Sales and Fulfillment BPO – The New Face of Traditional Order to Cash Outsourcing

Rajiv Raghunandan: Since starting out in the business we have come to realize that traditional order-to-cash largely focuses on certain aspects of the customer value chain, starting from when the sale happens. So it supports the execution of the sale, to some extent, and then largely manages the realization of cash. If you look at it from a service provider perspective, this comprises the enterprise finance processes which sit under this bucket, and some of the front-end CRM world within order-to-cash, either in the context of order taking in retail businesses or in the context of collections.

But there is a whole world that sits between front-end customer service and back-end enterprise finance processes, which is not included in the G&A cost line. This is in their cost of revenue; and then there are other processes that are more end-to-end, holistic, and go beyond order-to-cash.

Typically, these process cycles include what happens 소액결제 before an order comes in, i.e you generate a query or quote and manage the conversion process, which forms the inquiry-to-order process or the cycle that extends from the time you make a sale to actually fulfilling the sale. This is the backend cycle that fulfills that order and is termed ‘Plan to Van.’ It involves the whole distribution and logistics planning.

So, picture a diagram that has multiple circles and intersections. Let’s say order-to-cash is one circle, but you have all these different circles that are behind and after or above and below what is traditional order-to-cash. Each of these circles touches the customer in some form or another. So, in summary, we’ve tried to expand the definition of order-to-cash and as a result have discovered that we are not even in the realm of order-to-cash anymore. It’s almost a whole different offering with order-to-cash being only a small component of this.

SSON: So this terminology considers the end-to-end process now in order-to-cash. Explain where this process begins and ends and how Infosys is accommodating that.

RR: I think the way we look at it in Sales & Fulfillment, the process really begins whenever any of our customers or clients engage in their sales cycle. So it could begin from the time our client’s sales team looks at next year’s targets, figuring out what their target lists are — so all forms of sales support before the actual sale is made, eg, account planning, research and customer profiling — to when a customer request comes in, to when a report is generated,€until the time an order is actually received from the customer. All of this is covered in this space and generally is not included in traditional order-to-cash, because these activities happen before an order is generated.

The other aspects of this are related to upstream/downstream processes. Conventional order-to-cash is really focused on executing an order and then there’s a ‘black box,’ where a lot of stuff happens, and an invoice is generated. That’s how service providers have traditionally looked at it. But we are focusing on what that black box is. You can feel that black box; it’s all of this stuff around planning an order, fulfillment, inventory management, looking at whether material needs to be sourced on back order and how that is integrated with the sourcing engine.

It also includes the whole logistics and distribution planning activity; the after-sales work, which again conventional order-to-cash may not look at, specifically, in the technology and some of the manufacturing industries where there’s a whole lot of service revenue.

I think all of these activities are somewhere in and around order-to-cash. Infosys has defined a more holistic, end-to-end offering that in a lot of ways is more meaningful to the customers. I think it’s more transformational in nature because these areas are traditionally where a customer or a client would not look to outsource because they are considered strategic or core. But I think we’ve been able to work with some of our customers to break that barrier and that’s where we believe it’s truly a transformation because it can open up a whole new market that conventionally did not exist.