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Three actions for business

Ian Smith, Finance Director at Blisworth-based Invu Services, looks back on 2019 and considers a number of emerging trends that may impact businesses unless they take action in 2020.


UNCERTAINTY is often blamed for business failure, yet in 80 per cent of cases, insolvency practitioners point to poor working capital management as the root cause.

There has been a rising trend of insolvencies reported in Q3 2019 (4,355 insolvencies) per National Statistics at Gov.uk. Additionally, and more anecdotally, there have been some high-profile companies facing cash flow problems during 2019, including Eddie Stobart, Pizza Express and Thomas Cook. These demonstrate the need for all businesses to take stock of their working capital management in 2020.

Knowing what data you have, who has access to it and how it is used is becoming a critical success factor. This is particularly true of personal data, which provides those with the rights to use it considerable competitive advantage. This data can be a significant liability if there is a failure to comply with the requirements of the GDPR. Recent research by Invu suggests that although 81 per cent of businesses are aware of the requirements, less than half (43 per cent) have actually made changes to help them comply. In 2020, each business needs to review the data it holds to extract competitive advantage and ensure it is properly managed, secured and controlled.

In 2019, businesses that adopted process automation and artificial intelligence are performing an average of 11.5 per cent better than those that did not, per Microsoft. This is up from five per cent last year. In 2020, this gap will continue to widen. Each business needs to perform a pragmatic review of business processes and identify those areas where it can take advantage of business process automation and artificial intelligence.

Invu offers software solutions that can help you manage your working capital, control your data and automate your business processes. Visit www.invu.net to learn more about how to create success in 2020 and beyond.

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