Order to Cash: it sounds like such a simple thing doesn’t it? An order comes in, and then a little while later cash follows. If only it were that easy! In fact, order to cash (O2C) is a complicated process that requires a lot of work to ensure it flows smoothly. Customer relationships are a crucial element.
Order to cash explained as a timeline
If you’re looking to improve your O2C and how you interact with customers throughout the process, consider looking at it as a timeline.
- Order management
- An order is created.
- It is submitted for processing.
- The order is fulfilled.
- Bill to cash
- An invoice is sent out.
- Customers are chased for payment as appropriate.
- Payments are received.
Each event on this timeline is triggered by the previous action and if everything is right, it should flow easily.
The way you approach, work and communicate with your customers and how you deal with issues that arise plays a big role in keeping the whole process running smoothly.
Building (and strengthening) customer relationships
The handling of the order management process is different for each business. This depends on the products and services offered and how the company operates.
The key to success is ensuring that your customers are catered for throughout O2C and that the customer relationship is nurtured. For example, during order management, understanding customer requirements is key.
Invoices should be sent out to the right people at the right time in the bill to cash process. Effective communication with your clients is neccesary to get the payments in on time.
These steps should be seen as a chance to further build strong client relationships, which in turn helps the process run smoothly and encourages future business.
Quick tips for better relationships in O2C
Having a great O2C system in place requires hard work and dedication. There are no easy ways to build stronger customer relationships. It takes time. But here are some ideas to help you get on your way:
- Communicate– Don’t let communication go silent between you and your customers. Keep them informed about each step of the process.
- Manage information carefully– Handle data such as order information, customer contact details and payment information properly. This means updating details as appropriate, sharing relevant information throughout the company and using the data to generate useful reports and analysis.
- Deal with complaints– Complaints are a sign that something in your O2C process isn’t working properly. Although unpleasant to deal with, complaints are an opportunity to make improvements in your organisation and they can lead to stronger customer relationships if handled appropriately.
Having the right tools in place can help to streamline the O2C process and also improve customer relationships. Here at Onguard, our credit management software has been designed to help you take a customer-centric approach to the O2C, helping you improve communications, manage information effectively, chase in payments and deal with complaints.
Learn more about how to improve your customer relationships:
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