Upcoming Order-to-Cash Revision for B2B Payments

PYMNTS December 2020 Global B2B Payments Playbook produced in conjunction with Worldpay makes a simple, somewhat puzzling observation: “Many B2B payments are [still] be made on the same rails that businesses have been using for decades, using familiar payment tools and being supported by the same prepayment and postpayment systems.

Hard to believe? Honestly Yes. Voices in the B2B space are calling for payments modernization, and a good place to start for many businesses is in their order-to-pay (O2C) cycle.

“The cash order (O2C) process – which outlines companies’ end-to-end sales procedures, from initial pre-sales activities to payment and receipt of invoices – appears to be heading towards a new digital normal,” says the new playbook. .

“Companies and their payment partners have gradually integrated new technologies to improve or innovate certain aspects of their O2C processes, and this innovation seems to be kicking into high gear during the pandemic. Thirty-nine percent of businesses have switched from manual processes to digital methods for their B2B payments since the onset of the crisis, according to recent PYMNTS data,” and this is a positive development for post-pandemic B2B commerce.

Improve cash flow, reduce expenses

With many companies running a mix of technologies that simply feel like a stack – CRM, ERP and e-commerce platforms all operating without true integration – they are missing out on the benefits of a unified platform environment that doesn’t there are no silos to begin with.

Business is cyclical. The order-to-cash process is no exception,” Michael Shields, Business Line Manager, Receivables, Worldpay B2B Payments, told PYMNTS. “We are currently seeing a convergence of… two initiatives, with companies looking to leverage automated solutions incorporating AI to improve cash flow and reduce operational expenses. Companies have also recognized the need for AP departments and treasury teams to break down silos and work closer than ever. With AI accurately predicting when bills are due, businesses have solved their short-term cash flow forecasting challenges. »

Shields added, “By adopting solutions that combine AI and process automation to future-proof their order-to-cash process, businesses solve whatever comes next.

What comes next is a flood of automation and interoperability to improve processes, better serve customers domestically or internationally, and ultimately increase profits.

End-to-end processes get more love

Awareness gaps may persist, but even small businesses have understood the essentials of digital transformation and the need to automate any process that is fraught with pitfalls or failures.

As the Global B2B Payments Playbook states, “New research suggests companies are increasingly interested in redesigning their end-to-end approaches. A recent study found that 65% of companies are improving their O2C processes, and many say they are doing so to improve communication between all stages of the process. »

Similarly, 61% of companies want to improve O2C cycles to optimize internal collaboration. It’s a positive move, although the sentiment is that companies should pick up the pace.

“Regardless of companies’ intentions, the survey also revealed that only 16% have actually transformed their O2C processes in the past five years. This indicates that many companies may still struggle to determine the best way to connect all aspects of their O2C processes, even if they want to,” according to the Playbook.



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