It was only a decade ago when the liquor industry had no choice but to use in-store payments to keep cash flow going. Not long after, automated systems began and allowed many to conduct payments on a new level. However, the early days of automated payment platforms were initially quite expensive.
Cut to now, and automated processes are far more mainstream and affordable. Regardless, not all who work in the liquor business use these systems. Some are simply stuck in a specific way they deal with finances, despite myriad errors and inconveniences along the way.
If you're in this situation, you have one simple way to improve the alcohol payment and credit process. Automation has improved immensely to take on far more complex data and present it in easy-to-read ways.
Now you can have automated systems for numerous financial processes outside of just payments and credit. But let's look first at how automation changes how you process payments and how it helps your staff as well as your customers.
Through an automated payment process, payments can occur automatically through a centralized payment platform that process every EFT transaction, or through mobile devices that can initiate, request, and process alcohol invoices using industry-leading payment applications. Doing this eliminates the need for cash, checks, or money orders, while also removing the complications of credit cards - all of which can increase risk of theft, collusion, or delayed payments.
Automated payments assure you'll get your payment immediately without delays. This works with your distributors as well when they send invoices. Ultimately, you'll have easily accessible e-invoices so you don't have to deal with manual data entries.
Line Item Matching
When payments take place, you want to make sure pricing matches what's in your database. Through automated systems, line item matching is easy to do so you don't have discrepancies. Once and for all, you can normalize unit quantities to prevent pricing errors.
It's another example of how automated systems keep things coordinated so you don't have to consult multiple sources or enter data manually.
Finding Discrepancies in Invoices
Since automated systems help with invoicing, you can find out what you'll actually pay and not end up paying more than you really owe. Using cost variance reporting ensures every product cost is synchronized between retailer and distributor. Now you can also track credit amounts before you do any invoice reconciliation so you know exactly what payment adjustments are still pending.
You want to catch any discrepancies to avoid downtime, and automation proactively ensures every invoice is accurate.
Providing the Best Product Cost
Before customers buy your liquor products, you want to know you have the best possible pricing to compete in the marketplace. Automated product cost dashboards compile information from each distributor in a given market so you'll know the best price range based on time and location.
Using this allows you to set the lowest price, which only helps your sales during critical times when you need to improve your cash flow.
Accurate Profit Projections
When receiving payments, you want to know what the future holds on how profitable you'll become. Automation additionally focuses on product cost forecasts so you can know how to price your liquor products in the near or long-term future. Having this available lets you bring more proactive management to your profitability throughout the year.
As you can see, automation is vastly important now for the liquor industry. It removes human error and gives you a 360-view of activity without having to consult numerous sources.
Contact us here at iControl to learn about our SaaS software with numerous automation systems to help you master the finances of your business.