During the coronavirus outbreak, we have seen businesses around the world transforming their human and data processes. Customers have been the key reason for that. Many have naturally chosen online channels, which made companies strengthen (or even create) digital operations. According to a 2020 survey carried out by McKinsey, Covid-19 accelerated digitization of business by three to four years. Its impact will be visible many years from now. If digitization is the new black, your company cannot remain grey. Here is how to start.
Approaching digitization in a comprehensive way
One way to address the challenges of digitizing your business is to take a holistic approach towards data flows – internally and externally. There is a way to do this effectively if you start implementing changes by analyzing your IT systems in search of possible improvements. Having a variety of not integrated ERP systems, outdated and ineffective processes, or no harmonization are the typical factors pushing the majority of companies towards more innovative IT solutions. Some of them have already been in use for decades, but are still evolving to meet the constantly changing market requirements.
EDI – for reliable data exchange between trading partners
One of the most popular options to start digitizing business processes is to implement EDI. This is a system, or more precisely, a cloud-based B2B platform, which enables dynamic and automated data exchange with your partners. Orders, shipping notices, and various kinds of other documents can be easily sent and received digitally thanks to this solution. Its flexible architecture allows all companies, no matter how big or technologically mature they are, to reinvent collaborative strategy, cut costs and improve overall business efficiency. Even if you don’t have a full ERP connection, you can still use EDI to your benefit.
E-invoicing – for streamlining and enhancing AP/AR processes
Another option worth taking into consideration is e-invoicing. Its main goal is helping exchange invoices electronically to support AP and AR processes. E-invoicing allows you to eliminate paper from your processes and guarantee quick, error-free work – especially when you compare it to the manual exchange of invoices. It becomes increasingly important as more and more countries are introducing the obligation to exchange invoices electronically (via certain platforms and in certain formats). It’s worth remembering to choose a reliable software provider whose e-invoicing solution is compliant with ever-changing regulations in particular countries.
We are currently seeing unprecedented growth in e-commerce. This trend brings into the spotlight solutions such as master data management apps and online distribution reporting platforms that help achieve omnichannel convergence and more unified commerce. These products are the best support when it comes to managing your online product portfolio stores, as well as analyzing not only sell-in but also sell-out data from distributors and wholesalers to final points of sale. It is considered as a natural shift to carry out integrations, because the need for homogenous data exchange that brings advantages in key areas such as sales, cost and time management, and logistics, will only continue to grow.
There is a variety of tools available for digitizing your internal processes in a company. As all businesses are becoming increasingly dependent on data, providing your teams with advanced solutions to exchange business-relevant information with your network seems like the most reasonable strategy for the future, and that future is certainly digital.
This is the beginning of a series of articles on business digitization, where we will explore the benefits that innovative technology can bring to your processes. Expect more to be published soon.