In deciding the best method to automate your accounts payable processes, many companies go down a build vs buy analysis. The build approach is that you plan to create the solution in-house using internal IT resources and your own know-how of your internal business processes. The buy approach entails selecting a packaged software solution from a vendor and having them implement it.
The build vs buy evaluation typically starts out simple enough. Like any decision in life, there are advantages and disadvantages to either approach.
Let’s start out first on a positive note and look at the advantages of each option:
|Enhanced Control||Rapid Deployment|
|Potential Competitor Advantage||Tried and Tested|
|Customization||Lower Initial and Ongoing Costs|
In summary, you see building an AP Invoice Automation solution in-house is all about the control to ensure the end product meets your requirements. The purchase option is the low-cost, easy-to-implement solution in which you get to benefit from others’ mistakes and development efforts.
Now let’s look at the negative aspects of both approaches:
|Higher Upfront and Ongoing Costs||Risk of Long-Term Vendor Viability|
|Longer Time to Market||Lack of Integration with Existing Systems|
|Not Your Company’s Core Competency||Limited Ability to Customize or Configure to Meet Requirements|
As you can see the weaknesses of each option are pretty much the flip side of the strengths. Building a solution costs more money, takes more time, and it is most likely not your organization’s main focus. Buying a solution costs less but comes with the risk that it may not meet your exact requirements or integrate with your existing systems.
We would like to introduce another option to add to your AP Invoice Automation evaluation. By using a platform-based software solution, not only do you get the benefits of an off-the-shelf solution, but you also get further control with the flexibility provided by the platform. In this case, we are talking about Microsoft Office 365. In addition to the subscription including the applications we all know and love, it provides a whole development platform to create products. DynamicPoint has built its AP Invoice Automation solution, EasyAP365, on the Office 365 platform. By using SharePoint document libraries, Power Automate workflows, integrated OCR, and Power App mobility, not only do you get the benefits of an easy-to-install and price-effective solution, but you also have almost endless configuration options to ensure your requirements are being met. Plus, since you most likely already own Office 365, you don’t have to buy anything further as you are leveraging what you already own. We often find that we are less than anywhere from a third to a half of competitive solutions.