The pandemic has changed organizations’ attitudes towards the need for change, greatly increasing their emphasis on adopting new digital process models and digital transformation. Partly this is driven by the need to enhance their transactional efficiency and effectiveness rapidly, but at least equally importantly, it has brought a much greater requirement for real-time information and analytics to drive the business. All these pressures are keenly felt within the finance department.
In response, WNS has looked to reinvent order-to-cash in the form of Quote-to-Sustain.
WNS introduces Quote-to-Sustain
Some of the issues that WNS is aiming to address with its Quote-to-Sustain offering include:
Improving billing timeliness and accuracy by improving the integration and consistency of data between quotations, digital contracts, order management & fulfillment, and billing systems
Maximizing revenue by releasing credit holds for good customers
Protecting the enterprise with more dynamic credit control than periodic credit review
Improving collections by cleansing master data in real-time.
In addition to delivering enhanced end-to-end visibility, stakeholder experience, and analytics, WNS has also reimagined its Quote-to-Sustain service to deliver greater variability in F&A process costs as business volumes fluctuate and become more unpredictable as a result of the pandemic. Its new Quote-to-Sustain offering bundles technology and services and allows clients to “pay by the drink”.
Specifically, the goal is for clients to remain cash neutral and, subject to some volume commitment, to pay only for transactions, with a decrease in costs emerging from year two onwards. WNS funds all change management.
The Quote-to-Sustain module structure is:
Quote-to-Order: consisting of unified master data, cognitive credit, digital contracts, and smart orders
Bill-to-Cash: consisting of integrated billing, intelligent collections, predictive dispute management, touchless cash applications, and predictive deduction management
Report-to-Sustain: consisting of digital dashboards, botified queries, analytics-as-a-service, and revenue assurance.
Each of these modules takes the form of a system of engagement sitting on top of the client’s existing ERP systems and systems of record.
In this respect, the use of unified master data is important in bringing together the various commercial and financial elements from multiple databases to ensure accuracy, for example, in billing the right person and identifying the appropriate person for each type of query. The unified master data aims to be a single source of the truth using data authentication from external sources and providing an element of real-time data cleansing.
WNS’ cognitive credit offering aims to take credit management beyond the periodic review of credit bureau reports and base its recommendations for credit eligibility on its own analyses of financial ratios, customer behavior (including any changes in payment pattern), and news triggers from external sources. WNS believes this approach to be particularly effective in addressing credit management within small businesses. The service incorporates technology from HighRadius and Emagia.
WNS’ digital contracts and smart orders modules utilize its Skense and Agilius platforms to combine and analyze data from various sources and integrate quotations, orders, contracts, and billing to reduce the errors that typically arise between disparate sources of information.
WNS’ Revenue Assurance and Analytics modules include some industry-specific modules to monitor and minimize revenue dilution, using analytics for improved collections and to reduce revenue losses arising from upstream process errors.
Quote-to-Sustain adoption plan
WNS has always approached F&A from a sector-specific viewpoint. Having developed all the modules within Quote-to-Sustain, WNS is now in the process of integrating this capability with its industry-specific processes in line with client demand. Powered by an exclusive partnership with EvoluteIQ, WNS’ domain-led hyperautomation platform suite is designed to accelerate the adoption of process automation and drive enterprise-wide digital transformation. The sectors WNS will focus on are the ones where it has already developed industry-specific expertise and IP and include airlines, travel agencies, trucking, shipping & logistics, insurance, telecom, media, CPG, manufacturing, and utilities.
Nonetheless, the initial clients of WNS Quote-to-Sustain have typically started by purchasing a single module such as cognitive credit & collections, and WNS expects a typical sequence of deployment to be cognitive credit & collections, followed by unified master data, followed by revenue assurance.
WNS has already applied its cognitive credit, touchless cash applications, botified queries, and analytics-as-a-service modules of Quote-to-Sustain for a media client. This company’s cash application process was automated but only achieved a 75% auto-match rate due to delays in the receipt of remittance advice notes. WNS deployed touchless cash apps via EIPP (electronic invoice presentment and payments) to achieve an auto-match rate of 88% and introduced intelligent chatbots and predictive disputes management to reduce the time for resolution significantly. The chatbots resolve most disputes without human intervention, with all trade promotion issues resolved through chatbots.
Overall, the media company has achieved a potential $38m uplift in free cash flow by optimizing payments from late-paying customers and an 11% reduction in bad debts by improving late-stage collection.
In addition to this modular approach being taken with mid-sized organizations, WNS is also targeting start-ups, where the company is in discussion with some organizations for the entire suite of end-to-end services.
Many existing F&A operations have incorporated best-of-breed point solutions and subsequently applied RPA in support of point automations. However, these organizations are often still using disparate data sources and have not fully reimagined their F&A processes into an integrated framework using a single source of the truth and analytics for improved operational and business intelligence. WNS’ Quote to Sustain offering aims to provide this reimagined finance model and help organizations become more agile and analytical in their approach to order-to-cash.
This blog was originally published by NelsonHall here