Getting started on your order-to-cash transformation
It can be daunting to initiate an order-to-cash (OTC) transformation. We are talking about a process that is literally executing your business model towards your customers and involves most of the functions in your organisation.
OTC is not uncharted waters for most organisations; processes might be in place, and systems might be established to support it. However, the process is often characterised by being informal, decentralised and uncontrolled. Data, documentation and material on decisions, principles and ways of working might therefore exist in the organisation, but they might not be readily available. Navigating this requires a structured approach to your project management of OTC.
If I had an hour to solve a problem, I would spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.
We often jump to making a great solution without spending enough time on the problem. Your OTC aspiration and impact case might define your issues; however, you need to break down your entire process into specific detailed steps and understand the following within each step:
These insights are created by engaging with process owners and stakeholders within each specific step and will provide you with an understanding of the handshakes that take place throughout the process and the review of quality and adherence to the collaboration model. Also, you will gain insights into the data flows from one step to the next, and more specifically, whether the data is considered master data (data on customers, products and employees) or transactional data (data on orders, delivery and invoices). The questions you cannot answer will be your pool of issues which need to be addressed and improved in the To-Be solution design.
If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.
Having framed the core issues of your OTC process, start by looking at industry best practices, such as the design developed by APQC , and adapt each step to the needs that you and your customers have.
At this point, it is critical to map out the natural variances within the process, e.g. variances in terms of product offerings, order fulfilment types and billing solutions. Decide which variances are needed and which can be simplified and prepare a solution design that will support such variances.
If it was important to understand the key handshakes in your As-Is process, it is even more important in the To-Be design. This is to have a clear understanding of questions such as:
For validation of your To-Be solution design, it is recommended to prepare a prototype that can deliver fast learning from customers and within the organisation. Test your critical assumptions and reverse-engineer your solution design for other options and alternatives. Based on the feedback you receive, you are in the position of deciding what OTC process fits you and your customers best.
In both the As-Is diagnostics and the To-Be process design, you will map out the key building blocks for a successful OTC process:
These building blocks will support you and your organisation in building insights of the current process when generating ideas to solve your defined issues and when establishing and testing a solution design worthy of you and your customers.
Build a strong case for change
Ensure a successful order-to-cash transformation by building a strong case or change.
Implement Consulting Group