The super-app and how it can help startups and SMEs improve efficiency and productivity

The super-app and how it can help startups and SMEs improve efficiency and productivity

Apps are good, but super apps that integrate data and functionality with other online services can help your business tide over this difficult time.

Xero: The super-app and how it helps firms become more efficient
Having essential data on a user-friendly platform offers an accurate picture of a company’s financial health. This is critical to making informed business decisions. Photos: Shutterstock

The idea of a super app may sound new and exciting, but it’s something most consumers are likely to be familiar with. Think of apps like Grab, which let users perform multiple functions – order food, make payments and book point-to-point transport – within the same online environment.

While such multi-app platforms are great for business-to-consumer (B2C) companies to enhance their offerings, they can also be a beneficial tool for companies to manage their operations more efficiently.

In the professional space, a cloud accounting platform like Xero can be likened to a super app, as it makes it easy for users to perform numerous tasks, like payroll and leave management, tracking inventory and connecting to corporate bank accounts.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH

Having essential information such as sales figures, account payables and receivables and inventory levels readily available on a single easy-to-use platform helps provide an accurate picture of a company’s financial health. This is critical to helping firms make informed business decisions.

Amid a highly uncertain economic and commercial environment, giving business owners and managers greater visibility over their operations makes it easier for companies to identify emerging risks, as well as opportunities for growth.

It could, for instance, help companies obtain loans by making it easier to share financial data.

Said Mr Kevin Fitzgerald, Xero’s managing director (Asia): “Data from the business’ account can be shared with banks or alternative lenders based on the owners’ approval. With more accurate, high-integrity financial data, lenders will be able to expedite loan assessments to grant business owners faster access to working capital.”

STREAMLINING OPERATIONS

Xero: The super-app and how it helps firms become more efficient
Apps that take care of mundane tasks free workers to take on more value-added roles, like developing new services that could increase efficiency and productivity.

Faced with intensifying competition and a slowing economy, maximising efficiency and keeping a lid on costs is a key priority for many businesses today. Businesses can use Xero to build a comprehensive suite of essential enterprise applications to help keep their operations – like invoicing, collections, banking or inventory management – lean and efficient.

Xero applications are designed to automate many business processes. For instance, clicking on an inventory item code automatically fills out fields such as description and unit price on an invoice or bill.

Taking care of the mundane then frees workers to take on more value-added tasks, like developing new services that could increase business.

Being able to manage cashflow effectively is also key to a company’s survival, especially for SMEs and startups, who may lack the financial resources of large corporations. These smaller enterprises may be more likely to face issues collecting payments, especially when economic conditions deteriorate.

A WELL-CONNECTED PLATFORM

To improve collections, businesses can use Xero to issue digital invoices automatically. Customers can also be offered a range of payment options, including debit and credit cards, as well as PayPal and Stripe accounts, to make it more convenient for them to pay. The Xero app can send automated reminders regarding outstanding payments, helping to facilitate a more efficient collections process.

Beyond their core applications, Xero offers over 800 other enterprise apps in their marketplace that can be easily integrated and help companies ramp up productivity and improve performance. This allows businesses to choose apps and build a customised operations platform that is tailored to their requirements.

Xero’s application programming interface (API) and partnerships with banks also helps business owners integrate bank feeds so transactions flow seamlessly into the Xero platform.

Said Mr Fitzgerald: “The platform is only as powerful as its connections which is why Xero’s API is a boon for businesses that use the platform.  The API allows banks, fintechs and financial institutions to integrate with the platform with minimal development. As a result, data can be imported via direct bank feeds, allowing real-time reconciliation with Xero.”

Want to improve your business efficiency? Visit Xero to find out more.

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