Digital is disrupting traditional order to cash, helping it to be:
Robotics can not only enable automation of step by step activities but also help solve complex cases based on historical patterns across multiple complex data sources (i.e., unstructured text, speech recognition and video data). Automation helps reduce errors and time to completion as well as operating costs. In the order to cash process flow, achieving a +90 percent rate of “untouched perfect orders” (i.e., without any manual intervention) should be a reasonable target in the near future.
By generating insights through robust analytics capabilities, companies are better able to predict customer issues. A digital control tower can provide information about imminent out of stock situations that can lead to lost sales. Collections functions can gain insights about future customer payments. These predictive capabilities help order to cash functions to proactively identify potential issues and mitigate their impact resulting in improved service and business outcomes.
Another advanced capability is digital sales orders. Many companies wait for the salesforce or customers to place the order. However, leading companies use predictive analytics combined with online store data and internal marketing insights to automatically generate sales orders. This contributes to greater on-shelf-availability and realized sales at a lower operating cost.
A leading global consumer goods company with businesses in multiple categories had a large, decentralized and costly order to cash organization. Accenture helped transform the global operating model and, within two years, operating costs decreased by 20 percent and customer overdue debt decreased by 10+ percent. Additionally, the company has gone from poor customer service ratings to now being recognized for good customer service.
Despite companies’ efforts, many commercial investments have little or an unknown impact on generating demand. For example, for consumer goods companies, trade promotions and trade terms are well-known challenges, and transactional driven traditional approaches only partially solve the issue. A connected approach enables a new revenue growth management capability to holistically optimize company commercial investments (i.e., promotions, price, trade terms and product portfolio). This further connects commercial and marketing processes and can help increase profits.
At a Global Scale
Global companies require global order to cash operations that adequately support their expansions plans both through entering new countries and through acquisitions. Standardization is key; however, “one size does not fit all.” Accenture helped one multinational company with products in multiple categories to create and deploy a global order to cash model. To address the diverse requirements, Accenture defined three archetypes into which each of the 101 countries fit.