The cost of doing business has been increasing every year – and not by just a few percentage points. Some experts calculate that operating expenses double every 14 years. This makes it increasingly hard to stay competitive.
Of course, as industries change, new tools emerge. Businesses have a number of ways to reduce their operating costs, both now and in the future.
One option? Using technology to handle time-consuming tasks. This not only makes things easier for your employees, but it helps you reduce your expenses in the process.
Choosing Processes to Automate
Many routine processes are good candidates for automation. Software can help reduce the operating costs associated with:
- Collecting and verifying vendor invoices
- Looking up and assigning GL codes
- Scheduling outbound payments
- Processing sales orders
- Tracking shipments and managing logistics
- Handling customer inquiries
- Creating invoices for customer purchases
- Collecting and entering data into disparate business systems
Some companies turn to outsourcing services to help cut these costs. Unfortunately, there are downsides – most notable, poor visibility and a lack of control. But with automation, businesses don’t have to trust these responsibilities to a third party. Companies can still handle them on their own while placing less of a burden on their internal resources.
How Much Can Businesses Save With Automation?
The more you automate, the more you can save. It all starts with a comprehensive strategy.
Individually, each of the processes listed above may not seem that costly. But a few dollars here and a few dollars there can quickly add up.
Let’s use invoice processing as an example.
The average business can save $10 (or more) for each invoice they process automatically. At 1,000 invoices per month, that’s a savings of $120,000 per year.
And if that business were to also automate their order processing?
The best companies can process a sales order for just over $5. Meanwhile, inefficient companies spend around $40.87. That’s a difference of more than $35 per order. Over the course of a year? A business that processes 1,000 orders per month can reduce its annual expenses by $420,000.
An Increase in Business Doesn’t Have to Mean an Increase in Operating Costs
Most companies see an increase in operating costs as they grow. More transactions mean more administrative work – and more employees to keep up.
With automation, though, the economy of scale can make a big difference.
Software can do in seconds what an employee may need several days to complete. As you earn more business, automation lets you handle the increased workload with the resources you already have.
The only caveat: you need to invest in a solution that can solve your current problems, while also accounting for future growth.
Weighing the Cost of an Investment Against the Potential Benefits
When you’re looking to reduce your operating costs, paying thousands of dollars for a solution can seem counterproductive. But for the right technology, your business can easily recover the expense.
In an article for PricewaterhouseCoopers, Stephen O’Hearn states that “the crucial priority isn’t the costs you cut, [but] rather where you focus resources to stimulate growth.” Technology helps you work smarter – as long you spend smarter, too.
The best way to increase your ROI is to find one solution that can work in several areas of your business. This brings down the total cost of ownership.
It’s also important to find a solution that’s simple to use. A new software program can’t do you any good if your employees don’t understand how to use it – or if it makes them abandon their current processes. It can be hard to bring about meaningful change in a business, but when you introduce a solution that makes everyone’s lives easier, they’re more likely to adopt it for the long haul.
How IntelliChief Can Help You Reduce Your Operating Costs
At IntelliChief, we understand how important it is to keep your operating expenses low. We can help you implement cost-saving strategies across your entire business.
Our process automation tool can help you lower your operating costs across Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Finance, Production, Distribution, Customer Service, and even HR. And the financial justification is there: our customers typically achieve a full return on investment in just one year.
Our solutions integrate with the business programs that you already use. This lets you extend the usefulness of your legacy programs – programs that could otherwise be too costly to justify keeping.
To learn more about reducing your operating costs with IntelliChief’s business automation software, contact us today. Or, visit our Resource Library to see how other businesses have implemented our cost-saving measures in real life.