How Canadian Manufacturers Can Drive Growth with Spend Management Automation

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Canadian manufacturers have been at the forefront of using automation to drive operational efficiency and business growth. With unprecedented market volatility over the past few years, however, there has been a trend to prioritize the digitization of expense management, and for good reason.

Nearly nine in ten executives say finding new ways to increase speed and flexibility in managing travel, expenses and invoices is key to keeping their organization profitable and continuing to grow.

Today’s leading expense management automation solutions use mobile apps, AI and machine learning, centralized dashboards and data integration connectors to accelerate capture, validation and approving expense reports, travel reservations and supplier invoices.

Simply put, the benefits of automation apply to more than just your production line. When spend management processes rely on manual steps, such as manual data entry and data validation, it can lead to limited visibility into company spend, high risk of non-compliance and fraud undetected, wasted time and money, and reduced employee productivity and job satisfaction. .

Conversely, when you digitize how your business handles every spending choice — controlling cash, costs, and regulatory compliance along the way — you can build agility and momentum across your entire organization. This is especially true for manufacturers.

How do your T&E and invoice management processes compare?

Due to their relative size, manufacturing companies process a higher than average number of supplier invoices and expense reports on a monthly or even weekly basis. In fact, in a recent survey of financial decision makers from over 500 companies worldwide2more than two-thirds of manufacturing industry respondents agreed that there were high costs associated with manually processing vendor expenses and invoices.

These costs were due to expenses and incomplete invoices (72%), tax and compliance issues (69%), and lack of an audit trail and/or difficulty in extracting documents for preparing for the audit (64%). Findings like these underscore the urgent need for Canadian manufacturers to adopt spend management tools to improve compliance, reporting, planning and visibility.

Ask yourself the following three questions:

  1. Can our current travel, expense and invoice management solutions scale and adapt to our business?
  2. Do they integrate seamlessly with our other finance, ERP, CRM and HR systems?
  3. Are our current solutions providing the business with the intelligence it needs to increase efficiency, improve compliance and better manage risk?

The value of mobile, AI and data integration

Some of the benefits reported by manufacturing companies with cloud-based expense management automation include:

  • 70% fewer lost invoices
  • 67% reduction of late payments to suppliers
  • 61% reduction of misplaced expense receipts

There were also notable time savings for employees, including 119 hours saved per week by accounting staff in processing expenses and 106 hours saved per week in processing invoices. In addition:

More than two-thirds of manufacturing finance leaders said automation has given their teams more time to focus on strategic business growth, which was previously constrained by heavy administrative tasks.

The Proven ROI of Expense Management Automation

In today’s economic climate where cash flow drives business agility, the impact of automation on bottom line is also significant. In 2022, T&E software users reported an average ROI in 8 months and an average savings of $52,000 per year. Invoice management software users have also seen a positive ROI within 8 months of implementation and an average of $44,000 saved per year.

Increased automation = increased employee retention

What should not be underestimated is the benefit of automation for company culture. In general, people are looking for a better work experience. They want meaningful work and to know they are prepared to succeed with empowering and empowering solutions.

You can do this by giving your employees an easy-to-use mobile app to take photos of receipts, approve expense reports and invoices in real time, and initiate payments on the go. With the time saved, everyone can focus on solving more pressing business challenges. In other words, the job they were hired for.

“Anticipating burnout and talent shortages, while embracing new technologies, can help manufacturers rethink and rebuild their businesses so they’re optimized for the new normal and able to weather future crises without falling back.” in crisis mode.

Boost your business with expense management automation

The key message is: Make sure everything that CAN be automated IS automated, from receipt entry to mileage to AP processes.

By doing so, you will gain earlier visibility and increased control over all types of expenses in the organization, ensure that every planned purchase contributes positively to growth, and free employees from labor-intensive tasks. to drive the sustainable growth of your manufacturing business.

Automating your expense management is easier than you think.
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