One of PwC's large multinational transportation clients recently faced a serious problem. Following a spate of mergers and reorganisations — and the introduction of a new billing system — our client’s receivables were growing steadily. Upon investigation, it soon became apparent that billing errors, credit memos, and customer dissatisfaction were all headed in the wrong direction. While the client’s employees were working hard and doing everything possible to catch up, the issues continued.
The client asked PwC to perform an order to cash diagnostic project, the primary objective of which was to quickly identify opportunities for improving the company's core business processes. The processes to be examined included sales and marketing, call centre, operations, pricing and billing, receivables management, finance, and information technology. Our subsequent recommendations were to be based upon interviews, process observations and sample data analyses.
At the project’s conclusion, PwC identified numerous opportunities for improving billing accuracy and completeness, accelerating the overall cash cycle, driving profitability through better analysis of costs and margins, and enhancing workforce performance. To put our findings into action, we developed a three-step work plan that began by stabilising the current situation and then moved to the implementation of standardised processes across all product and functional areas. The final step entailed an optimisation process by which measurable cash benefits could be achieved.