The entire Order-to-Cash process is a critical aspect of every business. In that respect, nothing has changed for centuries. With Order-to-Cash being such a significant driver for the business, it is in some ways surprising that a large proportion of companies are yet to centralize and optimize this process.
It is remarkable how centralizing the O2C process would not only overcome challenges regarding data & collections management but also boost efficiency and help organizations across get a global outlook.
Cargill is a team of 160,000 professionals spread over 70 countries drawing together the worlds of food, agriculture, nutrition, and risk management. With over 153 years of experience, Cargill is building towards a sustainable future with new technologies and insights.
Cargill had no specific method of operations in use. The processes involved differed from customer to customer. For each customer that Cargill would onboard, 400+ variations of processes were in operation.
A multitude of Oracle-based or SAP based instances existed which meant that one customer could have several different accounts on the ERP systems. To tackle and manage all the incoming data, Cargill had to employ 6500+ finance professionals dedicated solely to convert order-to-cash.
Cargill mapped the challenges they faced into six broad sectors. The sectors of improvement were:-
Cargill had no centralized team in action which led to discrepancies. With a retroactive approach and the absence of defined roles and responsibilities, the efficiency took a hit.
Cargill had 400+ process variations that produced an inability to have a global vision. Manual process handling affected time and resources negatively. Askew credit scoring models made assigning credits a tedious job.
Cargill had over 50 ERP systems that created difficulties in workflow approval. Scattered risk mitigation tools led to conflict in risk identification and resolution. More than 29 Oracle-based instances prompted uncertainty in master data.
With limited insights on customer payment trends, collections were difficult. and poor data monitoring led to inaccurate reporting. Moreover, Lack of standard data definitions harmed data-reliant solutions.
With 60+ organizational models dedicated to the same process, redundancies were not uncommon. Lack of structured communication between departments generated irregularities and hampered seamless maintenance.
With the absence of defined key metrics, it was difficult to get an overview of the operational health.
As mentioned earlier, the entire order-to-cash cycle at Cargill was disconnected and lacked a proper structure. Cargill operated with multiple instances within the ERP system. A client could have multiple accounts running in one or more sections in the ERP system. To rectify this, they implemented a series of ERP accelerators. These accelerators enabled centralization from ground level and facilitated a platform through which Cargill could manage all their businesses.
Some of them are Automated Banking, Collections & Dispute Management, Credit Management and VIM(Vendor Invoice Management). This promoted the FSCM(Financial Supply Chain Management) system to operate efficiently.
After implementation, Cargill now has a dedicated master database through which it can modify and review all of its business operations. They have a one-stop-shop which converts all their credit into cash smoothly.
Cargill mapped a detailed plan on what they wanted to achieve after implementing the solution. They had specific metrics through which they conducted an assessment.
Cargill had six broad sectors they wanted to optimize to fulfill their quest for an efficient credit-to-cash system. These sectors included:
A centralized team that could manage all the master data processes effectively.
A common process to sustain all the data transactions uniquely.
A single tool that enables data maintenance, workflow for approval and quality monitoring.
A consistent finance master data that could facilitate data monitoring.
A shareable network to connect all the enterprises.
A series of key metrics that can provide an overview of all of the conditions of the processes.
Moving forward, Cargill had a set of goals they wanted to accomplish:
While transforming the entire landscape of the O2C system could seem very intimidating, an inefficient O2C system is slowly but surely chipping away an organization’s operational efficiency.
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