Operating within a data rich environment provides the fundamentals to drive deep value creation. However, consistently leveraging corporate information in a timely manner for competitive advantage can be a totally different ball game. The information often already exists, or can at least be derived, so the real underlying challenge is to proactively tackle the actual causes of friction that are preventing quicker access to it.
As a direct consequence of this, the latest powerful visualisation tools do not always have access to the right level of supporting information for efficient detailed reviews, plus these powerful solutions tend to be more typically used at the end of a process not during it, thereby delaying proactive decision making.
Processes for effective management therefore do not only concern data quality but are also about being able to manage efficient end to end integrated business flows, as well as ensuring their continuing adaptability to a multitude of ongoing operational changes.
Data quality can in fact be improved with latest technologies, as will be explored below, but essentially improvements can come from the fact that reporting and supporting workflows can be driven within and across your other related applications to provide a deeper and more useful level of detailed supporting information.
Data enrichment can also be part of this process to again increase the level of information, which also particularly helps in any subsequent source tracing of original data posts.
Augmentation can come in various forms, depending on needs, with the end result being that reporting outputs are smarter. The system can prioritise and action corrective workflows based on ranked results, with the reports only containing, for example, material subsets of relevant information, which all goes to speed up those critical operational insights as well as responses.
Repeatable and auditable processes are the outcome. This also removes dependencies on spreadsheets, where data integrity can be an ongoing issue to manage, and also enables more efficient handoffs when staff leave or join a functional role.
Holistic business models can be fine-tuned to achieve both better operational results and tighter risk management. This can be through the use of KPI’s to external industry players for the provision of risk management services ie credit checks, personnel checks, sanction checks or maybe directed at root changes within a process.
Reducing Data Lag & Removing Silos
Friction in transactional processing covers all aspects of decision support, controls, and stakeholder reporting and is the root cause of delays as mentioned above, not to mention the fact that data silos are often put into place at departmental level to somewhat mitigate against them.
Therefore, increasing efficiencies through improved processes, plus the leveraging of interconnections between business operations, effectively enables all relevant parties to have a more accurate understanding of current business metrics, as well as providing a firmer starting point for other activities i.e. future projections with FP&A and Budgeting.
New technologies drive real differentiated value and enable you to define fully or partially automated activities at an ultra- granular level for your most complex prioritised processes or tasks (more below).
So at a detailed level, and as a starting point, it enables the process owner (employee) to define for its user a fully or partially automated compliant business flow from data collection, through all required data transformations / enrichments to contextual actionable reporting + workflows @anywhere @anytime + payments @anywhere + simulations.
Consider each step as essentially being a building block that you can include or exclude, add, delete or even change its working modus operandi, and all executed with deep compliance.
Through working together with vendors as needed end to end encryptions can be put into place, along with more detailed functionalities for operational controls i.e. segregation of duties, multi authorisation levels, multi factor authentications etc.
This might also include working with you to achieve additional controls around cybersecurity, privacy, including GDPR, as well as data classifications and locations.
As always, think through the logical, legal, physical and increasingly taxable location of data, the latter also including the more nascent emergence of BEPS 2.0.
Disruptor or Disrupted
Technologies from above are being deployed in Fintech, Insurtech and Retail and there have been many positive outcomes reported in the press or maybe experienced by you on a personal basis. The core drivers here, that enable such change, relate to having ultra-granular control of your processes as well as the practical compute speed for them to operate, the latter being more about data throughput at any one point in time.
Think of your own business leveraging the above process and payment technologies to become a potential disruptor to your own competitors or in fact using them to leverage your existing business strengths to enter a totally new business stream.
Building on from the differentiated value above , the end result is likely to be a combination of apps (iOS, Android native apps or progressive web apps) + applications + processes to work across Property Management System / Financials / FP&A (Budgets) as well as other extended ERP solution sets.
Smarter more complete business flows therefore are the result and these operate within the aforementioned end to end structure. They can resolve both complex processes that touch many employees (e.g. Budgets, FP&A etc) as well as complex tasks that are undertaken by a few (Consolidation; the emerging BEPS 2.0 , IFRS 16 / ASC 842 etc).
These solution sets can go x-application or x-ecosystem (leveraging Open Banking API’s , recruitment algorithms etc) , the former as mentioned being an important enabler to remove spreadsheets and hence ongoing reporting production errors, which are typically introduced when bringing different data sets together and transforming it into specific formats.
Quantitative and Qualitative
Both types of process can be handled in the same way. Qualitative to some extent is more about non $ based transactions e.g. facilities management workflows, appraisals, ongoing training, employee activities, wellbeing initiatives etc., but which still require deployment execution with appropriate levels of control.
Worthy of note during planning is to ensure that your ERP system can handle the ever increasing data types found today.
ESG initiatives are accelerating globally with various considerations during the various phases i.e. from data collection through to final reporting. This also fits into the solution shape above and there are numerous examples e.g. applying financial metrics to aggregated utility consumption data and then at a more macro level the ongoing management of resultant KPI’s; gender and pay analysis; governance initiatives at board level, or as required by an organisation etc.
Processes can be fully or partially automated, are auditable and repeatable, plus can potentially be re-used across entities. Re-use is easier as additional steps or operational quirks required within another country can be incorporated or deleted from it if not relevant. Time savings quickly add up.
What has Changed?
Operationally most business process owners have always lived with friction, despite numerous product upgrades, which reflects an important takeaway that latest technologies now have the power to allow a corporate to define them at an ultra-granular level to remove bottlenecks and the practical compute capability to execute them.
The solution shape defined above also means that specialist areas can be tackled driving a corporate towards greater efficiencies, through the freeing up of key staff to do more management activity away from transactional processing. For example: comprehensive lease management and bond management.
Re comprehensive lease management: one example of efficiency is taking the lease and exploding accounting entries over the duration of the lease together with “allowable” amortisation costs. Payment issues can be understood quickly and corrective actions taken. At another level a further example would be working through the intricacies of IFRS 16 cf ASC 842.
Stakeholder requirements can be varied. From tenants who are looking to be more engaged as well as having more payment options, to management companies wanting to achieve comprehensive space management with deeper insights and understandings into operational metrics.
Owners want both qualitative and quantitative information presented and where applicable in the required GAAP, the end result being that all parties can work together on any query within and across currencies to explain them.
Note that in your vendor selection process the presence of different stakeholders can trigger additional not so obvious licencing requirements.
Driving Focused Outcomes
Managing property portfolios and keeping stakeholders updated on facts relevant to them, is easy to say but is more complex in practice, often requiring detailed analysis and extensive data transformations to drive segmental reporting. Latest technologies enable a combination of apps + applications + prioritized processes to come together to deliver timely results, together with increased data quality. Through having more granular processes both protection of investments, as well as the ability to iteratively incorporate latest technological changes like artificial intelligence can be achieved, and all go to improve your agility as well as reducing your overall total cost of ownership.
GaiaPM, a member of the FlexSystem Group, provides lease and property management software designed to help you drive performance up and costs down. As a global solutions provider in over 38 countries GaiaPM, together with its proven solutions for financials, human resources, and operations, is a business software vendor to 1 in 10 Forbes Global 2000 (May 2020), and 1 in 5 Global Fortune 500 (August 2020). Operating at the intersection of new digital process and payment technologies, whether deployed on-premise, in the cloud or hybrid, our powerful solutions provide you with iterative opportunities for value creation.