Automation, savings and innovation for BPO providers

An area I’d like to explore is how the relationship between F&A business process outsourcing (BPO) and e-Invoicing is delivering greater savings and innovation.

It’s clear that F&A BPO is moving away from simply lifting an organisation’s bad processes, taking them to a cheaper location and sharing the headcount savings. In all the cases we’ve witnessed, automation generates more impressive savings than lower-cost employees, results in better processes wherever you are in the world and, critically, is an enabler for emerging working capital solutions.

In addition to efficiencies, providers receive demands from clients for innovation in the BPO services they receive. But, as Cathy Tornbohm Research Vice President at Gartner, said in a recent interview, clients don’t always know what this means:

“They don’t need providers to invent a gizmo… What innovation means in this context is e-invoicing. They want to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of these processes.”

Gartner describes e-Invoicing as a process-enhancement technology and service that sits between the provider and end user’s ERP. Many BPO companies have started to push the automation angle themselves – especially among the providers we partner with – and show that they are ahead of the curve.

A BPO provider that automates and outsources purchase-to-pay will increase productivity, deliver improved invoice data quality and compliance, faster invoice approval, greater scalability and visibility, and strengthened relations with suppliers.

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