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Business Ecosystem Automation

A Brief Introduction

Why classical automation is bound to fail

Growth. Efficiency. Disruptions in your supply chain and tethered consumer preferences. You have to adapt to all of these and in doing so, your processes become more complex and their management more costly. Digital transformation becomes a necessity.

You begin automating and hope that manual tasks and paperwork become a thing of the past. But they don’t, do they? Task automation saves you some time, but it doesn’t change the way you work. Your ROI is so far unimpressive and some employees are even busier than before. So, what happened? Is digital transformation simply overhyped?

The answer is: no. The issue lies not with digital transformation or with your implementation. The problem is with the vision of what automation is. It’s internal and limited to tasks. Just a band-aid.

 

The weak links in your ecosystem

John Donne once claimed ‘’No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent;”. While the great poet did not refer to companies, his vision fits today’s businesses. Because no company can truly acquire success all by itself.

With each new transaction, your company interacts with multiple organizations, each with their own systems, processes, and level of digitalization. The moment you place an order, that order is issued to one of your suppliers who has to validate it and fulfill it. Its shipping will also involve logistics partners that will ensure delivery. After the payment is made, financial institutions come into play.

So your business processes affect all partners: customers, suppliers, logistics, and financial institutions alike. And this endless digital supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Regardless of how robust your systems are, if your partners are not on the same page, your digitalization efforts will lag!

So, how can your digital transformation encompass this expanse of companies and business actors? Our answer is: business ecosystem automation or BEA. A daring vision supported by a suite of products that bring together partners, suppliers, clients, and any other third party.

If the term seems a bit unfamiliar, it’s alright. We are the first to use it as such, yet the concepts that lay behind it are rock solid. The need for an automation suite that offered insight into ecosystem activity arose soon after analysts realized task automation was simply not enough.


 

What exactly is business ecosystem automation?

Picture this: each of your business processes is a huge stack of files. Manual management would mean having multiple people going through them, painstakingly searching for each document, then handing it to the person responsible for a different process. Not to mention they would have to be manually sent to your partners. But what if you used a robot to manage each stack?

You would then have someone not just store them for you, but also sort them and hand you the right file. You’d also use less employees. That would be classical task and process automation. The problem with it is that you need a robot, if not more, for each stack. You would also have to manually move the data, while individually sending the right files to your partners. You’d just replace people with robots, one-to-one.

Business Ecosystem Automation means getting rid of this little army of robots. Its solution is a single, modular and multipurpose machine. A machine that takes care of all your data, stores it, processes it and delivers it to your partners. In more technical terms, BEA is a coherent set of natively integrated apps that can help you digitalize your entire back-office operations. Our products can easily streamline complex processes such as P2P, O2C, payments, logistics and contract management, then cross-reference them with e-catalogs and records management. Everything while you, your employees, and your partners can focus on value-added tasks.

 

The advantages of  BEA

Built-in customization

According to an HFS study, only 37% of the world’s top 2000 companies intend to go back to the „office-based” way of doing business. The rest plan to continue on managing some or all of their systems remotely. What does this mean? It means that, in nearby future, those that want to succeed will have to speak the same language: digital.

This is why access to our platforms for both your company and its partners is not conditioned by technology. Our product suite is delivered as SaaS and compatible out-of-the-box with more than 200 ERPs. Also, all processes are easily customizable in a matter of hours both for you and your partners. For us, ‘’end-to-end’’ is not just a marketing mantra!

Borderless automation

There are many hurdles to operating as an end-to-end digital organization. Infrastructure issues, data siloing, and breakpoints in the supply chain are just a few of them. This is why financial management, operational efficiency, and reporting should not be shaped by your partners’ processes.

BEA does this by placing your business goals at the core of your automation and rallying your partners around it. Let’s say you’re a buyer trying to automate your P2P process. With our suite, onboarding the supplier into your platform, making sure he invoices the right products and follows contract terms is no longer your problem. All you have to do is place the order! This is why, „borderless” automation is at the future of automation.

Real-time 360 visibility

In today’s business world, you are only as good as your insight. The problem is that most automation solutions only provide visibility into the task at hand, not on its impact on the entire process. If you automate invoicing, you will know how many invoices have been sent, but will have no insight into their validation, approval, or payment status.

This is why we tried to connect all aspects of your business workflows, from P2P and O2C to contract management and payments. And we cross-referenced them with master data and record management. So if you’re looking for a document, what you will find will not be just a file. You will also have access to the entire process behind it. You will know if the document was accepted and its request fulfilled, as well as who performed all those actions.

Free managed onboarding

When talking about business ecosystem automation across all your partners, one question remains: How do I get my partners on the same page? The truth is you can’t ask your partners to change infrastructure or the type of documents they send.

For this to happen, we offer you free managed onboarding of your partners. We can devise an onboarding strategy based on partner portfolio segmentation, pair it with a communication plan, and adapt everything to a multichannel approach. While some onboarding processes achieve only a 40% success rate in 5 years, we boast with 100% global partner onboarding rate and 90% onboarding to e-documents. In under 2 years.

Speed and precision

Finally, what good is automated invoicing if nobody checks for format, content, compliance, or matching issues? Yes, you can send an invoice faster, but only to have it rejected just as fast. This is why business ecosystem automation is a must. By having a single source of truth for disparate processes, matching, validation, and enrichment become a reality. This will eliminate human error, but also enforce compliance. Remember: it’s not your job to manually check each “automated” process!

 

A shift in vision

 

The moment you start automating across the entire ecosystem, you will quickly stop thinking of short-term effects. Your extended vision into your partners’ capabilities will allow you to see opportunities otherwise hidden in paperwork. In business-like terms, you will uncover new „revenue streams”.

The elimination of manual work will have your employees spend more time on value-added tasks. The optimization of your order management will give you access to early discounts. You will save on logistics once delivery delays will be a thing of the past. Contract lifecycle management will offer you significant savings from early renewals, but also new partnerships with high-rated suppliers. Business ecosystem automation empowers your company, its partners, as well as third parties. It’s a win-win-win situation.

 

How to put it in practice

DocProcess offers a next-generation cloud platform that helps companies streamline and automate processes. DocProcess shapes the future of how companies of all sizes run their business by enabling them to take control of processes through their whole partner ecosystem and by connecting them digitally with their clients, suppliers, or financial and logistics partners.

Thanks to the flexibility of the platform, companies can mix solutions to fit their changing business needs and connect all aspects of their business workflows: Purchase-2-Pay, Order-2-Cash, Logistics, Contract Management, reconciliation of payments and more. All cross-referenced against document management and electronic archiving. It’s time to unlock the full potential of your business ecosystem!