Something I say a lot, when working with a company is, if you talk to 20 different service providers about Accounts Payable Automation you will get 20 different answers (or opinions) on the definition of automation. The definition itself is not the problem, but if you don’t have a common ground (like a definition) then it becomes very difficult to evaluate it.
For example when you are buying a car, a Nissan Maxima is a Nissan Maxima regardless of where you buy it. It becomes very easy to know what you are buying so it comes down to service or the deal you are getting, but the product stays the same.
There are other problems with looking at competition that are accidentally perpetrated by the service provider. One of my favorites is the good old “side by side” comparison. I don’t want to throw marketers under the bus for wanting to put these together or sales people for distributing them…. I don’t even think ill of the people who receive them and are thankful, my warning to you is twofold. (1) They are based on the strengths of the company producing them, which eliminates any objective view, and (2) Once published they are quickly out of date.
I Started Thinking
This (thinking), in some situations can be scary, but I started thinking that there is a better way of evaluating competition as it pertain to AP Automation. (So) I have come up with a short list that I will expand on in the next few day. The list is to give your (the buyer) a few differentiator to benchmark in your search. Here is the list:
- Automation VS Doc Mgt.
- SaaS VS Self Hosted
- Seat License VS Transaction
- Time VS ROI
- Find The Learning Curve
- Get To The Bottom Of The Company
- Dealing With The Biggest Competition (Do Nothing)
Stay tuned this week for more exciting information.
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