Business Order to Cash Process

Businesses move every rock to understand what goes through a consumer’s mind but never perfect it enough. The psychology of a shopper is impacted by many factors, most of which are not in direct control of a store owner.

Window shopping online, also known as webrooming, has implications on the final decision to buy what’s lying in the cart and wishlist. But trying to understand that at grass root level is difficult. Precisely to tackle such issues one needs to have comprehensive order-to-cash solutions

Only the person adding an item to the cart and deleting it can tell you what exactly is going on in their mind. However, subtle messages to prod them to complete their shopping can inculcate the interest a tad bit further.

A completely automated O2C can send these messages apart from providing a lot of other feature-enriched benefits that will only help to enhance the consumer experience.

For instance, if a consumer who is filling the cart, is informed after the payment is made that a couple of items that they already paid for are not available, then it not just dampens the enthusiasm but the consumer likely will not come back again.

Tracking unavailable stuff and taking them off the main and subpages so that there are no backlinks that will reduce the ranking of the website is a continuous process. This has to be done on a real-time basis, and that can be only possible when an efficient system is in place.

Order-To-Cash: What Goes Into It?

When automation or even computers were not even relevant, there was still an organized structure to the entire ordering system. Back then, barring a few big names, most stores were mom-and-pop stores or small businesses.

Their bandwidth was less and even if there was expansion, they still resorted to traditional paper-based ordering. Buyers or wholesalers would place orders with salespeople.

The sales staff will match the order for product availability and send it for picking from the warehouse before packing and delivering it. Paper invoices were created and mailed, with payments arriving as checks that required manual recording. It was slower and more prone to errors as the communication channels were limited. 

The current day order-to-cash process runs on AI-driven algorithms that automate the entire process cycle while integrating with other functions like category and supply management, accounts receivable, and all the processes that are linked by tangents to the core process.

For instance, if you are shopping online and come across a dress you like, it will show all the available sizes and colors in the option.

This feature helps you pick your choice and add it to your cart. Once added, you can continue to shop or opt for checkout. Any available discount coupons can be used to avail a better price and multiple options to pay for your purchase are available, making the entire process seamless.

Once your order is paid and placed, you get information via email and text messages. These messages are followed up till your product is delivered and some go the extra mile to even take your feedback about your purchase. This entire process is automated without involving any human intervention at any level. 

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The key to any business’s success depends on crucial processes like O2C. And the sure shot way to simplify and hasten an O2C process is to automate it with the help of software or platform that can be integrated with existing ERP.

The benefits of automation offer a good pitch to convince anyone who is not able to make up their mind. Here are some of the benefits of automating the O2C process:

  • Epitome of Efficiency

Deep and machine learning uses data mining to draw up algorithms that have tested the exceptions that rule the case out and bring in the highest level of performance which matches in both quality and speed.

Automated O2C can complete the entire task within a few minutes and with all the quality checks in place. Rule-based repetitive tasks can be automated to deliver high standards in terms of results. Errors are reduced as machines don’t face fatigue and can work around the clock. 

  • Holistic Nudging

The external data that impacts an order also is taken into account to preempt the next course of action and suggest the customer with chat-based prompts. For instance, if a consumer adds a product to the cart but waits on it, a subtle message about how they can enjoy their new purchase added to the cart is sent to their WhatsApp or email.

A call-to-action button to complete the order is also sent with a message, which will link back to their cart to complete their order. 

  • Consumer Experience

A lot of resources are used to enhance the consumer experience when they are shopping as their loyalty towards the brand depends on their feedback.

If the O2C system snags and does not complete the purchase from adding in the cart to delivery to the last mile, then consumers will not have great words to write about the brand. A shopper needs a good experience every time they are in the store, whether they end up buying something or not. 

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Before getting an order-to-cash solution for your business, check your requirements and verify the vendors who will integrate the software for you. If you feel some ad hoc features have to be added to the software that is not available in the generic version, then go for the customizations.

Usually, the integration with accounts receivable, inventory logs, payment gateway, reconciliations, courier partners, and external messaging systems like email and WhatsApp has to be carried with the O2C to achieve the optimum results. 

For business owners who still feel that they can survive without automation, then please note that it is not the question of if but when you choose to automate your business processes.

The demand for automation is not just need-driven but even consumer-driven as they would move to businesses that have automated and give a better service.