PwC Study Captures CEO Views on Process Automation

PwC Study Captures CEO Views on Process Automation

Part 2 of Our Blog on Insights from Canadian CEOs

In our last blog, we explored the results of a recent survey of Canadian CEOs conducted by PwC that focused on their strategic priorities and challenges. Many of the results of this year’s survey revealed a dramatic change in attitude and perspective for Canadian business leaders who, in light of the prospect of international trade disputes and the prospect of a slowing global economy, were turning inward to look at ways to boost internal efficiencies and improve the agility and scalability of their organizations.

Key takeaways that we discussed included:

  • Increased pessimism about global growth, with 62% indicating that they believed global economic growth would decline or stay the same, compared to 28% in the previous survey
  • A focus on operational efficiency as a top priority as a growth strategy
  • Concern over changing customer and market dynamics and the ability of their companies to change/adapt
  • A desire to embrace new technologies to transform their operations, combined with concerns over whether they had the right staff of the right expertise to make the right changes quickly enough

In a nutshell, Canadian CEOs see big changes ahead, big challenges on the horizon but also tremendous opportunity provided they are able to transform their organizations to make better decisions more quickly and to embrace continuous process improvement so they can continue to thrive in a world where things continue to change at an ever-increasing rate.

In Part Two of our Blog on insights from Canadian CEOs, we wanted to respond to their insights and concerns with some solutions that have been embraced by Artsyl’s Canadian customers as they sought to pivot and redirect their organizations to focus less on the day to day and more on proactively anticipating what customers want customers will need, want and expect next.

Process Challenges are Everywhere

When it comes to managing any business process today that involves data, documents and decisions, the reality is that there most companies are a target-rich environment for improvement. The problem most companies face is “where to start?”

Historically, it has been the processes with the highest volumes of data and documents, with the highest velocity of information and the MOST standardization that were the best candidates for automation. This works well particularly for internally-generated data and documents, where a company has control over what to standardize and to digitize.

Automation is Old News; Intelligent Automation is New

Where company lack control over the format of information are those inbound, externally-generated documents, often associated with processes like accounts payable, where each vendor has their own format and channel for submitting quotes, orders, etcetera for processing.

The GOOD news is that intelligent automation is very well suited to handle these kinds of problems, generating a quick ROI for relatively simple implementations. The KEY change in the technology and solutions approach to deal with things like AP vendor invoices has been the adoption of machine learning and intelligent process automation, so that today’s tools can learn and adapt to different types of data and documents, without having to hard code or meticulously configure (and reconfigure) a solution

Front Office Transformation is Sexy; Back Office Automation Pays

As these examples suggest, there are huge opportunities in automating processes that today are seen as cost centers. The pay-off from automating these processes can be huge in terms of reduced costs, but ALSO in terms of more timely access to the kinds of data companies need to achieve better control and visibility over cash flow.

CEOs Can Lean on Their CFOs to Lead the Charge

With traditional responsibilities for managing the financial well being of the company, including the data and documents related to those processes, CFOs and their teams are well poised to step up and take control of their operations through automation. By automating common process bottlenecks like document handling and data entry, they can achieve more timely access to critical data and demonstrate greater command over the processes that are vital to their organizations.

With the right platforms in place, and the right solutions built on top of them to manage things like vendor invoices, customer orders and check remittances, finance teams can not only get their own houses in order—they can pave the way for the rest of their organization to apply the same approach to processes with lower volumes, less standardization but greater transactional value of business impact.

Don’t Wait-Take Action Today

If you’d like to dig deeper into how company can create a springboard for innovation and business transformation by tackling common back office business processes to drive efficiency, visit the Artsyl Web site and contact your Artsyl solution representative.


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