Now Year End is out of the way, is it time to set some New (F) Year plans? Many businesses are looking at digital transformation to try and make savings and streamline processes in the challenging current economy. Innovative technology is coming thick and fast, Chat GPT, Ai, RPA and machine learning all featuring in mainstream solutions and the market is flooded with companies offering automation.
Choosing the right solution for the business is important, but equally important is choosing the right provider. Following these pointers will help find the best automation solution provider for the business requirements.
Understand the pain points the finance team experience and define the processes behind them. Work out a priority plan for automation and consider the features that can address them. Accounts payable is a good place to start the automation journey. The AP team is often loaded with manual, time consuming tasks such as data input. This is easily automated and frees up the team for more value-added tasks.
Research potential automation solution providers online. Check their websites, product reviews, and customer testimonials to get an idea of their capabilities, reliability, and customer satisfaction levels.
Make a shortlist of automation solution providers, evaluate their solutions' capabilities and how they align with the business’s needs. Evaluate their user interface and ease of use. Check they make use of current technology such as machine learning and Ai and that they are happy to share their development roadmap to ensure they are continuing to develop their solutions in line with market demands and new technology.
Verify that the provider's solution can integrate with existing systems within the business, such as ERP, accounting software and payment systems. Ensure that the integration process is seamless and efficient, ask for case studies showing similar projects with similar systems.
Check the level of support offered by the automation solution provider. Ensure that they have a responsive customer support team that can provide assistance when needed. Ask for details of their SLA, and understand response times, hours of support and experience, and where the support team is based. Having an in-house support team that works closely with the rest of the team is important for effective troubleshooting and resolution and provides an enhanced customer service.
Ensure that the provider's solution can scale as your organisation grows. Check for capabilities of the automation solution provider to support multiple locations, currencies, ERPs and entities. (Beware hidden extra costs associated with a growth in user numbers – concurrent licence offerings are a bonus here)
Ensure the automation solution provider adheres to industry standards and regulations for security and compliance. Check their certifications, security protocols, and data privacy policies. The UK has British Standards in place, look for ISO27001 that certifies data security.
Evaluate the expertise of automation solution provider in the field of automation. Check their experience and industry knowledge. How long have they been established? Do they develop and support their own software? Deep dive into the employees and look for longevity in role. Companies that look after their team are likely to treat their customers the same way!
Check the automation solution provider's reputation in the industry by reading customer reviews, testimonials, and case studies. Ensure that they have a history of delivering quality solutions and excellent customer service.
Reporting on emissions is becoming mandatory for more businesses, and extra government mandated monitoring is planned over the next 3 year. Understanding the ESG credentials of the automation solution provider is key, finding providers that are committed to a Net Zero target and measure and offset their emissions makes mandated emission reporting easier.
Evaluate the cost of the solution, including the implementation cost, licensing, and ongoing maintenance. Compare pricing across providers to ensure best value for investment. Some automation solution providers offer low/no set up fees but then charge significant amounts for change requests or modifications, extra users or increase in documents processed. Check for flexible payment plans, providers often are able to offer Capex or Opex finance options.
Request a demo of the solution to see how it works and to get a feel for its user interface and features. But don’t just accept a standard demo that neatly shows everything working perfectly. Ask for a live demo with real documents run through the system, covering the pain points highlighted at the start of the search.
By following these steps, selecting an automation solution provider that meets the organisation's unique needs and streamlines processes turns a nightmare into a dream! Get in touch with our listening team to find out more about Documation’s automation solutions.