Published: | Time to read: 3 minutes

How AP Automation Helps Solve Supply Chain Issues

Matt Wald
Author:Matt Wald

Global supply chain disruptions are spreading, and no one knows what to do about it…

Global supply chain issues are hurting business across the globe.

The term “global supply chain disruption” has been cited frequently as one of the dire consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bottom line is that supply disruptions were initially tied to shutdowns of businesses when the pandemic hit. But since then, they have spread to a much broader spectrum of areas and are proving more difficult to tackle. 

In the process, corporations shifted from reactive tactics to mitigate the cost of disruptions to more proactive strategies to improve supply chain resilience.

Paper-driven processes complicate these constant challenges. Whether it’s recruiting and on-boarding contractors, managing permits and compliance, tracking and managing shipments, or managing supplier invoices or customer service orders, your company can dramatically reduce costs and maintain better control of your operations by digitizing your processes and workflows.

But there is a secret weapon that your organization can employ to help you avoid supply chain issues: automation. Including AP automation.

Processing invoices is an unglamorous low-profile back office function. But done manually, it can have a severe negative impact on your supply chain. And at a time when the entire global supply chain is under severe stress it can mean the difference between getting your goods on time or not.

Read on to find out how.

How AP Automation Strengthens Your Supply Network

Today, shipping and logistics are under enormous stress. One look at the news is all it takes to see how grim the situation is. Massive back-ups at ports, a lack of truck drivers, understaffed warehouses lead to annoying supply chain issues.

Retailers are bracing for shortages amid supply chain bottlenecks. And manufacturers are struggling to get enough components to keep up with demand. Waiting lists for consumer goods are at all time highs.

And so vendors and shippers are having to triage shipments. This means that the most important customers get prioritized. And there are a lot of factors that go into determining which customers are most important.

But one thing is certain: vendors and shippers want to do business with companies that pay their invoices as quickly and accurately as possible. Thus, if your company cannot efficiently and accurately process invoices you can expect to end up at the bottom of shipper and vendor priority lists.

In fact, AP automation can make turning around invoices so efficient that you can actually qualify for early pay discounts!

Get a free consultation with an AP automation expert

Automating the First Mile of your Chain – Purchasing Automation

Is your purchasing process automated? If not, you are wasting effort and losing precious supply chain time before you even get your supply chain started!

Procurement automation eliminates tedious and time-wasting work.

It speeds up your purchasing cycle while making it more reliable and accurate at the same time, Makes purchase requests, purchase orders, and PO confirmations fast, accurate, and easy, Enables automated receiving and automated 2-way or 3-way PO matching.

And transforming your purchasing process with procurement automation provides your procurement staff with real-time insights into the overall procurement cycle – insight that will save your company time and money.

If you want to save time and effort in your supply chain, start with purchasing automation.

Automating the Last Mile of Your Chain – Invoice Processing and Payment

If you stop to think about it, it’s incredibly ironic that a highly automated, efficient supply stream would end with a very manual, paper or email-centric AP process to pay downstream suppliers and shippers.

For many companies, 1 in 10 payments to suppliers goes out late due to manual data capture and approval processes.

This places incredible issues and stress on relationships with key suppliers and other down-supply chain vendors.

That stress can have catastrophic business consequences – especially in today’s shipping and logistics environment.

Are you still processing invoices and approvals manually? AP automation can make it 500 times more efficient!

See how AP automation makes your team 500 times more efficient!

Are you still paying by check? Over 90% of organizations are still making check payments to a portion of their suppliers, further slowing payment. And those payments are more vulnerable than any other type to fraud.

Yet most suppliers prefer the ease and speed of ACH or virtual credit card payments.

The reputational damages of fraud and the cost of slow, antiquated invoice processing payments can easily break down your efforts to modernize your supply chain.

And frustrated suppliers will put you last in the line for products and services.

To the contrary, paying suppliers on time and in their preferred format can strengthen those relationships and help ensure an unbroken supply chain.

Bottom Line: How Automation Helps Solve Supply Chain Issues

There is no silver bullet to solve all of the supply chain disruptions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But automating as many of your supply chain processes as possible will help.

And specifically, AP automation including purchasing automation and invoice automation will make sure you are a top priority customer in your supply chain.

Contact us today and we’ll show you how AP automation can help solve your supply issues!

Get a free consultation with an AP automation expert