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Your order-to-cash process is one of the most critical functions at your organisation, the part of your business that turns products and services into revenue. An ideal order-to-cash process is cost-effective, resource-efficient, quickly converts orders into revenue and cash, and fosters good customer experience and relationships.
Many businesses have previously pursued process mapping, process mining, and task mining to optimise their order-to-cash process. Using these established tools, companies have gained an understanding of their order-to-cash process, collected some of the process’s most critical data points, and eliminated process variation. Many process analysts may also look to advanced technologies, such as robotic process automation (RPA), to maximise process effectiveness.
The complexity of the order-to-cash process
Order-to-cash is one of the most intricate general and administrative (G&A) processes, comprising, on average, about 1-3% of revenue, not a minor deal. Moreover, order-to-cash covers breadth across a business, crossing silos such as commercial, legal and, of course, sales and customer service. Therefore, utilising order-to-cash process improvement tools that combine data across these silos is the key to conquering this complex process.
As B2B businesses adapt to newer business models, such as subscription-based SaaS products or new eCommerce platforms, strains and inefficiencies are more nuanced than ever. With the COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical tensions and subsequent supply chain challenges, communicating and regulating price changes has become increasingly difficult to manage throughout the order-to-cash cycle. Supply chain difficulties filter down the cycle to delivery estimates, making it difficult to track and communicate delivery estimates across large businesses and to their customers, risking fracturing the order-to-cash process. Imagine a large hardware company with over 500,000 weekly orders. Due to price discrepancies, price changes and poor communication, the order-to-cash process can easily crumble, damaging a business's reputation.
Order-to-cash cycle transformation can enable a business to achieve its strategic objectives more efficiently and cost-effectively, subsequently fuelling faster growth. Shorter-term benefits include increased efficiency, decreased bottlenecks, and increased customer satisfaction. In addition, with every touchpoint across the order-to-cash cycle acting as an opportunity to improve customer experience and the desire to create a seamless order experience, order-to-cash transformation is essential in meeting KPIs.
Unlocking value with order-to-cash process simulation
Encouraging news is that businesses no longer have to rely on anecdotal evidence when analysing their order-to-cash processes. Instead, advanced order-to-cash software can feed real-time data from ERP systems to simulate, model and analyse the process.
Proper modelling and monitoring of the order-to-cash process allows you to analyse the process across your business effectively and see how variables are linked to find the culprit of your inefficiencies. Telecommunications companies have reaped the benefits of Business Process Simulation (BPS) tools by unlocking value and efficiencies in their order-to-cash process through cost optimisation measures, revealing over £70 million in revenue.
Contemporary order-to-cash challenges require cross-functional alignment across increasingly complex business structures to identify, for example, where to deploy automation. Leveraging the insights that have already been developed through process mapping and process mining, companies can utilise Business Process Simulation to build forward-looking views of their order-to-cash process and experiment with and optimise potential improvements.
Business Process Simulation provides the foundation for building Digital Twins of the Enterprise (DTE) by connecting each order-to-cash process to live data and connecting multiple parts of the business to improve decision-making. Digital Twins are computer models that test decision-making in a safe environment before taking action in the real world.
Using BPS, your organisation can effectively establish where to deploy optimisations such as robotic process automation (RPA). For example, our BPS Twins of your order-to-cash process can identify where backlogs will occur and which teams have insufficient capacity.
Optimise your order-to-cash process
Silico can develop a Digital Twin of your order-to-cash process based on existing resources and take your process transformation and operational decision-making to the next level. Uniquely, Silico can connect changes to processes to financial outcomes; for example, potential transformation initiatives can be connected straight into a cash flow model showing projects' ROI over time.