The Future of Automation in the Business Office at Manufacturing Plants

Manufacturers have used automation for decades to maximize efficiency while reducing labor and production costs. While the industry depends on cutting-edge technology for success, employees in the back-office still often rely on manual practices to do their jobs.

For example, Accounts Payable (AP) practitioners spend hours on manual, repetitive tasks, including invoice data entry, pushing paper, tracking information, and responding to calls and emails about the status of invoices and payments. Archaic accounting processes hinder productivity and open the door for human errors.

Sixty-four percent of hours spent on manufacturing-related activities across the globe could be automated with existing technologies, with back-office processes showing great potential for automation1. By automating their AP, manufacturing organizations can reallocate their time and resources to areas that were once neglected because of manual tasks.

Payment automation streamlines the process from start to finish and allows users to pay vendors with the touch of a button. What once was a multi-step process has now been reduced to two simple steps—upload your files and mark them as paid. Organizations implementing payment automation save thousands of hours annually. Along with efficiency, organizations also benefit from faster payments, enhanced business continuity, cost savings and rebates.

Increased security is another major benefit of automation. A recent study shows that forty percent of manufacturing businesses have experienced a cyber-attack within the past year, and thirty-eight percent of those businesses lost over $1M in damages2. Several manufacturers operate without a dedicated IT or cybersecurity team, making them prime targets for attacks. Making payments through a dedicated AP automation platform reduces the risk of fraud because payment data is encrypted, and access is restricted by two-factor authentication.

Automation is often associated with replacing humans, but that is not the goal of finance automation. Instead, more AP departments are embracing automated systems that enable humans to work alongside automation to complement the technology. By doing so, organizations can focus on work that’s more valuable to them.

Best-in-class automated payment systems offer white-glove service to help with every step of the payment automation lifecycle (implementation, spend analysis, enrollment plans, supplier enablement, customer support, mitigate fraud, and business continuity). When AP departments combine advanced technology with human workers, optimal results are achieved.

To learn more about how Paymerang can help manufacturers focus on production, not paperwork, click here.


1McKinsey & Company: Human + machine: A new era of automation in manufacturing

2Deloitte: Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI)

Matthew Kirkpatrick

Matthew Kirkpatrick is a Vice President of Business Development at Paymerang. Matthew is married with four kids and loves to travel with his wife Adrienne – Mexico and Florence are two of his favorite destinations so far. In his spare time, he likes to coach his kids, play golf and try foods from different cultures. As a former collegiate athlete and coach, he enjoys the transferable skills from the world of athletics to business. Matthew is passionate about Paymerang mainly because of two things – the company culture, which is diverse, inclusive and collaborative and the way he gets to save time and money for organizations so they can focus more on strategic projects.