July 22, 2019

Business Matters: Technology as tool, not as takeover

Fitek UK’s Mark Baterip looks at three considerations for implementing technology in your business without panicking your staff.

If you spend any time at all looking at media outlets, social media or even listening to discussions at the growing number of available networking events, you could be forgiven for thinking that you are either going to be replaced by a robot or, as is more immediate, that your business growth is going to be curtailed by a lack of trained or trainable staff.  In truth, nether of these two points are totally accurate but they do raise both an opportunity and a challenge to the modern business.

The modern business must make advantage of a variety of tech-based solutions to absolutely make the most of the very skilled and very expensive workforces they have.  The problem has been, however, that the roll-out of technology in the workplace has often been seen as undermining and also prospect limiting to the incumbent workers.  Business leaders must balance business need with the softer and ‘less measurable’ need of their human assets.

With more than twenty years experience in the automation of business processes, Fitek have worked with literally thousands of businesses to support them through the implementation of technological solutions. From this experience three key criteria for success have emerged:

1. Choose the solution which requires the least amount of process change within the organisation

A full change management process is always expensive and has the potential to bring massive upheaval. Where it is necessary, then fine! But where it can be avoided then it should.

Your current processes were put in place for a reason and whilst evaluation and improvement is made as an evolution, the replacement of these systems can often be seen as a revolution. Ellen Leith from the Purchase to Pay Network recently stated, “The change that I have seen in recent years is that companies are no longer buying large systems that require systematic change but rather they are implementing smaller solutions to fix specific issues”.

The FitekIN solution is one such ‘fix’ that businesses have employed to remove costly manual processes from their accounts payable processes.  Removing the need to photocopy, manually type information and also print invoices as part of an approvals process, saves a business between £4 and £25 per invoice according to a recent study by research organisation Gartner.

FitekIN can be implemented to reflect your current manual processes.

Discover purchase invoice solutions

2. Measure the ROI in terms of time rather than in money (even when they mean the same)

Many solutions make huge boasts about the money that they will save an organisation. Whilst this may be correct, the process of value exchange is one that is not often understood by all stakeholders in the process.

Workers may well be resistant if the proposed change is seen as benefitting only the business owner. Although never expressed, the position of “What’s in it for me” is a very natural response to uncertainty. Even if we adapt a more positive mindset, any change is clearly more palatable when the benefit to the individual is apparent.

Employees will often feel the pressure of time much more than a need for more pay or other benefits. The key driver for all high-performing staff is a desire to do their job well. Time saving is always seen as the biggest factor in improvement.

Our FitekIN Solution uses the following to show a saving of 25 minutes per invoice processed:

3. Buy the solution that offers the most flexible and scalable terms to be as future proof as possible

The questions we answer as leaders today, will not be the same as the ones that we confront further down the road.  Technology changes, the solutions become more advanced, more flexible and in the case of financial processes, much more affordable.

The solution we choose today must be sustainable, affordable and flexible.  A solution which has a high Capex element for implementation will often have a high on cost for updates and improvements.  It is important that there is transparency around administration, service day costs and also about updates and future road maps for development.  With large ERP suppliers charging upwards of £1500 a day, the total cost of ownership can be vastly different than first envisaged.

Over 20 years in the sector has given Fitek an approach which offers business owners a choice of how they proceed:

  • A capped implementation fee which can be spread over the term of the agreement
  • A service cost which is per invoice, meaning you only pay for what you use
  • A software cost which is seat based and tiered – allowing for growth in numbers
  • NO further costs at all – training is done as part of implementation and the development roadmap is rolled out to all users with no uplift

It is common for human beings to be nervous of change but, unfortunately, change is here to stay.  If you would like to discuss anything in this blog, then please get in touch with mark.baterip@fitek.com

“Invoice finance is a very sensible option for a business to improve liquidity. The cost of this liquidity can be offset against savings and efficiencies that technology such as the FitekIN accounts payable solution can deliver” — Mark Baterip, UK sales Manager Fitek.

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