Like many other field specialists, supply chain professionals can be guilty of prioritising their own work above others – creating data silos.
Information within these silos may be organised, but looking at them from an enterprise-level can leave one feeling overwhelmed, resulting in poorly optimised processes that aren’t working at total productivity.
This is incredibly relevant when examining your Order to Cash process (O2C). O2C spans the lifecycle of an order – from creation to receipt to delivery. It’s become increasingly important to remove barriers that slow this process down. A supply chain is a pillar of this process, and working better with other departments to better synchronise can have a transformative effect on the button line.
So how can this be optimised?
Automated order management
Order management is the first touchpoint in customer interaction. Without accuracy from the off, time can be wasted correcting order entry errors. These input errors often have a knock-on effect, messing up inventory management and logistical information, which is as frustrating to the seller as it is to the customer.
Furthermore, order input accuracy can hamper the accounting end of the O2C cycle. When data is incorrect at the front, it’s difficult for accounts to reconcile invoices with customers at the back end.
A successful organisation increases the collaboration between the order and payment sides of the process to reduce errors or identify them before it’s too late.
Not collaborating ruins efficiency. It means more manual work during the O2C cycle, which, as a by-product, opens up room for mistakes to be made with the lack of translation between departments (or silos).
By introducing automated order management governed by preset business rules, you’re naturally improving communications and collaboration between all ends of the O2C cycle, including warehousing and logistics.
Cloud and mobile technology intervention
By moving more processes to the cloud, and making them accessible anywhere – information can be shared faster and more accurately, improving opportunities for collaboration and removing another silo.
Cloud-enabled processes also add increased data security, better access to data, shorter cycle times, and lowered process costs. However, there are still many customers OmPrompt speaks to every day with processes determined by someone needing to be at a particular location for it to work.
The pandemic has revealed many ways organisations can increase efficiency and drive down costs. Those who allow for widespread mobile access through the cloud require fewer full-time employees along the O2C cycle.
Taking your first automation steps
Taking and processing customer orders and then invoicing and collecting those orders are the foundation of a business. The O2C process establishes a customer’s perception and also directly affects the bottom line.
While the supply chain is only a part of the process- those working along the chain need to ensure data is un-siloed and accessible to all relevant parties.
Establishing an effective O2C cycle means standardising processes and working on systems that enable better data accessibility. The most natural step to do this is via automated processes, and organisations that succeed are those that can automate as much of the O2C cycle as possible.
The point of an automated process is reducing cost and time. For sales orders, ensuring accuracy means lowered operational expenditure and more working capital. It allows employees to focus their time on value-added activities instead of repetitive data entry that’s prone to errors.
Automation along the O2C cycle also unlocks more operational agility and strategic visibility. When the process is looked at as a chain of interconnected activities working towards an end goal, you can see oversight and recognise areas to improve coordination between teams, where customers are being left out and what silos can be enhanced or dissolved entirely.
With OmPrompt now acquired by Elemica, there’s no limit on the automation potential that can be introduced to your supply chain. From order management to logistics, to P2P and, of course, O2C – the time is now to completely revolutionise the way you do business in 2021 and beyond.