Ideal Tech Stack for Real-TIme Visibility into Each Customer’s Performance


  • 360-degree visibility of customer is affected by siloed and manual operations
  • 25% of issues in the Order-to-Cash process can be avoided with better process visibility
  • Only 5% of companies have an understanding of how to leverage customer visibility for business success
  • When it comes to analyzing larger volumes of data, only relying on the ERP may lead to inefficiencies

Contents

Chapter 01

360-degree Visibility Over the Shared Service Centre Process is Crucial to Drive Business Success

Chapter 02

A 360-degree Customer View Makes the Relationship More Experiential Instead of Transactional

Chapter 03

What does the Ideal Tech Stack Look Like?
Chapter 01

360-degree Visibility Over the Shared Service Centre Process is Crucial to Drive Business Success


All global businesses face the challenge of having unified visibility over various processes and operations. Visibility is a key metric that can distinguish a best-in-class O2C process from the rest. Poor visibility can often cost dearly, resulting in slow cycle times, information silos, and impeded cash flow management. Decision-makers such as CFOs/CXOs constantly seek visibility in real-time across key O2C parameters to generate valuable and actionable insights for the core business. For example, visibility into working capital, estimated cash flow or business line/product line, and receivables status for different customer segments (segregated by geography).

Case Study: The AB InBev AI-driven Success
HighRadius | eBook
Homer from Uber highlights that analyzing information manually from different lines of business is a time-consuming process as it requires data sourcing, normalizing, and consolidating of information. It affects the 360-degree view of customers because manually processing information requires time, which reduces the time to analyze the information and make business decisions.

According to Tammy from Martin Marietta, to avoid audit issues, it is important to have visibility over a standardized set of credit criteria applied across credit divisions. Also, in the collections process, it is important to have visibility over the process to ensure that the collections team is contacting the right set of companies at the right point of time. In the billing process, it is important to have visibility over billing timelines for daily billing.

According to Moustapha from BMS, visibility is required on the entire credit model. BMS looks for agility, speed, and efficiency from the invoicing, cash application, credit management, and risk management processes. The overall credit model requires an overall picture of customers to evaluate their creditworthiness. A working cash application model
360-degree Visibility Over the SSC Process is Crucial to Drive  Business Success

and an inactive credit evaluation system will provide an incomplete picture of customers and result in an inaccurate and indistinct assessment.

Why Complete Visibility is Important?

360-degree Visibility Over the SSC Process is Crucial to Drive  Business Success

How real-time visibility can fulfill O2C demand at the individual process level

There are five key aspects of an O2C SSC that can greatly benefit from increased visibility:

  • Data Management: Integrated platforms with better visibility ensure the reduction of information silos by consolidating all relevant data and activities on a single platform. As a result, users across platforms can have access to the same and updated information. This can generate efficiencies, including:
  • Centralization of data at a single location so that relevant information, including sales orders, invoices, proof-of-delivery documents, packing slips, and remittances can be tracked on a single screen without physically searching for information on paper
  • Integration of multiple systems enables easier access to information without the need to connect to individual ERPs
  • Instant access to remit the information
  • Improved workflow by integrating with email to enable professionals outside the SSC to manage transactions directly from their inbox, keeping accounts payable and accounts receivable business processes on track
  • Cash Management: Real-time visibility makes the cash management system better and efficient in multiple ways:
  • Ensures accurate projections of incoming and outgoing cash flow
  • Guarantees availability of the information on upcoming liabilities in advance
  • Reduces revenue leakage by enabling instant corrective action and lowering write-offs
HighRadius | eBook
  • Time Management: In O2C, almost one-fourth of the
    effort and time goes into resolving disputes that could be easily avoided with better visibility. Reduced cycle time is one of the most sought out parameters to measure the success of O2C processes. Real-time visibility makes it possible by:
  • Making it easy for SSCs to take corrective actions instantly for any dispute in the O2C cycle
  • Enabling managers to quickly identify bottlenecks and remove process inefficiencies without delay through tools to track and monitor employees’ workload, and the time spent on processing transactions
  • Making query resolution faster by providing O2C analysts support in viewing the status of invoices or incoming payments
  • Integrating and normalizing data such as PO numbers, quantities, item numbers, and prices, from ERP directly, thus, eliminating the time-consuming manual data entry
  • Audit and Quality Management: Real-time visibility ensures that processes are consistent, streamlined, and compliant to reduce process-wide variance and associated risks. Some of the benefits include:
  • Handling the complete audit trail for every touchpoint invoice or payment journey, maintaining accountability and security throughout the process
  • Identifying missing documents required for audit, thereby reducing the chances of penalties
  • Ensuring that clear and systematic bifurcation of responsibilities is followed
  • Decision Management: End-to-end visibility provides consolidated insights from relevant documents and data. This enables O2C analysts to make more informed decisions. Some examples include:
  • One-click aggregation of all information related to orders, purchase orders, invoices, packing slips, and remittances from any source
  • SSC staff looking at a transaction in the ERP can immediately pull up not just the related invoice, but the packing slip, check image, and any other notes and documentation related to that transaction, all on one screen
  • Enabling AR analysts to assess credit worthiness of customers with available data easily

Thus, better visibility provides significant business value to SSCs to drive success on multiple fronts. Enterprise integrated platforms improve the quality and speed of decision-making by providing 360-degree visibility at the process, as well as individual levels, resulting in improved customer experience, engagement, and satisfaction.

360-degree Visibility Over the SSC Process is Crucial to Drive  Business Success
Chapter 02

A 360-degree Customer View Makes the Relationship More Experiential Instead of Transactional


360-degree Visibility Over the SSC Process is Crucial to Drive  Business Success

A 360-degree Customer View Makes the Relationship More  Experiential Instead of Transactional
Real-time visibility combined with advanced analytics and an enterprise-wide integrated O2C platform can be a winning asset, owing to the volume and variety of customer data that O2C generates. But less than 10% of companies15 understand how to use a 360-degree view for growth, and only 5% can use it to grow their businesses systemically. It is important that organizations understand the what, why, and how of the 360-degree view of customers.

What does 360-degree view of customer mean

  • Centralized Data of Customers: A 360-degree view of customers provides access to customers’ information including their historical, current, and predicted payment behavior across geographies and business verticals on a single platform. Besides basic contact information, it even offers information on customers’ customers. Two key aspects related to customer visibility are:
  • Process-wide Visibility of Customers: Customer data from individual processes and systems such as credit detail, purchase behavior, and product usage statistics are available on a single platform
  • Enterprise-wide Visibility of Customers: Customer information from disparate IT systems and ERPs from different geographies and verticals is centralized. For instance, information on different business locations of a global corporation may be lying in different systems. The 360-degree view would enable integration and centralization of this data in one system
  • Dynamic Updates: 360-degree view enables organizations to track the defined customer performance KPIs such as total cleared invoices, average days beyond the term to pay, payments by days late on a real-time basis
  • Ability to Click on a Screen and Drill Down to Subsequent Details: 360-degree also enables users or decision-makers to drill down information on existing dashboards with a single-click system. For instance, organizations need to find out the outstanding cash and a 360-degree view can provide that
  • Insights Delivered with Advanced Analytics: A 360-degree view would enable organizations that have acquired holistic data sharing and integration capabilities to generate process-relevant insights with the help of advanced analytics tools
  • Data from each O2C step can be used for advanced customer level reporting. For example, collection data can be used for aging analysis and P2P forecasting, invoice and billing data for dispute analysis, cash application data for hit rate analysis, and credit to develop a customer risk portfolio

Why a 360-degree view of customer is needed

  • Enhanced Customer Service and Experience: Complete visibility over customers helps to prioritize them based on their cash application status. For instance, following up with a customer who has paid up might lead to a negative customer experience. Therefore, collections teams should have real-time information on the credit due of customers, which would help them to prioritize defaulters
  • Customer Intelligence: Organizations could personalize the entire process and make it less prone to errors by acquiring a holistic view of customers and access to their payment behavior and preferences. For instance, invoices would be sent at the opportune time and organizations would effectively communicate with customers to secure payments on time
  • Identifying Customer Risk: 360-degree view helps organizations to assess the risk a customer poses in terms of payment delay or credit overdue. Organizations can deprioritize low-risk customers, and save time and resources for high-risk customers

How to achieve a 360-degree view

For designing a system with a 360-degree view, businesses need to identify key customer data assets such as customer master data and touchpoints to obtain relevant non-master data, and then supplement it with a robust tech stack. According to Moustapha from BMS, having the right tech stack is imperative for global visibility. With data residing across resources, it becomes a challenge to source the required information on a real-time basis.

Next section provides the outline for an ideal tech stack that enables a 360-degree view of customers and the overall O2C process.

Chapter 03

What does the Ideal Tech Stack Look Like?


Linda from Uber believes that ERP is at the core of the tech stack. It is required to integrate all the data processed across systems and transfer them back to the ERP system. It is essential to integrate ERP with third-party cloud solutions to manage workflows. Uber uses an inhouse order management system, along with outsourced ERP systems. Above this, it has integrated third-party cloud systems to manage its other O2C workflows. Thus, information is pulled from order management systems by the ERP and specific information is shared with third-party systems. For example, aging data is pulled from the ERP and shared with third-party systems to process the profit class credit checks and manage cash applications and collections. This type of integration also helps Uber in having a 360-degree view of the customer.

What does the Ideal Tech Stack Look Like?
When it comes to analyzing large volumes of data, only relying on the ERP may lead to manual efforts. Uber leverages a third-party solution to drive efficiency and manage the volume of data for business segments that have larger A/R. For reporting of data, several parameters need to be analyzed and customized to provide business insights. The solution is analytics-based insights for its cash and collections processes, such as pending payments and payments processed. All the information is synchronized with its in-house or a centralized system.
Despite having a clear understanding of the importance of global visibility, several large organizations run accounts receivable, accounts payables, and inventory in silos either due to disparate IT systems, lack of integrated tools, or M&A complexities. While it is not easy for businesses to achieve end-to-end visibility in one go, it is possible to gradually improve the extent of visibility by considering the following when building the tech stack:
What does the Ideal Tech Stack Look Like?
  • Integrated Platform: Ideally, the system should work well with mainstream, as well as legacy ERP systems as a prerequisite to end-to-end integration of O2C processes. It should be easily integrable with on-premises and cloud-based systems, providing a top layer over the entire stack
  • Single Data Entry Point: It is important to have a single sign-on to make changes in the system, such as updating billing address of customers or making corrections in invoicing that gets updated in all systems simultaneously. It would ensure the availability of data in real time. According to Homer, Uber is working on a self-service dashboard that could provide real-time reporting of the operations and have a data integration that is updated daily
  • Analytics: Digitized and centrally stored information is valuable only if it could be analyzed to generate insights on various business aspects. Ideal tech stack would certainly include advanced analytics tools with predictive capabilities
  • Reporting: A dynamic dashboard is needed instead of static reporting, with an analytical system for consuming and analyzing all the data in one go and reporting it via an easy-to-consume dashboard without the need for customization. Homer from Uber states that there are a lot of performance
What does the Ideal Tech Stack Look Like?
metrics such as day sales outstanding, average days to pay, aging balance by due days, number of accounts suspended, and the predicative forecast for bad debt where visibility is required daily. Integration of data with dashboarding capabilities not only reduces the report generating effort but also allows a better read on all these parameters. This improves the speed of decision-making as all relevant stakeholders get real-time access to easily consumable information

What does the Ideal Tech Stack Look Like?

The above eBook was just a glimpse out of an extensive Thought Leadership Whitepaper titled:

Future of Shared Service Centers for Order-to-Cash

Key Highlights of the Whitepaper

  • SSCs for O2C have evolved to become a part of the core business operations and play a critical role in the overall digital transformation of businesses.
  • 70% of digital transformations fail due to lack of discipline, visibility and tracking of business outcomes and KPIs.
  • The best-in-class approach includes adopting digitization as a part of the DNA with continuous improvement and benchmarking.
  • RPA was good while it lasted but the next generation technology is AI-native.
  • Cloud-based integrated O2C platforms are digitally transforming SSCs.

Download the complete Whitepaper

Valuable Insights from:

Uber

Linda Lei

GPO of Customer Payments, Deductions, and Credit at Uber
Uber

Homer Smith

GPO of Billing, Credit, and Collections at Uber

Moustapha Ould Ibn Mogdad

Market Focal Point Manager, GBFS Canada, OTC at Bristol-Myers Squibb

Bryan DeGraw

Associate Principal, Finance Advisory Services, The Hackett Group

Tammy Lindorf

Director of Shared Services, at Martin Marietta

Tony Saldhana

Former P&G Executive, GBS Expert and Author of ‘Why Digital Transformations Fail’
Chapter 01

360-degree Visibility Over the Shared Service Centre Process is Crucial to Drive Business Success


All global businesses face the challenge of having unified visibility over various processes and operations. Visibility is a key metric that can distinguish a best-in-class O2C process from the rest. Poor visibility can often cost dearly, resulting in slow cycle times, information silos, and impeded cash flow management. Decision-makers such as CFOs/CXOs constantly seek visibility in real-time across key O2C parameters to generate valuable and actionable insights for the core business. For example, visibility into working capital, estimated cash flow or business line/product line, and receivables status for different customer segments (segregated by geography).

Case Study: The AB InBev AI-driven Success
HighRadius | eBook
Homer from Uber highlights that analyzing information manually from different lines of business is a time-consuming process as it requires data sourcing, normalizing, and consolidating of information. It affects the 360-degree view of customers because manually processing information requires time, which reduces the time to analyze the information and make business decisions.

According to Tammy from Martin Marietta, to avoid audit issues, it is important to have visibility over a standardized set of credit criteria applied across credit divisions. Also, in the collections process, it is important to have visibility over the process to ensure that the collections team is contacting the right set of companies at the right point of time. In the billing process, it is important to have visibility over billing timelines for daily billing.

According to Moustapha from BMS, visibility is required on the entire credit model. BMS looks for agility, speed, and efficiency from the invoicing, cash application, credit management, and risk management processes. The overall credit model requires an overall picture of customers to evaluate their creditworthiness. A working cash application model
360-degree Visibility Over the SSC Process is Crucial to Drive  Business Success

and an inactive credit evaluation system will provide an incomplete picture of customers and result in an inaccurate and indistinct assessment.

Why Complete Visibility is Important?

360-degree Visibility Over the SSC Process is Crucial to Drive  Business Success

How real-time visibility can fulfill O2C demand at the individual process level

There are five key aspects of an O2C SSC that can greatly benefit from increased visibility:

  • Data Management: Integrated platforms with better visibility ensure the reduction of information silos by consolidating all relevant data and activities on a single platform. As a result, users across platforms can have access to the same and updated information. This can generate efficiencies, including:
  • Centralization of data at a single location so that relevant information, including sales orders, invoices, proof-of-delivery documents, packing slips, and remittances can be tracked on a single screen without physically searching for information on paper
  • Integration of multiple systems enables easier access to information without the need to connect to individual ERPs
  • Instant access to remit the information
  • Improved workflow by integrating with email to enable professionals outside the SSC to manage transactions directly from their inbox, keeping accounts payable and accounts receivable business processes on track
  • Cash Management: Real-time visibility makes the cash management system better and efficient in multiple ways:
  • Ensures accurate projections of incoming and outgoing cash flow
  • Guarantees availability of the information on upcoming liabilities in advance
  • Reduces revenue leakage by enabling instant corrective action and lowering write-offs
HighRadius | eBook
  • Time Management: In O2C, almost one-fourth of the
    effort and time goes into resolving disputes that could be easily avoided with better visibility. Reduced cycle time is one of the most sought out parameters to measure the success of O2C processes. Real-time visibility makes it possible by:
  • Making it easy for SSCs to take corrective actions instantly for any dispute in the O2C cycle
  • Enabling managers to quickly identify bottlenecks and remove process inefficiencies without delay through tools to track and monitor employees’ workload, and the time spent on processing transactions
  • Making query resolution faster by providing O2C analysts support in viewing the status of invoices or incoming payments
  • Integrating and normalizing data such as PO numbers, quantities, item numbers, and prices, from ERP directly, thus, eliminating the time-consuming manual data entry
  • Audit and Quality Management: Real-time visibility ensures that processes are consistent, streamlined, and compliant to reduce process-wide variance and associated risks. Some of the benefits include:
  • Handling the complete audit trail for every touchpoint invoice or payment journey, maintaining accountability and security throughout the process
  • Identifying missing documents required for audit, thereby reducing the chances of penalties
  • Ensuring that clear and systematic bifurcation of responsibilities is followed
  • Decision Management: End-to-end visibility provides consolidated insights from relevant documents and data. This enables O2C analysts to make more informed decisions. Some examples include:
  • One-click aggregation of all information related to orders, purchase orders, invoices, packing slips, and remittances from any source
  • SSC staff looking at a transaction in the ERP can immediately pull up not just the related invoice, but the packing slip, check image, and any other notes and documentation related to that transaction, all on one screen
  • Enabling AR analysts to assess credit worthiness of customers with available data easily

Thus, better visibility provides significant business value to SSCs to drive success on multiple fronts. Enterprise integrated platforms improve the quality and speed of decision-making by providing 360-degree visibility at the process, as well as individual levels, resulting in improved customer experience, engagement, and satisfaction.

360-degree Visibility Over the SSC Process is Crucial to Drive  Business Success

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HighRadius Integrated 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. Integrated 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.