Are you an OTC leader or laggard? According to the American Productivity and Quality Center, companies fully leveraging technology and automation will spend $5.11 to process a sales order vs. $40.87 each order for manual sales order processing. On the back-end, per the APQC, the automated company will spend $6 to invoice the customer, and the manual company will invest $20.21 for each invoice created.
As Benjamin Franklin famously stated, “time is money,” and today’s customers won’t tolerate an inefficient and cumbersome buying experience. According to a recent Zendesk study, 50% of customers will switch to a competitor after just one bad experience, and that number grows to 80% after the second bad experience.
Fortunately, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is here to assist. Software robots can streamline your Order to Cash (OTC) cycle, allowing your organization to provide an exceptional customer experience while improving your back office’s productivity, quality, and customer engagement.
A best-in-class automated OTC cycle would function as follows:
- A bot receives Customer PO or Oder documents via email
- If the customer is not set up in the ERP system, a bot sends the new customer an onboarding package via email
- If the customer is found in the ERP system, a bot evaluates their credit limit before initiating the order. If there is a credit issue, the bot will notify the designated stakeholder for resolution
- If the credit is OK, a bot will create a new Sales Order in the ERP system. If an item is not in stock or back-ordered, the bot will notify the customer via email
- A then bot initiates the shipment request to the warehouse team
- After shipment confirmation, the bot will send tracking information and an invoice to the customer for the order
- Web & SMS-based chatbots are utilized to provide real-time order and shipping status information to customers 24/7
- A bot will apply the payment to the customer’s invoice when the invoice arrives via an electronic bank feed or email notification
- A bot creates recurring aging reports and automatically notifies the designated stakeholder if a customer has collection issues
- A bot updates order information and notes into the CRM system to assist in Account Management and Sales
On a positive note, the same Zendesk study also indicates that 74% of customers feel loyalty to a particular brand or company. However, this loyalty is hard to obtain and very easy to lose. An antiquated, inefficient, and disjointed sales process degrades the overall buying experience and quickly erodes customer loyalty and trust.
RPA can rapidly streamline and modernize your existing OTC process (without the need to modify your current legacy applications), providing an improved experience for your customers and a more efficient and stress-free process for your employees.
Contact us to learn more about rapidly upgrading your back-office OTC performance and critical customer experience utilizing the power of intelligent automation.