The importance of technology in companies’ order to cash processes, to save money and sell safely

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Order to cash, also called OTC or O2C, is the process that encompasses the set of commercial stages that occur in the company from the time a sales order is issued until it is finalised, i.e. the customer receives the product or service and the company receives the agreed price. The OTC goes through the complete product cycle in the logistic chain, but also from a financial point of view. The collection cycle from the moment the customer is admitted until the debt is collected.

In addition, it even involves other areas of the business such as finance or accounting.

Traditionally, these processes have always been managed manually, which requires high administrative capacity, high efficiency and, consequently, a global vision to be able to deal with any problem or setback that may arise. In recent times, however, technology has completely revolutionised this system, bringing important changes and advantages.

The importance of OTC automation for efficiency gains

Recently, platforms and applications have emerged that have made great strides in automating the order-to-cash process. Digitising this process will allow you to optimise cash flow and improve customer satisfaction. These solutions integrate people and processes and cover the entire cycle. This makes it easy for you to maximise profitability and thrive in your business environment.

These tools enable you to accelerate collection and revenue recognition by automating and connecting siloed processes. They provide visibility, fluidity and speed throughout the end-to-end O2C cycle. So you can drive positive growth in all areas of your business. You can transform your performance targets, keep your people motivated and your customers happy.

Platforms and applications to automate and digitise OTC processes, based on artificial intelligence, also increase efficiency in everyday tasks such as order processing, customer credit checks or document retrieval. This will give you a competitive advantage that will enable you to differentiate and stand out from your competitors.

Artificial intelligence at your service

AI, in short, is a branch or discipline that has contributed to accelerating the digital transformation of these OTC processes. Thanks to it, it is possible to intelligently process the data sets that have to be handled in these cases.

The algorithms that come into play, such as natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML), have a very positive effect on these processes, which are carried out through standardised and repetitive actions. They allow you to optimise these tasks, which, according to Forbes, can increase the productivity of your business by up to 40%.

AI technologies, likewise, make it easier to perfectly prioritise and structure content, as well as carry out predictive analytics that allow us to anticipate all kinds of situations that may cause a setback or that are unexpected.

Thanks to these algorithms, you have the possibility of accessing all the collected information you need with a single click, as well as carrying out qualitative analyses. This includes, for example, invoices issued, receipts, bank statements, cash flows, balance sheets…

Advantages in customer experience management

AI-based applications and platforms for order-to-cash automation also bring numerous benefits in terms of customer experience management. Among the most important of these are the following:

Accelerated processing times in customer service and accounts receivable.
Efficient credit and collection management.
Optimisation of the treatment and response to customer queries and doubts.
Shared dashboards and KPIs that facilitate decision making, as they are properly informed and documented.
Improved organisation of documents (orders, invoices, confirmations, payments, bank statements), which has an impact on the optimisation of O2C management.

All these advantages, which can be summarised in the automation and simplification of routine tasks, will allow you to free up your team so that they can spend their time and efforts on other activities that contribute to the expansion and growth of your company.

Main features of OTC automation tools

A wide variety of technological solutions applied to OTC automation can be found on the market. Most of these tools share a number of characteristics:

They facilitate the electronic exchange of all types of documents.
They integrate seamlessly with your ERP software and allow you to customise your workflows.
Multi-device and cloud-based, allowing you to access your information whenever and wherever you need it.
It allows you to generate customer or supplier portals. This speeds up the relationship with your community.

In short, technology has driven the optimisation of order to cash and allows companies to save costs and sell with total security.

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