The importance of a single API platform for the order-to-cash process
To survive as an organisation in today’s world, digital transformation is vital. Collecting, storing, analysing and exchanging data plays a crucial role in this. Just like connecting different parts together within and outside the organisation. But how do you as an organisation maintain an overview in the maze of data? Which links do you have to make to respond to constantly changing customer and market needs? How do you ensure a streamlined and well-organised order-to-cash process and what role does the CFO play in this?
The FinTech Barometer 2019, the annual survey that Onguard conducts among 1000 finance professionals, shows that digital transformation is on the agenda for 68% of organisations. That is good news, but it is important that your organisation sets a clear goal in advance when you start this. Only then does it make sense to invest energy, time and money in a transformation project. Which internal processes do you want to transform as an organisation? Are external measures needed to continue to serve the customer in the best possible way and how well do you understand your organisation’s ecosystem? To answer these questions and make decisions, the CFO must have insight into the most important business information. The FinTech Barometer 2019 shows that most CFOs (54%) use the available data to make informed decisions. Preferably on one central software platform. One of the processes that can be efficiently bundled, monitored and analysed in this way is the order-to-cash process. The insight that organisations gain through the platform ultimately translates into more output, a higher return for the organisation and good, appropriate and personal advice for the customer.
The power of API links
Within the order-to-cash process, six steps can be distinguished, each requiring their own specialist software: risk management, invoicing, payment processing, credit management, collection and the bailiff. To provide the customer with the right advice, it is necessary that these individual processes not only exchange data, but also communicate with each other in real-time. But how do you ensure that all individual applications are connected to each other? And how do you get all that mostly specialist software working under one roof? Until recently this seemed unfeasible, but thanks to digital transformation there are now solutions, such as an “online collaboration shell”. This data transporter is, as it were, hanging above the running software applications. It is therefore no longer necessary to connect the applications separately. As one large API, the data transporter adds all information in all software systems. As a result, certain administrative tasks and processes are (partly) automated.
Key role for the CFO
Thanks to all those real-time insights and system and application links, the CFO is gaining more and more knowledge. Due to digital transformation, the role of the finance professional is shifting with 61% of CFOs expecting financial professionals to have to make more use of the analytical skills in the short term. With the obtained data, the CFO can add strategic value to the organisation. For example, for making decisions, forecasting and budgeting. Incidentally, this also means that the expectations of the organisation towards finance is changing.
Advantages of one API platform
More and more organisations are collecting data on a large scale. The FinTech Barometer 2019 shows that more than a third (38%) of the CFOs expect that big data will have a great impact. 64% of CFOs even expect the financial world to be reliant on big data within five years. This dependence is less worrying than it might seem. Big data offers finance professionals added value. You can provide tailor-made advice to customers, estimate risks more accurately and it is clear in real time if and when customers are going to pay. The order-to-cash platform from Onguard fits in seamlessly with this development. The platform provides insight into the existing order-to-cash process, organises it more efficiently and ensures a better streamlined and well-organised approach. In addition, the platform links with all processes within the order-to-cash chain via APIs. Exactly like the previously discussed data transporter. For example, there are integrations with collection agencies and bailiffs. Is a customer unexpectedly confronted with payment problems? Then the file can be requested directly by these parties. When your organisation uses one platform for the entire order-to-cash process, as CFO you can keep an overview and use important business information more strategically. In addition, finance professionals can ensure an optimal customer experience thanks to a well-streamlined process.
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