If your organization is still stuck in the mode of trying to keep up with the day-to-day, rather than taking the next step towards looking ahead to anticipate and adapt to changing market dynamics and customer demands, you’re not alone. Chances are, like many companies, the systems and tools that are the backbone of your current business operations may be what’s holding you back. The GOOD news, though, is that there are plenty of ways to adapt your existing systems with newer technologies that don’t require the old “forklift upgrade” to vault your company into a digital future.
A recent survey of CIOs found that a majority identified their existing ERP infrastructure as an impediment to digital transformation. As many industry surveys have shown, most companies relying on on-premise ERP systems remain on the same version of those systems for as much as a decade. However, new technologies and automation solutions are delivering viable, adaptable work-arounds. In fact, studies show that 86% of companies are adopting or planning to adopt new intelligent technologies, such as analytics, automation, AI or machine learning to extend their capabilities and overcome bottlenecks and hurdles inherent to their current ERP systems, without going through major enterprise system upgrades.
This suggests that the shackles are finally off. Thanks to cloud ERPs AND thanks to flexible, intelligent automation and integration methodologies, companies can now innovate without major IT and project management overhead.
New self-learning tools and technologies, along with more flexible ways to integrate disparate systems, are overcoming the biggest hurdles to achieving automated, efficient straight through processes.
Straight Through Processing (STP) allows companies to handle information flow from one stakeholder to another in a way that is automated and crosses system boundaries seamlessly. This minimized inefficiency, closes process gaps and prevents employees from having to re-enter information, or manually monitor process status to ensure its completion. Security, accessibility and auditability should be natural outcomes of a straight through process.
Whether it’s managing vendor invoices, check remittances, sales orders or other high-volume processes, the cost and operational benefits and return on investment are well established. That said, historically the cost and complexity of achieving STP meant that the volume of transactions and related efficiency gains had to be substantial to justify the expense. In the past, STP was often achieved through custom integrations of existing systems, requiring substantial IT overhead and constant vigilance when it came to maintaining those integrations, particularly in the event of an upgrade or change to any systems or software that supported the process.
Beyond integrating disparate systems, often the biggest STP hurdles are those process gaps that involve manual intervention from your workforce. When it comes to managing data and documents as part of a process flow, that generally means getting data or documents into the proper format, organizing/sorting the relevant data and content, and then uploading or inputting that information into the right system. This is where Intelligent process automation solution that incorporate data capture come into play. Artsyl’s docAlpha intelligent process automation platform and applications like InvoiceAction and OrderAction, bridge these gaps by extracting information from scanned paper and native digital documents to take the human factor out of data entry. Systems like docAlpha can be set up to handle massive batch scans of paper documents and monitor digital channels like email inboxes, FTP sites of vendor portals to capture, sort and handle steps that were otherwise done manually.
By tacking those gaps with intelligent automatoin, Artsyl customers can achieve the vision of a virtually “hands free ERP” experience for their process owners in a way that truly empowers them, relieving them of dependence on IT to keep data and documents flowing and relieving their own two hands of a lot of tedious, error-prone work.
In the past, integrated disparate systems was a huge pain point when it came to achieving a seamless flow of data, documents and decisions through an organization. Custom integrations could get the job done, but at a cost. All too often, these integrations were stressed by any changes or upgrades to any one of the system components. This limited the ability for companies to upgrade or innovate by migrating to the latest, greatest versions of the system they’d invested in. Essentially, they were frozen in time.
Enter Integration as a Service (IaaS). IaaS leverages the cloud service model to deliver more flexible, adaptable integrations that are less prone to break as systems or processes change and evolve. Leveraging IaaS, companies can create connections among both cloud and on-premise systems, lowering the barriers to entry in terms of time, cost and effort to achieve STP.
IaaS unshackles IT and process owners, so they can refocus their efforts and energies from staying afloat to thinking ahead. That means examining any process for opportunities to raise the bar, elevating the contribution of your talent while automating the routine. That means going beyond the high-volume, high-cost transactional processes that are the typical poster children for automation to target lower volume but higher-value processes where data and documents have created bottlenecks.
Today, business transformation platforms like Artsyl’s docAlpha take advantage of new flexible, intelligent technologies and methodologies to bridge the gaps among ERP and ECM systems, in a way that delivers 80% of the required functionality out of the box, with the ability to rapidly adapt to process exceptions, system updates and variability to other real world conditions.
Overcoming outmoded ways of doing things means doing more than getting past system and process hurdles. It means adopting a new mindset that involves actively hunting down and rooting out sources of business waste and operational risk. Fortunately for companies looking for a new competitive edge, here really are new innovations and better ways to do things out there today. Company leaders and process owners no longer have to be tech experts to create their own custom solutions. Out-of-the-box offerings, including flexible, low-code platforms and ready-to-go applications to address process painpoints are more affordable and easier to implement than ever.
If you’d like to learn more, please visit the resource section of our Web site. Explore use cases. Read success stories. When you’re ready, contact your Artsyl representative to discuss your pain points and map out a path towards an automated future.