Customer obsession and insights-based companies

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

5 minute read

Customer obsession and insights-based companies

How much do you care about your customers? Do you like them? Love them? Or would you go as far as to say you are actually obsessed with them?


It might feel a bit creepy to think about your customers that much, but it works. In the consumer-led world (B2C), Amazon shows the way. This company with a 2017 revenue of $177.9 billion USD lists ‘Customer Obsession’ as the first of their leadership principles. And it works for companies that sell directly to other companies, too (B2B). 

How do we know it works?

Michael Barnes, VP and Research Director at Forrester has a lot to say about it. At a recent event we hosted, Forrester spoke about how they work with business and technology leaders to develop customer-obsessed strategies that drive growth. Michael explains what research house, Forrester, actually does in layman’s terms “we help you make better decisions in a world where technology is fundamentally and radically changing your customers, their expectations and your markets”.

Speaking generally, he says that, “For as long as we’ve all been in business, we’ve used technology to improve the delivery of our company’s products, services and operations”. He notes that, in the past, the power of information, price and location was owned firmly by institutions. Today, though, this information is almost entirely owned by customers.

Things have to change. 

We have to move from being customer-aware to being customer-led, from having a data-rich organization to being insights-driven, from being perfect to being fast and from being siloed to being connected.

So what do organizations need to do?

  • Deliver a compelling customer experience and commerce system

  • Leverage SaaS and public cloud for scale and agility

  • Integrate across front and back-office systems to optimize revenue.

This allows anyone who is focused on the customer to put them at the centre of your total operating model. Forrester calls this ‘Customer Obsession’. 

How does it work for finance and procurement?

In order to overcome inefficient, manual processes, improve spend visibility and more accurately forecast and plan the only answer is to leverage the power of SaaS.

Forrester research on 2,626 global decision makers whose firms use, or plan to use SaaS in 2016 showed that 72% of these people chose SaaS because of the improved business agility, lower overall costs and speed of implementation and deployment. So what’s the main thing that’s stopping them? Budget. Many organizations have invested so heavily in on-premize solutions that they don’t realize that failing to automate is a long-term death warrant. 

Cost has to be considered from a long-term perspective

Forrester has worked with Basware to help organizations realize the real total economic impact of procure-to-pay software. They discovered, when they calculated a three-year impact from the Basware P2P cloud investment, a NPV of $5.4million, a 307% ROI and 12 months payback. When you’re looking at the big picture, moving to SaaS is a no-brainer.

SaaS is here to stay. And it’s a way to connect every organization with their customers more clearly, and in a way that builds business advantage.

So what does a SaaS solution like Basware purchase-to-pay in the cloud offer the finance and procurement organization?

  • Improved – and in many instances even total – visibility through analytics = happier CXOs

  • Control over spend: controlled and uncontrolled spend = happier CFOs and CPOs

  • Productivity gains – for AP and end-users: purchasers, approvers and budget-holders – as well as for suppliers = happier employees

  • Early pay discounts and faster payment = happier suppliers

  • Technological advances rolled out automatically = happier users

  • And much more.

What does this look like in reality?

Download the Total Economic Impact of Basware’s Purchase-to-Pay Cloud Solution to find out.

Or if you’re still considering how getting the latest software, leveraging the power of AI, data and superfinance could help you and need a bit of advice – get in touch. We’re happy to answer any questions you might have.