Field Service Software
Service companies spend countless man-hours and dollars generating and processing field tickets. If these field tickets are incorrect, they generate inaccurate invoices. Inaccurate invoices most times get kicked back, creating more hours of manual work to uncover the correct information. Or even worse, an inaccurate invoice might have billable items left off, causing revenue leakage. This is why projects that automate the quote-to-cash process have the potential for a big payoff. Let’s take a closer look…
The Quote-to-Cash Process
The quote-to-cash process involves many departments– sales, account management, order fulfillment, operations, billing and accounts receivable. It considers the steps taken from when the sales representative creates a quote and drafts a proposal through to when an invoice is submitted to the customer.
In a manual world, the quote-to-cash process begins when a customer requests service via phone or email, then sales generates a bid which the customer approves. The information is sent to operations via email or Excel spreadsheet. Dispatch may call around to see who’s available to do the work. The technician has a paper ticket to document the work he’s performed, which he then drives or mails to the home office where accounting will rekey the information into their invoicing system. The entire process has many touchpoints and involves several people. With each touchpoint there is a potential for error. In addition, there are many opportunities for delay which can lead to higher days sales outstanding.
By moving to a streamlined, digital solution service companies reduce days sales outstanding and get paid faster. Automating processes help boost production while ensuring accurate information from a single source at any time, improving cash flow.
Automating the Process
Data harmonization throughout the quote-to-cash process is key to producing an accurate invoice and improving cash flow. Let’s start with the sales quote. In an automated process, the sales rep doesn’t have to worry about selecting the correct price book when creating a bid. Instead they simply have to answer a few questions, such as the customer name, location and segment, and the digital system selects the price book for them. Now, the correct pricing will be populated, automatically, across the quote, ticket and invoice. We call this the four-way-match: when the accurate quote, ticket and invoice are all in alignment, with the price book serving as the foundation. Benefits of the four-way-match include: compliance with the Master Services Agreement (MSA), days sales outstanding reduction, accelerate cash flow, elimination of rouge pricing and ultimately increased customer satisfaction.
Accurate field data is also a key to invoice accuracy, days sales outstanding reduction and overall impacts the accounting process. Capturing the details of the work performed, at the time it is performed, is paramount. In a manual scenario, a field technician is often working with hand-written, paper tickets. Problems with legibility or missing billable items often lead to revenue leakage. Paper tickets can get lost, or may have to be hand-delivered which, again, is causing high days sales outstanding. Implementing a digital system ensures that all billable items are entered correctly, in a structured format, and are easily transmitted to the back office for billing.
To achieve even more efficiency, ERP integration with FieldFX achieves improved accuracy of data across applications. Field operations are complex and by leveraging cloud-based systems, working in harmony to create a single source of truth, time to invoice can be cut drastically, improving cash flow and reducing days sales outstanding. Most large oil and gas industry operators have adopted a greener, more sustainable method of receiving digital invoices and expect this from their service providers.
Another benefit of digitizing the quote-to-cash process is the ability to create reports with near-real-time data, that allow you to be more strategic with business planning. FX Analytics reporting empowers you with revenue reports on customer, business segment and month, including gross margin. You can analyze revenue data on serialize equipment, by person and the number of jobs per month, office and more. Analytics reporting puts the power of decision making in your hands.