Digitisation has been a buzzword for some time now but, given the current business scenario globally, it is being seen in a new light. The current pandemic has forced businesses to manage their processes better and that includes its supply chains. Digitising business processes is important for three main reasons: compliance, efficiency and data accuracy.
Driven not just by compliance and regulations by government departments like the tax authorities, customs etc but also in terms of compliance with contractual obligations, proper digitisation of these networks means that not only does the system provide all the necessary basic information about the company but also transparency and verification of the business process from estimates to purchase orders to processing invoices providing real time information for managing businesses.
The ideal scenario would like to see that buyers and sellers are connected to open global networks where they can exchange their documents in any format that can be generated by whatever ERP or Workflow solutions each company uses and that this network is smart enough to convert them in a way that the receiver can read and interpret it accurately.
Proper digitisation in this form results in operational efficiency. It allows for verified and detailed documents to be distributed to the right people for informed decisions. For buyers, for critical industries particularly, it means a better view of suppliers, deliveries, and also management of the inventory and the buying process. For the sellers, this means a more efficient use of documentation and processing of estimates, orders, deliveries and payments.
However, we are not working in a completely digital world. We still have manual inputs to unsophisticated systems that cannot connect to a portal or that businesses can only generate PDF versions of scanned, manually raised documents. Manual processes like these are labour intensive and the chance for errors is quite high. Add to this, these not always verifiable or traceable. However, if they are linked to solutions or portals that are vendor agnostic, these can convert manual documents into verifiable digital documents that can then be processed for better efficiency.
This leads into the last major reason for digitisation: data accuracy. Digitisation allows for traceability for documents and the process. The management also gets detailed, accurate information at line level that allows them to generate analytics like cash flow, indication of fraud, buying and procurement trends, contracts and discounts when the flow of data is digital and not manual.
Working with vendor agnostic platforms, the supply chain ecosystem can create traceability, data accuracy and transparency. These platforms also create interoperability between other networks used the buyers and sellers anywhere in the world, making it futureproof. The opportunity to upgrade and expand the connections to the network makes it way more scalable and easier and cheaper to maintain than traditional EDI.
- Businesses demand global digital reach to their buyers and sellers, regardless of the back-office systems.
- Digitising business processes is important for three main reasons: compliance, efficiency and data accuracy.
- We still have manual inputs to unsophisticated systems that cannot connect to a portal.
- Working with vendor agnostic platforms, the supply chain ecosystem can create traceability, data accuracy and transparency.
By Luis Ortega, Managing Director for Middle East, Africa, Asia at Pagero.