More than ROI with Automation: Maximize Your AP Team

More than ROI with Automation: Maximize Your AP Team


Have you investigated automating your Accounts Payable?

Did you put your numbers together to see how fast you’d see an ROI?

Did your ROI numbers reflect reality? Too good to be true?

A true return on your investment (ROI) helps validate spending on new software.

Truth is…

We can’t always completely quantify the true savings gained from automation. Yes, there are black-and-white numbers, but automation can bring increased accuracy, increased productivity, and increased employee satisfaction and retention – all of which are hard to quantify on our spreadsheet.

In this article, we’d like to dig into other factors that play a role in this tool, that aren’t always quantifiable.

ROI for automating your AP is far more than 5 numbers in our formula. It’s about the value added to your business and your team for a long-term, scalable approach. DASH AP Robot ROI Calculator (LINK HERE)

Here’s why.

 Your team is valuable. The knowledge and special experience they possess are hard-won: on GL accounts, supplier nuances, and catching errors that only they can catch.

How can you equip your team to be even MORE VALUABLE?

Give them the next level of tools and knowledge.

Bear with me…

 I hear people say, “Robots are going to take over jobs.”

Robots are just trying to be AS GOOD as us humans. They can’t replace our intuition, heart, and common sense. Luckily, you were made special, and can’t be replaced. These new tools allow you to use more of your time and energy on strategic tasks that need a human touch. Instead of just data entry, now you can focus on personalized exceptions, phone calls, and big-picture business projects. Humans become more valuable (not less).

Maximize your AP team with new tools to take your business to the next level.

If you are already using the DASH AP Robot [HOORAY!!] Your boss has already invested in you and your future. You’re using cutting-edge tools that make you even more valuable than you already were. And if you’re the leader of your business and have already invested in a tool for your team, congratulations, you’re future-focused and see the value of efficiency tools for scalable growth.

So yes, “black and white” ROI numbers can give us a glimpse of the success of our overall decision. But the long-term effects that are not numbers-driven can be seen for years to come in both your team retention and job satisfaction. Take a 1000-foot view of an automation strategy and look for leaders on your team who embrace change and cutting-edge tools.

A few factors that play into maximizing your AP team:

  1. Find software that is intuitive and easy to use.
  2. Maintenance and upgrades are included.
  3. Ease of implementation.
  4. Your software supplier is familiar with your industry.


Factor 1. The Software Is Intuitive and Easy to Use

This isn’t a quantifiable factor—but staff retention is. It’s much cheaper to retain the staff you have than to hire and train new people. Look at the interfaces and the functionality. If it looks overly complex, it probably is. Think about the different roles within your organization, and make sure that the software will flow with your workflows and processes.

Likewise, make sure your vendor offers training on the system. Your IT team already has plenty to do, so counting on them to do the heavy lifting during training just isn’t feasible. It’s also worth finding out if the vendor offers ongoing training opportunities; after all, the system is going to scale as you grow, and you may need new integrations to onboard new people.

In addition, you want your team members to be fully invested in using the AP Automation tool. If performing their daily job functions is harder after implementation, they won’t use it. That’s a waste of both time and money. However, if your team can quickly process invoices and see the information they need in real-time, a better ROI will be realized.


Factor 2. Maintenance and Upgrades Are Included

This is where doing your research on your vendor candidates is crucial. Is it a monthly subscription or yearly maintenance costs? What type of support does your vendor provide? How much will your annual maintenance cost be? These expenses will factor into the total cost of the AP automation software.

Once it’s installed, your AP Automation tool isn’t just one-and-done after you go live. Your team needs to feel comfortable with the new solution. This means that your vendor should provide high-quality, effective, post-go-live support and training for the lifetime of the software. Product support and training are imperative—it’s not an option. The only way you can ensure long-term success after implementation is with a comprehensive maintenance and support plan.

It’s critical to ask your vendor about maintenance and updates, as well. AP Automation maintenance refers to updates that keep your software running perfectly. Your vendor should perform regular maintenance and updates; if you must pay for every support instance, you’ll have to factor in those costs.

If your vendor outsources their maintenance and support, that’s a problem—a third-party support team won’t know the product like a dedicated vendor team would. What you need to look for is a vendor, like DASH, that offers support built into the product, all delivered by in-house experts.


Factor 3. Ease of Implementation

For most companies, research into integration and true real-time data can be a headache. To reduce or eliminate the impact of this, ensure your vendor provides integration that is easy to configure and uses the tools you already have. Real-time integration will allow your AP team to receive and send accurate data seamlessly. Once all the settings are in place in a few minutes, the software should be able to be used that same day. Here at DASH, we have an average of 20 days to full implementation from the project kick-off call to the final training session. Our fastest implementation was 4 days! WOOHOO!

When you find a tool you love, get it, install it, and start using it! [when it’s simple and easy to use, you can pick it up and just use it!]

You may have unique needs, but you’ll want to know that the system doesn’t require complex customizations to work the basics. Not all customizations are bad, but you want to minimize your exposure if you can: They can represent a headache for IT, and coding errors and difficulty with upgrades make them problematic. You want it to be capable of dealing with custom logic in as simple a form as possible (that is flexibility!), but not require it to make basic use of the system. Ideally, you also want a vendor that offers a clear implementation path. If your vendor doesn’t perform their implementations that’s a big red flag. If they outsource the implementation, it can cause issues later—namely, trying to get support if the implementation has problems [which it will].

The biggest issue to consider when adding in implementation costs is integration. All your systems need to talk to one another so that everyone can get the information they need with a few keystrokes. Work with your vendor from the early stages regarding data conversion and formatting. The right AP Automation software will drive efficiency and streamline workflows. This plays a crucial role in the company’s success because it boosts productivity and visibility, which leads to lower costs over time.


Factor 4. Your Vendor Is Familiar with Your Industry

 It’s also a good idea to ask your vendor about their industry experience. If they specialize in healthcare and you run a food distribution business, they aren’t going to know about your industry. At DASH, our specialized software tools are designed for manufacturing & distribution companies. Our team of experts has been in this industry for over 20 years. We are familiar with your processes and know about best practices for your business. When a vendor begins your implementation, you don’t want to have to train them on what you do—they should already know.

Your business is evolving, so your AP automation software needs to be scalable so that it grows with you. Talk with them about all the features and tools that are included with the system and what options are available as your company grows. For example, does the system have limitations on how many people use the tool? How about limitations on how many invoices it can analyze in a day? If these aren’t included in your package, it’s time to look at another vendor.

DASH’s AP Robot has all the functionality your company needs already built into the tool.

At the end of the day, calculating ROI on an AP Automation tool is about the value it brings to your company, whether it’s employee satisfaction, efficiency, or reducing costs. If you think that the costs are beyond your reach right now, think about the savings in operational costs over the life of the product. Think about the financial benefits that automation will bring. Think about happier employees and more satisfied customers.

The returns, both financial and environmental, will far outweigh the initial outlay.


Are you ready to start increasing efficiency and profits in your business? Are you ready to learn more about an AP Automation tool that will give you a solid ROI? Contact one of DASH’s specialists today or request a demo, contact our team of experts today.


📊 #APAutomation✅


About the Author:

Stephanie is the marketing guru at DASH. For over 20 years, DASH has been authoring, delivering, and supporting DASH DDX™ and DASH AP Robot™, its ERP-integrated software to small and mid-sized manufacturing and distribution companies throughout the USA and beyond.


Let’s chat!

Follow the Dash Blog

Sign up to follow blog posts from Dash