Robert Kugel's Analyst Perspectives

Accounts Receivable Automation is More Valuable Than You Think

Posted by Robert Kugel on May 30, 2023 3:00:00 AM

Ventana Research expanded its core Office of Finance focus areas this year to reflect new and important opportunities to use technology to gain effectiveness through greater efficiency. The focus area we caption as “Purchasing, Sourcing and Payments” also includes receivables. Doing a better job of record-keeping and organizing paperwork, especially in a minutiae-laden process like order-to-cash, may seem trivial. Yet, when the pandemic required organizations to lock down in early 2020, digitally transforming core business processes became essential, and the need to operate remotely presented a new set of challenges best addressed by software. Ventana Research asserts that by 2026, only one-third of larger organizations will consistently manage order-to-cash end-to-end, but those that do will outperform competitors.

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Topics: Office of Finance, Purchasing/Sourcing/Payments

Improving Supply Chain Management in the Post-Pandemic World

Posted by Robert Kugel on May 24, 2023 3:00:00 AM

In early 2019, I first wrote about the escalating strategic challenges facing organizations resulting from the decade-long dismantling of the liberal global trade environment and the shift to more restrictive regimes. Supply chain management was upended in 2020 as a series of extraordinary events, especially the pandemic-induced supply chain shocks, compounded the tactical challenges facing supply chain managers and increased awareness of the brittle nature of lowest-cost supply chain structures. The impact of this shift has been accentuated by the recent fracturing of the world’s political order, which is reshaping strategies about where goods are sourced and manufactured. Consequently, supply chains designed for the lowest possible cost had to be restructured for resiliency. However, minimizing costs remains a core objective, so organizations must manage their supply chains and logistics more intelligently, using technology to better match supply and demand while finding other ways to reduce working capital and their associated costs.

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Topics: Continuous Planning, Business Planning, Operations & Supply Chain, Enterprise Resource Planning, Continuous Supply Chain & ERP

Technology Enables Working Capital Optimization

Posted by Robert Kugel on May 10, 2023 3:00:00 AM

We’ve experienced an unusual, decades-long monetary policy in the developed world that emphasized interest rate repression as well as supply chain practices designed for lowest cost. This has produced a generation of chief financial officers likely unprepared to address the impact of fundamental changes now shaping a new, technology-driven approach to working capital optimization. Today’s CFOs must assess their working capital management processes and the systems that support them to balance the need to minimize the cost of working capital against customer requirements such as delivery times and order fulfillment. Technology can minimize frictions – and therefore costs – associated with managing inventories, receivables and payables balanced against customer satisfaction requirements and legal and regulatory considerations.

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Topics: Office of Finance, Enterprise Resource Planning, continuous supply chain, digital finance, Sustainability Management, Purchasing/Sourcing/Payments

OneStream Advances Generative AI to Improve Productivity

Posted by Robert Kugel on May 1, 2023 3:00:00 AM

OneStream offers a platform designed to serve the needs of accounting and financial planning and analysis organizations. The software handles financial close and consolidation, planning and budgeting, analysis and reporting. The most notable part of the company’s presentations at its annual user group meeting – Splash – was the strategy and roadmap for its two artificial intelligence initiatives, Sensible ML and Sensible GPT. The former, unveiled last year, is a platform approach to applying machine learning to business forecasting, while the latter harnesses the power of large language models such as ChatGPT to streamline the performance of almost any business process.

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Topics: Office of Finance, AI and Machine Learning, digital finance