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How SMEs navigate complex logistics with confidence

Businesses are navigating a market landscape characterised by rising interest rates, soaring inflation, and a volatile war for talent. Factor in the shifts toward hybrid and remote working models—which demand hefty investments in digital tools—and it’s a perfect storm of challenges.

The age of simply “doing business” is over; instead, business leaders must be a visionary, a data scientist, a strategic planner, and a troubleshooter all rolled into one. This is compounded by the pressures of heightened customer expectations, escalating compliance burdens, and economic turbulence, which can be overwhelming.

As counterintuitive as it may sound, now is not the time to freeze spending or recoil into a financial shell, as doing so could slow growth and give up market share to more agile competitors. Instead, it’s time for business leaders to act decisively, allocate resources strategically, and harness the transformative power of the right technology and data.

There are five key ways businesses of all sizes can turn complexities into opportunities for growth and innovation:

Embrace moments of change and decision

While dealing with everything from changing economic landscapes to increased regulations, business leaders need to not only adapt, but thrive in the middle of it all. This creates a moment of change that could signal success for businesses.

It’s also important not to shy away from making important choices in moments of decisions. The choices business leaders make are more than just forks in the road; they’re the paths that carve out the company’s future.

The power of data-driven decisions 

Businesses operating with lean teams may not have the luxury of a large corporation’s resources but shouldn’t count themselves out. With the right technology, decision makers can keep a keen eye on spending. Real-time data can be a leader’s best friend in informing decisions, optimising efficiency, and avoiding missed opportunities. For example, automated solutions provide comprehensive expense and invoice management, which simplifies compliance, reduces errors, and offers real-time data access. With this kind of visibility, business leaders can make more informed decisions, whether they’re managing tight budgets or weathering evolving market conditions.

Navigating regulatory and compliance challenges 

Staying on top of compliance and tax needs is more than a good habit, it’s survival. Here’s where technology comes to the rescue yet again. These tools are designed to keep up to date with regulatory changes, simplifying compliance management and reducing the likelihood of errors or oversights. And, it’s not only about meeting legal demands; it’s also about risk mitigation. When business leaders are sure that they’re on the right side of the law, they can act with confidence and concentrate on core business activities.

Allies: technology and people

When thinking about scaling, the immediate concern for a business leader might be costs. However, it should be thought about as an investment in not just technology, but also in people. A team’s effectiveness amplifies when they have the right tools. For example, consider automating simple tasks like invoice processing. It speeds up the payment cycle and frees up a team to focus on more critical, creative tasks, leading to a more productive and satisfied workforce. This is especially important when talent is hard to come by and even harder to keep.

When budgets are tight, smart investments in business efficiency can pay off down the line. Such moments of complexity and challenge are also ripe with opportunities for growth and innovation. An organisation’s ability to adapt, be decisive, and act with certainty will define how the business emerges from this complex period. After all, it’s those complex moments that test business leaders while helping to make the business run better.

Using tax returns to eliminate inefficiencies through smart automation

Tax return season is an ideal time for businesses to address another crucial aspect of financial management: operational efficiency. Following inefficient processes inevitably chips away at the bottom line. However, automating inventory management can maintain optimal stock levels, avoiding the dual pitfalls of overstocking costs and lost sales when items are out of stock. This ultimately boosts revenue and profit margins. Similarly, automated invoice processing minimises late payment fees and lets businesses reap the benefits of early payment discounts.

By channelling a portion of tax returns into automation solutions, businesses can significantly control spending and optimise returns on investment (ROI). This isn’t just a short-term gain; investing in smart automation tools can have a domino effect of efficiencies, positioning a business for faster recovery once economic conditions improve.

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Fabian Calle

Fabian Calle

Fabian Calle is the managing director for small and medium business (SMB) at SAP Concur, Australia and New Zealand. With his extensive experience working with SMBs in the computer software industry, Fabian understands the business challenges that SMBs face and how leveraging technologies can streamline business processes.

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