The world is increasingly embracing process automation, and robotics is no longer purely a science fiction scenario, but a reality that is knocking on our door. Companies all over the world have already started to prepare by reshaping and considering, at a larger scale, their global business services model.
The process actually began decades ago, and companies must continue to embrace technological change, reinvent and innovate in order to keep up. Digital transformation affects virtually all aspects of a business from services development and marketing, to organisation management and international operations with multiple subsidiaries.
In Central and Eastern Europe, multinational companies have been automating core business operations such as lead-to-cash or procure-to-pay functions, by using enterprise resource planning (ERP) – the most complex solution to streamline processes and data across multiple business units of the organisation. Some companies are turning to cloud-based financial solutions, to support their accounting, payroll and debt collection functions. Fintech solutions are well-accepted by financial/fiscal authorities, however some limitations and special requirements remain.
Some companies are turning to cloud-based financial solutions, to support their accounting, payroll and debt collection functions - How technology is driving the future of business in Central and Eastern Europe Click To Tweet
Romanian companies feeling the biggest influence from automation are those in IT (Romania is home to the fastest broadband internet in Europe), telecommunications and the finance/banking services sectors. They’ve implemented different ERP modules across HR (recruiting, personnel administration, employee self-service), finance and accounting, CRM, sales and marketing departments. And the effect is a positive one. These companies have reported significant profit growth as they become more time and cost efficient.
Next on the horizon for companies in CEE countries are the necessary preparations for the automation of non-value-added and repetitive activities. RPA (robotic process automation) software implementation within finance, procurement, HR and marketing departments, among others, is expected to see them achieve further efficiency and cost savings. This particular tool has already been introduced to CEE markets by global providers and implemented with the help of local vendors. But while RPA can be incredibly effective for companies and across departments locally, those with a multi-jurisdictional presence will find there is a limit to this software’s effectiveness – particularly with regard to global coordination of country-specific regulation and compliance.
For example one Romanian company, as part of its international operations, was processing its purchase invoices in Asia, payments in India, and they had payment approval in China. VAT compliance was completed in Western Europe and they also needed to report to relevant authorities in CEE. Process automation spanning multiple locations and disciplines with time zone, cultural, language and communication barriers can only go some way before a more human, local approach is required.
Process automation spanning multiple locations and disciplines with barriers can only go so far before a more human, local approach is required - How technology is driving the future of business in Central and Eastern Europe Click To Tweet
- Business reach has extended virtually across the globe
- Products and services are now conceived, designed and delivered to end users with no limitations
- Companies are focused on improving the customer experience, as they (customers) are expecting seamless and customised experiences at each touch point. New channels to engage with customers and better collaborate with partners are constantly emerging
- There is a clear need for global partners and technologies to support seamless development.