I love coffee. Morning, noon and night, j’adore le café. Decaf and Regular with cream, Latte, Café au Lait and Double Espresso – I drink them all. And I’m Canadian, so “Timmy’s” holds special meaning to me. I’m inspired by the people who make coffee possible for me…those farmers planting and harvesting beans, the roasters making flavorful magic happen, and my favorite baristas at the world’s-best-customer-service-drive-thru-experience-coffee-outlet ever. So what does my infatuation with a steaming hot, sometimes icy frosty, drink have to do with SAP and business process innovation?
It’s about change. We are a curious breed. We dread change in our professional lives yet we’re bored easily with the living room configuration, change our clothes sometimes multiple times per day, and pine for vacations and a change of scenery. We need to be willing to accept new things in our lives – both personal and professional. Assume for a moment that our palates are analogous to our business experience and expertise. ‘Sophisticated’ (and I use that term very loosely) coffee drinkers demand a heightened coffee experience, and are not afraid to try new combinations of coffee-based drinks. Ever been in line behind that person who orders the “double triple vente mochaccino with a touch of vanilla skinny dog no foam”? Probably not, but you have probably experienced something similar where you thought…”Hmmm, how do they know they even like that?” Simple really – they were willing to try something with the expectation that it might yield a more positive outcome, and now it’s part of their daily routine. Yet our palates as analogies to our professional lives are too often suffering from the old cracked and stained pot of coffee that was brewed last Thursday. We even heat it up in the microwave to try and bring it back to life. (I see you smiling – you’re guilty of this at least once…)
I am consistently surprised that major corporations continue to rely on outdated business processes when much better alternatives exist. Where we find people working in these enterprises who are empowered and feel inspiration to lead change, well, these organizations are not only going to eat your lunch, but drink your coffee too. We spend too much time in Finance working the deadlines of ‘close’ and worrying about mundane accounting derivatives. We could deliver much greater value by promoting change in our organizations, empowering the ‘back office’ to realize its full potential and become a secret, strategic weapon in our arsenal of ‘easy to do business with’ tools. Take Accounts Payable (AP) for example. Strategic to an enterprise? No. But when the process fails, and multitudes of invoices are lost and plants are shut down for not paying the electric bill (true story), the AP process is blinded by the ‘strategic’ spot light placed upon it. Change in AP for many leading companies should have happened yester-year, but instead they continue to incur costly, inefficient processes while losing thousands of dollars daily on lost cash discounts. It’s like drinking stale old coffee from a dirty cup.
The time is now to step up to the counter and order something new for a change. Let’s start with Process Optimization in Accounts Payable supported by Dolphin’s superior SAP team, and we’ll go from there.