The Future of Finance: Collaboration

During the recession, companies were forced to cut costs and do more with less. And now as they anticipate the potential impact of the “fiscal cliff,” austerity and other measures, they must operate not only faster and leaner, but in a more collaborative manner.
 
Future of Finance: Collaboration

It used to be that companies could focus on their internal operations and trust that their businesses would run themselves. But as supply chains have become increasingly global, this method of operating is no longer enough. To succeed in today’s networked economy, companies must manage an interconnected web of relationships that their businesses depend on. They must look beyond the four walls of their organizations, get more involved with key trading partners, and learn to tap into the collective knowledge that flows through networks and communities.
In short, they must get more connected, efficient and informed.
1) Connected – Companies have invested billions in technologies to streamline their internal operations. They started with solutions to make employees more effective in their daily jobs by simplifying things like developing documents, presentations, and spreadsheets. Then they tackled functional areas like procurement and finance.
Yet finance functions such as accounts payable remain highly inefficient. Why? Because they are still largely driven by closed systems and processes. The key to extending and improving collaborative trading relationships lies in open systems that can be easily shared by everyone that participates in the commerce process – from trading partners and customers to banks. And companies need to implement them.
2) Efficient – Companies can set up all the cost savings programs in the world, but they won’t deliver true value to the bottom line without automating tactical, transactional work to drive greater efficiency and productivity. Leveraging cloud-based applications and business networks can get these automated processes up and running more quickly.
I just got off the phone with Gary, who runs the procure-to-pay service support functions for a global oil & gas company. Gary said that the use of a business network for his organization and their tens of thousdands of suppliers will “fulfill the promise of greater efficiency, control and compliance.”
3) Informed – Technology is no longer about platform, features and functions. It’s about providing access to communities and insights through which companies can ensure they are doing business with the best trading partners. It’s about the ability to more effectively source new trading partners and know who else they’ve done business with and how they performed. It’s about making your money work for you and your supply chain.
Managing cash is challenging, even under the best economic conditions. But companies that embrace creative new solutions designed to fuel greater collaboration can do it more efficiently and effectively and position themselves for savings and growth.

Author: James Tucker
Source:
http://thenetworkedeconomy.com/the-future-of-finance-collaboration/

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