Create your digital ecosystem: 5 tips for a thriving digital business

Blog Compliance May 20, 2020

Taking your business digital can be easier said than done, so how do you make sure you’re progressing in the right direction? Partner Manager Kristin Hahne says the key to successful digitalisation is found in which service provider you choose and how they help cultivate a flourishing digital ecosystem for your business. The original IFS Blog post can be read in full here.

Digital ecosystem

How important is digital business in 2020? Business owners and CFOs see the digital transformation all around them, but it’s normal to wonder if your company is ready to go all in.

Are open business networks and paperless transactions only for large, lucrative businesses? A recent Forbe’s article says no, stating that expansive digital business models and platforms (aka super apps or digital ecosystems) are built to benefit everyone involved. They say integrating into a digital ecosystem “enables small or young businesses to access established markets and generate more stability. Platforms or super apps help to lower the overall costs of a new business to become market-ready by sharing technologies and resources” (Steve Mast, 20 Aug. 2020, Are Digital Ecosystems the Secret to Building and Growing a Strong economy?).

“They key to cultivating a healthy digital ecosystem is partnering with a service provider that works with you.”

Through collaboration in a connected, interdependent digital business ecosystem, you replace temporary fixes with long-lasting solutions. You can start the transition to cloud-based communication, e-document exchange and data-based decision making now—and you don’t have to do it alone.

They key to cultivating a healthy digital ecosystem is partnering with a service provider that works with you to execute a seamless transition without interrupting your daily operations. Consider the following five tips crucial and you’ll find a service provider with the support and tools your business needs for stability, a and long-term growth.

1. Join an open network

The objective of a digitalisation project is to get as much digital traffic as possible and enable an easy way for your trading partners to connect. If your trading partners have chosen different service providers than you, you should also be able to connect those.

By choosing an open, cloud-based network, neither you nor your business partners are forced into using any certain solution. All parties can connect, communicate and send business documents via a single platform.

2. Connect to your ERP system

Make sure you find a service provider with knowledge about your ERP system. Your digital business processes should require no system or format changes.

3. Prioritise data accuracy

Once you all your transactions are digital, you can start collecting data. For each order and invoice, there is so much more information stored than any one person or department might realise: trends, patterns, pricing insights and buyer preferences are just the beginning.

You will get access to this invaluable data when you skip header level scanning and really focus on digging into all the data from your suppliers or buyers.

In 90% of cases, you already have the vital data that will eventually fuel your automated digital supply chain. The challenge is that it currently resides in physical documents that need to be scanned, OCR recognised and manually input to business systems. This process is prone to data entry errors and usually limited to the header level of the document. All this inefficiency leads to losing real-time, quality, line-level granular data.

4. Invest in onboarding support

When you take the dive into digital business, you have decided to invest in modern technology, improved your internal process and cleaned your data. The connection is set up and you are ready to start sending and receiving documents electronically. Great! Now you need to get your business partners on board.

For instance, if you want to begin receiving e-invoices, it’s important for your suppliers to start sending the invoices digitally. This does not mean simply sending PDFs through email. You need them to be contacted and informed about your digitalisation plans, as well as advised on the best solution for them to connect.

“Choose a service provider that provides onboarding solutions that take this work out of your hands.”

It is possible to start an onboarding project of your own, but that will require dedicated resources, training and knowledge about the different networks and operators out there.

Choose a service provider that provides onboarding solutions that take this work out of your hands. They will contact your trade partners to lay out and execute a plan for each of them, simplifying the process for everyone involved.

5. Do not neglect regulatory compliance support

If you operate in more than one country, have plans to expand your business, or have business partners located in other countries, you need to consider a service provider with global reach and many interoperability partners.

The right service provider makes invoice and tax compliance second nature by ensuring your company is always up to date with local regulations in each country where you operate. Compliance with local rules and requirements should come as part of the package without altering connectivity and integration within your business group.

Why settle for less?

From reducing manual labour and cutting costs to being able to manage your business from remote offices, implementing digital business processes is more intentional than ever. It is okay to start small, choosing to automate one process like AP or AR and going from there.

However big or small you decide to go, settle for nothing less than a complete solution. A service provider is your gateway to establishing presence in a resource-rich digital ecosystem built just for you.

Find your solution today

Pagero is ready to help you start your digitalisation project! Contact us now to discover the best digital solutions for your business.

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