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Equipping the Business to Navigate Uncertain Times

28th May 2020
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SAP
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How are you using this time? For many, it’s a chance to take a step back and look at a bigger picture.

Because a situation like this happens perhaps once in a generation – maybe even less – and we will emerge into a ‘new normal’. It is important to think about how to equip the business to respond to the challenges – and opportunities – that will lie ahead.

How can you adapt your ways of working to enhance your resilience and flexibility? How can you become a leaner, fitter business that is equipped to thrive? What information will you need to stay one step ahead?

Let’s look at some of the areas where businesses could be focussing their attention at the moment.

Improving Systems and Processes

In every business, no matter what its size, there are systems and processes in place that will ‘do for now’. Everyone knows they aren’t as efficient as they could be or that the business has outgrown them. But until now, upgrading them fell into the ‘important but not urgent’ quadrant of the Eisenhower Matrix. Sorting them out has just leapt up the agenda.

Take paper-based AP processes for example. Research shows that businesses that automate this process with Concur Invoice save an average of $15,418 per 1,000 invoices each year and their finance teams see a 34% decrease in the time spent on tasks related to invoice management. Their five year ROI is 505%.

In the past, these figures may have seemed insignificant. In tomorrow’s world, it’s likely that savings such as these will be well worth making, especially if you want to establish a culture of marginal gains.

Controlling the Controllables

When it comes to navigating uncertainty, the most important factor is having control of the controllables.

For example, 81% of finance leaders say they don’t have complete visibility over travel, expense and invoice spend.

But when these lines account for up to 65% of the typical organisation’s spend, it’s vital to have control if you want to be able to manage costs more effectively.

Research shows that organisations using automated travel and expense solutions see 67% more travel expenses in budget. And organisations using Concur Invoice for their AP processes experience 99% compliance with procurement policies.

Leveraging the Power of Data

As the old saying goes, knowledge is power. Are you using this time to review your data and understand what information you need to inform strategic decision-making?

86% of finance leaders say that their travel, expense and invoice systems could be better connected for a single view of spend. They recognise that having this single view is important. Because when you have a single view you have the key three capabilities of the Intelligent Enterprise:

  • Visibility: the ability to collect and connect data that was previously siloed and to recognise unseen patterns
  • Focus: the ability to understand where you are spending, and ensure you see spending in time to do something about it
  • Agility: the ability to empower the business decision maker to respond faster to changes and pivot to ensure the best business outcomes.

In other words, you have critical insights you can use to control cashflow so you can avoid risks and be able to direct funds right where they need to go. And in a world where things are moving fast, this is essential.

Resources to Help You

The simple truth is that managing business means managing change. And when unpredictable market forces put new strain on budgets, plans and business models, managing costs becomes more crucial than ever.

If you’d like to read more on how SAP Concur solutions can help give you the resilience and adaptability you need, download our latest ebook Navigating Economic Uncertainty: Achieve Visibility and Control of Business Spend.

And if you’re using this time to reflect on how to emerge stronger and more resilient, we have also put together a suite of resources and webinars to support you as you explore the options for your business.

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