Improved productivity has become the catch-cry of the modern business. In this fast-paced world, we need to do more, be quicker, be better. In the new world of the information revolution – technology is the pillar piece in achieving this goal. Working smarter – not harder and utilising the data you have in your organisation to make informed decisions in line with your business objectives. Being able to anticipate change, not just respond to it when it arrives at the door.

53% of CFOs worry that the finance function is reactive or that data and information-sharing processes aren’t streamlined Accenture

These drivers for change in the organisation, to improve productivity and produce results, often fall to the CFO to contend with. By streamlining finance processes, it creates room for CFO’s to innovate and deliver strategic value to the business. When carried through every department, using a dependable Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tool, this ensures the delivery of productive teams and is essential to the overall success of the business.

3 ways you can use technology to your advantage, is by focusing on the following parts of your business.

1. Digitisation of business activities

Hands up if you’ve still got paper-based; data-entry processes happening in your organisation?

Manual processes are the headache of organisations – big or small. A quick audit of all the processes that you have will find the finance department with the bulk of the manual processes that can be streamlined and look to the removal of manual data entry through online forms, employee self-service and integrating technology to support other vertical applications such as Payroll and HR.

Big Savings for State Sport Centres Trust

State Sport Centres Trust (SSCT), is the statutory authority responsible for managing major Victorian Government sporting facilities in Melbourne, it has saved more than $20,000 a year in administrative overheads since EBS (Evolution Business Systems) deployed SSCT has reduced the Purchase-to-Pay process from 11 largely manual steps to seven paperless steps, saving about seven hours per week – an annualised cost saving of about $10,000 from that single improvement. Also, the process for raising and approving Purchase Orders is now much more intuitive, saving staff another seven hours a week. That’s definitely something to celebrate.

2. Big data: Data is the new oil

Data is the key to measuring where you are, where you’ve been, and helps to determine where you want to go, but when information is siloed in departments and not able to be interrogated, you’ll only have part of the picture.

By integrating your departmental data and delivering meaningful reports you’ll be in a better position to make informed, data-driven decisions to support your objectives.

Melba saves time by finding information quickly

Melba Support Services has become an Australian leader in delivering services tailored to the needs of individuals. They manage seven residential care homes, via its Community Living Support Services, which assist 42 people, many with significant health and physical needs 24/7. Melba also own a fleet of 17 buses, enabling them to get around and actively participate in the community. Over the past decade Melba have seen significant changes in the disability sector, with implementation of NDIS, the focus on disability care and delivering on a more personalised and individual level.

Melba engaged EBS to deploy Microsoft Dynamics to help them in a day-to-day capacity. Karen Gibson, Acting Business Manager at the time said, “With families and their funding, they need to know how their money is being spent, how much funding they have and how much they have left at a given point in time. To do that, we needed to report on an individual level. One of the main differences of an integrated system is that our information is now up-to-date and we know exactly where we are every day. We can get out our reporting in a really quick manner. If people have a query, we’re able to get into the system, right down to the invoice level, to what transactions are happening.”

VAACHO improves governance

Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) Director of Business Services, Peter Mitchell, relies on complex reporting on the 84 contracts that they have across a range of government departments. “Data is the new oil. The more information you can provide about the success of what’s going on, the more governments can demonstrate why they have invested in that area. Microsoft Dynamics provides the evidence-based reporting that demonstrates the value of projects funded by the money we receive, proving to both governments and our membership that we have advocated for the right projects.

“It has also enabled us to structure our governance policies into our workflows. For example, it ensures that I am not allowed to approve a particular level of Purchase Order unless my manager has approved it. That means more questions are asked, not about the payment, but about its application.”

3. AI capabilities

When processes – both manual and online are streamlined, and the data you have is being captured in central repository – the benefits begin to roll through to the productivity departments enabling managers to become more strategic to achieving business objectives instead of being bogged down in the day-to-day. Taking this one step further, by using machine learning and intelligence it become easier to identify potential issues and act on these in a timely manner – saving time and money. AI (Artificial Intelligence) can be used to:

    • purchase only what you need with dynamically updated inventory levels,
    • maintain the right amount of inventory by automatically calculating stock levels, lead times, and reorder points
    • look at historical payment data to predict when a payment will be made better enabling insight into cashflow.

Business Intelligence looks promising for VACCHO

VACCHO’s business service manager, Peter Mitchell is excited about the future. “We are constructing reporting that is specific to VACCHO, drawing data from the ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) and our own health evidence information best practice databases to align with our needs. Once this BI tool is complete (Power BI), our team leaders and directors will be able to drill right down to the actual entries in Dynamics, to the point where they can even load up scanned copies of invoices. Dynamics is central to that is because that’s where the funding data sits.”

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