Reprinted by permission of Amalto Technologies
Operational integration, connecting compatible components so that the whole becomes more effective than the individual parts, can be of great value to organizations. The key to this kind of integration is understanding which components should be connected to other components to bring about the hoped-for efficiency. When thinking Order-to-Cash, and contemplating its 8 to 10 components, it can be a challenge to know which pieces should be integrated and how they should be integrated.
Order-to-Cash Integration Areas
To gain a better understanding of what integration means from an Order-to-Cash perspective and which components will benefit the most from integration, we outline 3 areas where integration can quickly result in greater customer engagement, operational efficiency and getting paid faster.
1. ENTERPRISE RESOURCE PLANNING
An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, or organizational accounting system, allows companies to manage and report on a variety of financial and customer management processes that help run the operation. Because an ERP system can be as limited as taking orders and issuing reports, or as extensive as covering every aspect of an organization’s Order-to-Cash process, understanding its capabilities and limitations are an important first step in determining how to properly integrate.
If an organization uses a robust ERP solutions such as SAP, Oracle or JDEdwards, knowing how to integrate and synchronize, ensuring data moves seamlessly from one end of the process to the other, is important. In addition, knowing what kind of resource can assist in this kind of integration will prove valuable before, during and after the integration process.
Once the integration is complete, all relevant customer and financial data can be used to streamline customer management, the ordering process, invoicing, accounts receivable, collections and cash application. Without seamless integration, much of the data sharing is often done manually, which slows the process, creates inefficiency and delays payment.