In many organizations, there is a ton of pressure to improve the order to cash process; however, many departments don’t know how to make this change happen. Aberdeen, a market intelligence company, researched this topic and came up with some best in class techniques for order to cash improvement. In this article, we’ve compiled the techniques for you to help take your organization’s order to cash process to the next level.
BEST IN CLASS TECHNIQUES FOR ORDER TO CASH IMPROVEMENT
AUTOMATING ADMINISTRATIVE TASKS
69% of best in class companies are focused on streamlining administrative processes to remove non-value added steps. Which steps are they focused on? There are many processes that can be sped up with automation all along the order to cash process, such as:
- Sales order processing and management
- Credit management
- Invoice collection
- Cash application
SENDING ELECTRONIC INVOICES
47% of best in class companies are focused on increasing the usage of electronic invoicing to speed up the order to cash process. How? Because electronic invoices are sent to the customer instantly; no more waiting two days on either end to get the invoice to the customer and receive payment. Further, many of your customers may prefer electronic invoices, so providing them with that option can help you get paid before their other vendors, increase customer satisfaction, and help you reduce days sales outstanding (DSO).
AUTOMATING ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE
34% of best in class organizations are investing in A/R automation. While this may not be as popular a choice as the first two topics, accounts receivable automation is becoming more and more popular among businesses of all shapes and sizes. As the order to cash cycle becomes more important, companies are realizing the true impact of accounts receivable on their cycle time and how automation can help them collect the money they are owed faster. Accounts receivable automation software allows companies to centralize all of their accounts receivable information and activities in one system and allows users to automate their most time consuming tasks with features that allow them too:
- Scheduling phone-calls
- Sending payment reminders and overdue notices
- Prioritizing collector activities
- Archiving customer email responses
- See real-time accounts receivable metrics
- More accurately forecast cash
- Better identify and manage credit risk
- Enable online customer payment via credit card or ACH
- Make smarter, more strategic decisions about selling on credit
- Settle disputes faster
RE-EVALUATING CREDIT POLICIES
Any company who sells on credit should absolutely focus on a creating and maintaining a credit policy to provide an organized and repeatable philosophy on selling on the rules, regulations and procedures to manage daily operations. According to the research from Aberdeen, 21% of best in class companies are making adjustments to their current credit policies to minimize outstanding A/R and bad debt.
The goal for a Credit Plan is to clearly define these elements so that sales and collections employees conform to documented steps and procedures designed to optimize your resources, reduce credit risk, and improve overall cash flow.
There are a number of different factors to consider and guidelines to include for an effective policy that your employees will actually follow. Check out this guide we have develop to help you create a world class policy, or make changes to your current policy that will help you serve your customers better, protect your finances and get paid faster.