I have made it no secret that I work with a lot of companies in the middle market. I believe, because of traveling across the country speaking at any event that will have the slight bit of interest in Accounts Payable Automation, that large companies are automated. Therefore, attention has turned to mid-market companies (it’s about time!).
Time To Define
A mid-market company is a company under one billion dollars in annual revenue to five million. The great thing about these companies and that range is that middle market companies employ 87% of the United States’ population. From an automation standpoint this is a huge untapped market. The reason for its untappedness is a middle market company’s needs are completely different from a large market company, which means the two AP Automation solutions are different too.
One Big Thing
One of the biggest differences to know about the mid-market is the notions of headcount reductions… you know – firing people. There are two things that pull mid-market companies away from headcount reduction. (1) They need these people. Small to mid-size companies rely on their people, and those people have certain domain knowledge that makes the business run. I hope my point doesn’t come across as implying that larger company employees don’t have domain knowledge. That’s not true, but larger companies intentionally spread the knowledge across multiple people and departments. The second thing that pulls mid-size companies away from firing people (2) those people do more that what can be automated. The biggest pool of “freed up” labor is accounting system data entry. In a mid-size company that task is generally shared by several people. That means when the tasked are freed up by automation there is 30% – 50% of a person’s work is freed up, but not all of their work.
(So) As the middle market starts to automate the notion of one size fits all is out the window and the creation and perfection of specific middle market AP Automation solution will present themselves. We will also see those solutions help organization optimize middle market companies need to keep their people and use those people’s skills in better ways.
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