Financial processes are an integral part of an organization. They touch every aspect and generate huge amounts of data, with the potential to identify performance issues, predict future scenarios and change business outcomes.
How do you know if your existing O2C solution is delivering sufficiently high rates of automation to unlock this potential? Are you leveraging the necessary data and knowledge to make a significant impact on business decisions and performance?
End-to-end automation in the O2C cycle is key to improving business performance, but knowing exactly which financial processes to automate, and which technologies are most suitable, are vital parts to understanding whether you are delivering value.
There are lots of vendors that claim to deliver full, end-to-end automation. But look at it from the customer point of view and what you find is that many organizations end up implementing siloed, disparate process automation that delivers efficiency gains but little or no scalability.
Trying to integrate multiple technologies which are not designed to work together – often thrown together through legacy acquisitions is also a common challenge for finance teams. This lack of integration limits the extent that customer service, sales, and AR can collaborate to positively impact the customer experience.
Evaluating your digital transformation goals, KPI’s and revisiting internal processes regularly are the first steps to assessing how far you have come on your automation journey.
The next step is ensuring you have a truly integrated order and cash management solution which provides full visibility of the entire O2C process so KPIs can be modified, and new processes can be easily added and optimized to impact business performance.
If some of these processes are still manual, lengthy, and error-prone, you may not be recognizing the true value of end-to-end automation, even though this was promised to you by the vendor.
Are you able to quickly access supplier records and customer information with your current solution? Is decision-making easy given the data you are presented with? Many organizations claiming full automation still struggle to manage multiple invoices in their ERP tool which causes huge challenges when disputes are raised, or multiple currencies exist. Often customer info is also stored in multiple locations, making response times slow and customers more likely to detract based on poor customer service.
Leveraging a single platform to automate financial processes and manage the entire order to cash cycle quickly increases productivity, enhances cash flow, and makes it easier for clients to do business with you. Insightful dashboards keep you up to date with crucial metrics that help make accurate decisions and give you the ability to quickly change course if needed.
Most O2C vendors claim to have AI, but if you look beneath the surface, few are leveraging this engine to drive business improvement and client satisfaction across the organization. Similar to environmental factors now influencing our car purchasing decisions, the pandemic has dramatically changed the way people buy and do business. Organizations must adapt to these changing needs or simply face being left behind.
By Leveraging AI to increase efficiency, finance teams can predict the likelihood of disputes, payment delays and provide integration with customer and carrier websites. Deduction validity scores can be easily generated, and agile organizations can leverage data to quickly react to changing customer buyer behavior and the introduction of new technologies.
1. Are we providing the best quality customer service – how long does it take to respond to a query? Are we able to maximize offerings for individual customer needs?
2. Do we offer automated invoicing for faster, more accurate processing of payments?
3. Can we predict disputes and late payments before they even arise?
4. How quickly do we onboard new suppliers or even new employees?
5. Are we running any operational improvement programs?
6. How are we managing data to optimize the customer experience in Finance and other areas of the business?
7. Are we ensuring an optimum user experience (for both user and/or customer)? Ask yourself and stakeholders, is the system efficient? For example, can you use the fewest clicks to generate a promised payment?
Automation is the key to crushing complexity and tools that consistently deliver high automation rates can improve a credit and collections team’s productivity by over 40%, enabling teams to focus on other high-value items that impact decision making and improve business performance.
If you are not seeing these improvement rates or benefits, it is time to re-evaluate your purchase or book an ROI assessment to ensure you are getting the most out of your existing investment and delivering the value that true automation can bring to the organization.
Examples of how companies reached the chequered flag on the O2C automation journey.
Dr Pepper Snapple Group achieved 80% A/R process automation by incorporating continuous improvement
Benefits Dr Pepper achieved:
1. $2.5M reduction in annual finance service costs through automation
2. 40% improvement in collector productivity
3. 50% reallocation of FTEs to other processes
Starbucks achieved 72% zero-touch
Using cash application automation, Starbucks reaped rich rewards by automating 72% of their line items and processing 77% of their payments automatically.
“Cash application automation helped us achieve our targets of scaling accounts receivable operations to meet the business growth. Using this technology, we successfully faced the operational challenges related to the labor-intensive, manual process of capturing customer remittance details, the absence of remittance and multiple accounts for each customer. With automation applied across the entire cash application process, we have seen an improvement in team productivity and efficiency” – Director, Customer Financial Service
HighRadius Autonomous Receivables Software Platform is the world’s only end-to-end accounts receivable software platform to lower DSO and bad-debt, automate cash posting, speed-up collections, and dispute resolution, and improve team productivity. It leverages RivanaTM Artificial Intelligence for Accounts Receivable to convert receivables faster and more effectively by using machine learning for accurate decision making across both credit and receivable processes and also enables suppliers to digitally connect with buyers via the radiusOneTM network, closing the loop from the supplier accounts receivable process to the buyer accounts payable process. Autonomous Receivables have been divided into 6 distinct applications: Credit Software, EIPP Software, Cash Application Software, Deductions Software, Collections Software, and ERP Payment Gateway – covering the entire gamut of credit-to-cash.