Digitization has become an integral part of everyday life for many people whether it’s their intent or not. Smartphones, smart homes, smart cameras, driverless cars, connected devices, The Internet of Things (IoT) has revolutionized nearly every aspect of how we function, and businesses are no different.
The adoption of digital technologies has been sluggish for some companies though. At a basic level, introducing automated invoicing to sales orders can make the process faster, yet many enterprises have been acting slowly when it comes to embracing modern technologies, preferring manual entries instead.
The business analysis firm Forrester put out a report in which the analyst Martin Gill said: “To survive and thrive in the age of the customer, businesses must become digital, As you face the growing reality that your customers, your touchpoints, your competitors, your suppliers and even your products are now digital, you must adapt to change.”
If digitization has kept companies in perpetual motion, inertia has kept them falling behind. Enterprises that still use manual processes in their business models are soon going to risk outright elimination from the market as technology-driven competitors grow by leaps and bounds.
Quote-to-Cash: the most painstaking process of them all
Quote-to-Cash is the end-to-end business process that connects the customer’s intention to buy to the generation of revenue encompassing sales, contract management and customer relationship lifecycle along the way.
Quote-to-cash is the most critical of all business processes
Quote-to-cash is integral for revenue growth and risk management. Traditionally, it has also been one of the most neglected and poorly managed processes. Many companies have different departments for managing quotes, contracts, and revenues instead of a single integrated solution. This compartmentalization leads to a massive waste of time and resources. With the emergence of Cloud ERPs, automated quote-to-cash processes have begun to drive revenues, reduce sales cycle times and have helped sales representatives close more deals.
Companies today are in the middle of a major transformation in the way they are acquiring, processing and acting on information. As companies adopt digital technologies, the historical data on past deals, contracts, revenue and procurement contracts offers a rich repository to draw insights from and predict trends. By leveraging this archived data with the help of analytics, companies can make highly informed decisions.
Companies that automate and streamline the quote-to-cash process have gained advantages in three primary areas: more precise advanced resource planning and revenue projections; more timely and accurate project accounting, which can increase the revenue and ultimately, higher service levels for customers, which drives satisfaction, loyalty, and repurchases.
Prediction has become simpler and easier:
With automated quote-to-cash processes, executives across the supply chain have greater transparency and visibility as to the status of orders. Planning for production and manufacturing of goods has also benefited from automated quote-to-cash processes as the accuracy of planning has improved over time. Companies can maximize the return on investment by executing well-planned strategies through automated quote-to-cash processes.
Despite their best efforts, most companies are not able to deliver an end-to-end service to their customers that can compete with popular consumer websites. Disconnected processes and systems are hampering the performance of companies. There is a huge opportunity for enterprises to transform the process from customer order to delivery and payment. The quote-to-cash process has a significant influence on the overall customer experience and a change in the process would be a gift to sales representatives and customers everywhere. Transformation of the process is a complex initiative but would unlock great benefits in the long run.