Cash buyers, manufacturers selling directly to their customers, and independent sales representatives are all part of the order to cash ecosystem. These parties depend on each other in a networked process that begins with order entry, proceeds through production and shipping—or service provision—to cash collection and concludes with expense recovery. While advances in technology implemented at various stages of this chain have increased efficiencies among participants, the process remains fraught with risks, including inefficient systems, mishandling of orders, failing to capitalize on customer relationships, inventories at wrong locations, outdated product lines and services, unprincipled pricing policies, lack of quality control.
So, not having an optimal order to cash process can cause huge revenue and margin dip to companies. It's true of every business, large or small: A company's most valuable resources are its cash and its customers. Most companies can't survive a disruption to either stream of revenue. But when the world is hit by a vicious pandemic, people don't stop buying, they just stop paying on account.