10 reasons web automation is essential for expense management apps .
Web Automation for Expense Management Applications
The effectiveness of an expense management application relies heavily on the quality of the data driving it, and the standard of data in expense management is determined and gauged through 3 crucial factors: accuracy, freshness, and breadth. Below are 10 reasons why web automation is essential for providers of expense management apps.
1. Data isn’t always available via API
In the realm of expense management apps, crucial usage and expense data points are not always accessible through APIs. Instead, this data is often scattered across multiple customer-facing vendor web portals or applications. Web automation is essential to bridge this gap by enabling the seamless extraction of vital data from these non-API data sources.
2. Security and efficiency
While employing low-cost labor for collecting customer data from various vendor web portals and applications is an option, it's important to consider that finding and retaining such labor is becoming increasingly challenging and can pose difficulties in managing security risks. Automating these tasks not only enhances the overall quality of your expense management application's performance but also contributes to increased profit margins in the long term and improved security.
3. Increase Net Revenue Retention (NRR).
In today’s modern age of SaaS, customers expect a broad and seamless flow of data into their applications. Eliminating manual data-loading processes for your customers not only enhances product adoption but also fosters account growth and lowers churn. Conversely, relying on customers to load critical data themselves often results in tasks being overlooked, leading to missed value. Customers who do not realize the full value typically do not experience growth and may eventually churn.
4. The long tail
Customers expect their expense management application providers to oversee all relevant category spending. Web automation empowers you to address a wide array of vendors, extending support beyond the mainstream. This capability to handle the "long tail" of vendors ensures that you remain both versatile and comprehensive in meeting customer needs.
As an expense management application category matures, distinguishing oneself from competitors becomes increasingly challenging for providers in the category. Web automation offers the agility to access unique data sets, facilitating the development of innovative and distinctive new features. This positive differentiation can help your application stand out above the competition and lead to more head-to-head wins.
6. Speed to ROI is king
Prudent customers buy with a specific ROI timeline in mind. The quicker you can ingest your customers' data into your expense management app, the sooner you can showcase an ROI. Utilizing web automation allows you to retrieve and process data from the most accessible entry points—namely, the vendor web portals and application user interfaces that customers already use regularly—without incurring API costs or encountering roadblocks. This capability significantly expedites deployments by facilitating swift integration.
7. Vendors are aligned with their customers and revenue
Just like you, vendors prioritize enhancing their offerings to boost revenue. Allocating valuable resources to construct useful APIs that facilitate access to expense data, a move that might initially diminish their revenue, typically remains a perpetual lower priority. Consequently, usage and expense data APIs are often either unavailable, challenging to access, incomplete, or unreliable.
As your expense management application business grows, having a scalable solution becomes critical. Web automation enables expense management applications to scale efficiently by handling the growing frequency and overall volumes of data acquisition. This ensures that your expense management application maintains a quality user experience as you grow, without encountering roadblocks relating to labor quality and costs, or vendor API costs, changes, or limits.
9. Predictability and accuracy equate to credibility
Automating repetitive data collection tasks ensures a predictable flow of data and significantly minimizes the risk of errors. This predictability and accuracy are paramount for establishing credibility in expense management applications.
10. Traditional tools don’t scale well
Modern web automation surpasses the limitations of traditional homegrown scripting and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) tools. Unlike rigid scripting languages and intricate RPA setups, web automation provides a truly ready-to-use-out-of-the-box, intuitive approach to website automation. This approach empowers non-developers to both create and maintain automations quickly and efficiently.
While APIs are the preferred means of transferring data from vendors to expense management applications, they are not always available, accessible, or reliable. Solutions like RPA, promoted to address these gaps, often involve expensive and complex configurations, sometimes even requiring custom development for an enterprise-ready web automation solution. Alternatively, choosing purpose-built solutions for web automation could save both time and money. Companies like Weeldi, for instance, provide web automation out-of-the-box, eliminating the need for costly configurations or coding. Additionally, you pay based on results, not per bot-hour.
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