HomeCapabilities & ExpertiseClient Impact StoriesOptimizing the Order to Cash processes of a $300M education company

Optimizing the Order to Cash processes of a $300 million education company in order to contain A/R

Client Background & Challenges

Through an evaluation of the company’s installment billing and deposit payments options, SSA identified significant failings across the Order to Cash Value Stream. The company was unprofitable and had a significant aged Accounts Receivable (A/R) balance. The COO engaged SSA to identify root causes of the company’s A/R balance and implement solutions that would simplify, improve, and control Order to Cash (OTC) processes.

Approach & Analysis

The SSA team developed end-to-end value stream maps for each payer type and business unit through stakeholder interviews and analyzed current A/R metrics and benchmarked against peers. Through this analysis, SSA identified a number of key issues, including:

  • a large A/R balance requiring a significant A/R reconciliation effort
  • poor processes and communication across the order-to-cash value stream for each business unit
  • missed bookings, double bookings, missing invoices, no collections tracking
  • weak contract language and enforcement for institutional deals
  • complete misalignment between booking and invoicing
  • unclear A/R position & ineffective reporting
  • lack of organizational accountability to manage A/R

SSA then built consensus among key stakeholders to rally around future state OTC guiding principles based on industry best practices. SSA developed a future state OTC design in partnership with business unit leadership and the company’s executive team, and developed an execution plan to achieve the future state OTC model. Finally, the team implemented a prioritized roadmap of initiatives.

Results & Value to Client

The engagement reduced A/R by 20% in 4 months and de-risked the order-to-cash process to avoid future bad debt write-offs. The reorganization of the OTC organization yielded $2M in annualized cost reduction while instilling clear, single-points of accountability and on-going process management. In addition, SSA identified 2 revenue enhancement initiatives that would give the company $5M in annualized margin improvement.

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