The ongoing spread of the novel coronavirus, Covid-19 has continued to impact the global economy and business operations in ways many are still fully trying to assess. While nearly every corner of the world is facing the effects of a global pandemic, organizations have now been challenged with the task of keeping their Procurement and AP departments running as normal when life has become anything but. Recent events have pushed many companies to start thinking and working more strategically, either by re-examining and tweaking their current policies and procedures, or utilizing technology and the talent of their workforce in different ways. With the amount of uncertainty increasing every day, organizations must focus more now than ever on their bottom line, as materials still need to be purchased and invoices still must be paid. Below is the first part of a two-part series, where we will explore areas where source to pay and S2P adjacent technology can be utilized to keep business flowing as smoothly as possible.
 Leverage technology that allows for increased automation
Finding opportunities to automate processes by leveraging technology is critical in a time where a large percentage of offices and operational departments have shut down. Many AP departments still highly rely on manual processes to pay invoices, so the work-from-home measures that organizations are taking can bring those procedures to a crawl. Automation reduces the amount of manual touches needed for invoices. Invoices can flow seamlessly through with automatic approvals, providing AP departments more time to work strategically under challenging conditions. 
Collaboration tools that allow for remote work 
In an effort to promote social distancing, offices around the world have switched from on-premise operations to remote based work. This can certainly bring challenges to organizations that have been used to a centralized, office-based work stream Now more than ever organizations should be taking a deep look at any processes that cannot be automated, and determine if they are using their technology’s tools to their fullest potential to enable remote collaboration. Many AP automation tools provide functionality to communicate through either departmental or company wide notifications, or via collaboration and discussion tools at the document level. Cloud-based SaaS technologies allow for the ability to work from anywhere, with some technology suites allowing for mobile functionality, allowing users to approve and collaborate on financial documents from their mobile devices.
Utilize vendor management and risk tools
With current disruptions elevating the need to quickly register new suppliers and determine incumbent suppliers most at risk, it’s important that organizations invest in vendor management and risk technologies to preserve business continuity. These tools can help identify high-risk vendors across your supplier base and determine if any partners have any practices or procedures that could be deemed unsustainable during current disruptions. Fraud is also an important factor to take into consideration, as there is an increased risk of malevolent groups using the crisis to take advantage of overwhelmed and vulnerable organizations. 

Please check back shortly for part two, where we will dive deeper into suggestions previously discussed and take a look at additional technologies that can mitigate risk and preserve business continuity . For more information about how Corcentric technology and services can provide solutions during the Covid-19 Pandemic please visit our website.
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Daylen Chambliss

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