How Franchisees Use AP Process Automation to Do More with Less

OneDataSource Blog Post Brand Mark

The OneDataSource Editorial Team

As a franchise operator or leader inside of a franchised business, you want your company and stores to operate as efficiently and profitably as possible.

Operational processes don’t just apply to what’s going on inside of a physical restaurant location. It covers anything and everything, including areas of back-office administration.

While technology on-premises has become rooted in the day-to-day, the same cannot be said for certain administrative areas of the business. Accounts payable, a critical area for overall insight into vendor management, financial health, and cash flow, lags in digital transformation.

How Franchisees Use AP Process Automation

In a tough labor market and with staff still being affected by COVID, intelligent automation solutions provide much-needed operational flexibility to franchisees.

The Operational Flexibility Franchisees Deserve

Restaurant owners and operators know that scaling locations and operations puts pressure on the back office.

In legacy models, that often means adding headcount to your accounts payable department to try and keep pace with invoicing and payments. It also means manual, paper-based processes that strain time, risk inaccuracies, and can threaten vendor relationships when the payment gets caught up.

That system wasn’t working for operators even before the events of 2020. The pandemic only shined a greater light on its vulnerability when work-from-home orders sent manual workflows like this into chaos.

Centralized data allows for visibility. Plus, the ability of technology to handle large volumes of data without human intervention equates to significant time savings.

Intelligent automation introduces digitization, automation (of course), and machine learning.

As an example, no longer do AP staff have to rely on being in the office to do their work. They can process from anywhere. AP teams don’t have to worry about tribal knowledge. Centralized data allows for visibility. Plus, the ability of technology to handle large volumes of data without human intervention equates to significant time savings.

One estimate suggests the average accounts payable workflow could be cut from 100 hours in a legacy model to just 15 in a modern one. Time savings are twofold, though. In addition to less manual administration, it also equals less time spent on rework due to data accuracy.

Taken altogether, process automation gives AP staff the ability to focus on more strategic objectives and franchise owners the power to run lean while effectively scaling up.

Adapting to Dynamic Market Conditions

To navigate fluctuations in market conditions, franchisees can no longer afford to struggle with labor- and time-intensive processes. Low operational health puts profitability and viability in the market at too great a risk.

Business process automation solutions can help franchise leaders strengthen their operating model, so they have efficient processes and insights needed to navigate what’s happening now and in the future.

Learn more about how business process automation technology can provide franchisees with the ability to navigate market dynamics in our latest eBook, 3 Ways Franchisees Can Use Technology to Improve Operational Flexibility & Profitability.

Interested in learning more about AP automation?

Visit to learn more about taking a modern and strategic approach to accounts payable.

Accounts Payable Health Check

Accounts Payable Health Check

In this 20-question evaluation guide, you’ll examine the maturity of your accounts payable operation and explore ways to improve your back office – and business.

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