At Capgemini, we have reimagined our order-to-cash (O2C) products and solutions to incorporate intelligent automation, we are applying artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to our clients’ business processes, and we have evolved our framework to modernize team design. Yet, despite the rollout of our next-generation O2C solution, we haven’t forgotten to place equal weight on initiatives that improve process fundamentals.
Transformation isn’t just about the big initiatives or neat technology. Achieving better outcomes at a lower cost of service can be as simple as eliminating a step in a process, a redundant approval, or an audit phase. Transformation can even be delivered through turning on certain features in your existing technology.
Ask the right questions
To enhance your collections function, make sure you understand why invoices aren’t getting paid. Start by asking your customers whether they understand your invoices, and most importantly, whether they actually receive them?
Follow this by looking at your processes and teams. Is your process reactive or proactive? Do you have an early alert system, so your teams know when an invoice is returned or an email bounces? Do your teams have operational routines? Do they know how to escalate and to whom when things go wrong?
Then scrutinize your customer communication. Are your teams looking at the right transactions and having the right conversations with your customers? Can you track customer communications and team member emails? How are your teams communicating with your customers? Are the emails and calls effective? Is your cash applications process improving your customers experience, or driving your customers to the competition? Technology alone won’t get you there, you have to have the basics in place, and constantly remind your teams to adopt key activities to keep customer experience intact.
Get the basics right
As much as I preach about how blockchain is the future of O2C, I also ground myself in the knowledge that there are many ways to reshape a process or outcome in O2C. You don’t have to be a transformation expert to deliver great solutions within your organization, and transformation doesn’t have to be about a big investment or massive exercise up front.
Think realistically about your transformation journey, and envision which processes will change, and if automating, the impact of digital. Apply design thinking to imagine a better future, an improved process, or a simpler set of steps. Then use a transformation lens to make the process better. Don’t wait until you have every step of your transformation roadmap figured out to launch. De-risk your implementation approach be using sprints to deploy improvements. Focus on getting the fundamentals right before you think about digitizing and automating, to ensure you don’t automate bad or inefficient processes.
Be smart with your transformation
Although you have every right to get excited about the potential of implementing end-to-end automation in O2C, in reality you will always have a small core team that will need to focus on exceptions. There is no silver bullet that will get you to 100% process automation tomorrow. Poorly written emails or badly implemented cash applications technology isn’t going to make your customers love your brand – but neither is slick internal automation.
Be smart with your transformation, and make sure your plans are right for your organization and customers. Implement and fail fast. Be fluid with your transformation projects – they won’t all work as planned. Act quickly to rework projects when needed. Start your transformation journey today with a series of small steps – each one getting you closer to delivering frictionless operations with improved outcomes and an enhanced customer experience.
To learn more about how Capgemini’s next-generation O2C solution is designed around a “golden path” principle that can help you optimize your O2C processes, contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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Caroline Schneider has been delivering and designing O2C solutions for clients for over 20 years. She is passionate about delivering solutions to clients to maximize their working capital through technology, automation, and industrialized process design.