Distractions are a way of life these days. If you get 10 minutes of uninterrupted time to focus on a task, you count yourself lucky. Our shrinking attention span has reached the point of only being able to digest quick sound bites, short videos and yes, even blogs. With all of these distractions, how can credit and collection teams complete all the necessary tasks to keep improving their results?
Process automation is not a new concept. It originated on factory floors to improve safety, quality and speed of delivery. Today, it is being applied to all areas of business. Repetitive tasks are eliminated by establishing robotic process automation (RPA) to complete them, in place of a person. This can be leveraged across the full order-to-cash process in many ways.
Within the credit function, information can be pulled from different internal and external sources, automatically. Criteria can be established for levels of automatic approvals or specific workflow paths depending on authorization requirements. Collections can be simplified through automated contact to customers with relatively low collection risk. This can include emails that leverage best practice techniques of collecting on the whole account rather than on specific invoices. Robo-dialers can also be used to tee up the next collection call, saving your collectors from having to spend time manually looking up contact information and dialing the phone to only get a voice mailbox. Deductions and disputes can be identified automatically with the help of artificial intelligence and then routed to the correct person or team for resolution, all with RPA. Cash application is simplified with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) that reads the necessary remittance information, and in partnership with a robotics engine, automatically matches and applies payments to invoices.
There are many other examples within credit and collections of RPA that your teams can benefit from. They will be able to steal back precious minutes throughout the day to refocus on the tasks that truly make an impact. Teams that have experienced a plateau in results will be able to find the extra time necessary to improve results even further.