Throughout the course of 2020, organisations around the world have had to adapt and innovate on a scale never seen before. We are now coming to a stage where there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel, but there is no doubt that the influence of this year will be long-lasting. After a period of such uncertainty, now is the time for business leaders to be looking ahead.
In one of our SAP Concur Conversations podcasts, Navigating the New Normal, we discussed what changes can be implemented now to set businesses up for the future with Anthony Elliot, Senior Director Strategic Accounts EMEA. To hear Anthony's insights, you can tune into the 12 minute podcast here, and you can read some of the key points from the discussion below.
Managing the Impact and Moving Forward
With so many challenges in such a short space of time, trying to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 has been a huge task. Each industry has had its own intricacies to deal with, but Anthony suggests that, looking ahead, there will be two major realities that all organisations will face as they seek to either accelerate out of the pandemic or try to manage global operations.
"The first thing I think all organisations are going to face, which is going to be very similar in some ways to the financial crash that happened over a decade ago now, is that cash is going to become king - all organisation are going to try and manage their cashflow", Anthony commented. This is due to either being impacted by clients having their own cashflow issues and the need to reduce their risk, or organisations having to look after their own employees and their expenses, so the management of cashflow becomes crucial for finance teams.
The second major impact is that when money has gone out of the door from an organisation, finance teams must be able to reclaim whatever VAT or applicable taxes are available from the government, both quickly and accurately. Key to this, as Anthony suggests, is the data available, which allows for efficient reclamation from whichever government or authority is being approached, and timely reimbursement of employees for expenses, which is so crucial in these economically challenging times.
How Do Sap Concur Solutions Fit into the Equation?
With more emphasis than ever being placed on efficiency and cost effectiveness, Anthony goes onto highlight some of the key ways that SAP Concur solutions can help organisations in the current climate.
As the majority of non-essential workforces have been working from home since March, the requirements for each individual has changed significantly and in-turn, so has the discretionary spend. Employees have had to purchase different things to carry out their jobs working remotely, but how do you control this spend as an employer? This is where Concur Expense can simplify your company expense process, with automation speeding up the review, processing, payment and auditing of expense claims.
Anthony also emphasised collaboration with clients, tailoring solutions or using them in innovative ways to resolve specific issues. He used the example of the Concur Request module, an automated workflow approval process, that some clients are using as a check-in system for when employees need to come into the office. Alternatively, it could be used as the approval process for equipment that an employee might need now they are working from home. It is the versatility of SAP Concur solutions which enables clarity and control.
Circumstances this year have accelerated the digital transformation of thousands of companies across sectors. Anthony comments on the fact that many organisations are quickly realising that digitisation is not a five or ten-year roadmap - it is a "now problem".
He added: "Now is a good time to make that change. As all organisations, I think, have realised through this pandemic and having their workforces quickly swap to a work from home environment, the question is - what is the digital support network that we've got to enable our employees to do their jobs?"
The chance to re-design your process and implement more effective solutions is here. Once employees begin to travel again and economies start to pick up, you can have a new solution in place which will make sure your business is able to pivot into the new environment. Temporary solutions will slow you down, hampering your resilience and ability to respond to rapidly changing circumstances.
As England looks ahead to moving out of its second lockdown and beyond, this is an ideal opportunity to accelerate digital transformation to thrive in the new hybrid working model.
Listen to the Full Podcast. To hear the full conversation here or search SAP Concur Conversations wherever you get your podcasts, and keep up to date with more insights from SAP Concur via our Resource Centre.