your suppliers are most responsive and reliable. It will allow you to track timing of delivery, adherence to negotiated contracts when it comes to pricing and tolerances, and timeliness and accuracy of invoices. And since all data is stored, it will enable you to see how suppliers perform over time. This information will be helpful to the procurement department when it comes time to negotiate new contracts.
- Assessing performance – Companies are continually looking for ways to increase efficiency while controlling and hopefully reducing costs. Accounts payable is often seen as a company cost center, but using the data that’s available through an AP workflow solution, managers can ascertain who, in their department, is performing at or above standards and who needs more mentoring and oversight. By automating the process, efficiency and cost reduction are realized; yet even with automation, some employees are more productive than others. Visibility into performance will enable AP managers to monitor: the daily volume of invoices processed; the average time it takes to process an invoice; and other KPIs.
See how transactional data can help improve your company’s performance.