It’s easy to wax lyrical about the benefits of accounts receivable automation. From an outstanding user experience that simplifies AR management to a flexible payment process that gets customers paying faster than ever.
The world is waking up to the value of AR automation, with the global AR automation market booming due to the need for speedy invoicing and payments — a demand that many businesses failed to meet during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, a 2022 report found that the AR automation market is set to double in the next five years, from USD 3.3 billion in 2022 to USD 6.5 billion by 2027.
If the facts and stats don’t convince you, perhaps first-hand experience will?
Before joining Quadient, our Director of Financial Automation, Sarah-Jayne Martin, was a NetSuite AND Quadient AR customer. In her Director of Order to Cash role at Cheetah Digital, Sarah-Jayne invested in NetSuite and subsequently integrated it with Quadient AR’s solution to bolster AR efforts.
We sat down with Sarah-Jayne to learn why she chose to do this, and the impact this had on her team’s success.
Can you tell us about your experience using NetSuite to manage AR?
NetSuite is a fantastic tool to capture and track company data. Prior to using it, our data was spread across multiple systems and this led to endless delays and data integrity issues. NetSuite put the information we needed in one place which made our AR management much more efficient.
However, a challenge we found with the tool is that although the customization is advanced, it was difficult to build the dashboards into exactly what we needed them to be. My team didn’t have time to configure the solution in the way that we wanted, which meant that we still faced problems finding the information we required. This had an impact on how quickly tasks could be completed and of course these delays resulted in the usual AR pain points of late payments, employee frustration and customer experience challenges.
Was this what made you look for an automation solution that would complement NetSuite?
Yes, exactly. We never considered displacing our ERP as it provided valuable transparency. We simply wanted a solution that would integrate seamlessly with NetSuite, making sense of all the data and offering insights and capabilities that improved AR performance.
What made you choose Quadient AR?
The first thing I noticed was how simple it was to analyze AR data and get the insights we needed. With NetSuite, my team was looking at a dashboard that held data for multiple business units, whereas with Quadient AR, we had a tailored view of our AR portfolio. For example, the platform’s dynamic aging report helped us better analyze customer accounts and become more strategic in our collections. We could spend less time on “data-diving” and more time on revenue-generating activities.
Can you give us an example of a revenue-generating activity?
The key one for us was collections. Our business was growing fast — which was fab — but my team found it difficult to keep up with the mountain of invoice reminders which led to our days sales outstanding (DSO) rising. Although NetSuite offered automated dunning, we needed more advanced capabilities.
Quadient AR’s collections workflows provided this. We could set them so that risky accounts received more frequent communications with faster escalation, whereas reliable customers would receive a “white glove” service with friendly reminders and a personal phone call before invoices became past due.
In addition, the “rules engine” meant we could configure workflows with unlimited flexibility! We could set them to respond to dozens of different events — such as a dispute being opened or a payment being declined — and the workflow would automatically take a specific action such as sending an email, creating a to-do item and assigning it to a team member, or adding a note to the customer account.
And what impact did it have on your AR success?
It very quickly put us back in the driver’s seat. Our collections could almost run on autopilot which allowed my team to spend time building relationships with our customers, instead of chasing them down for payments! We were previously known in the business as “the sales prevention team” but with Quadient AR, we could work more collaboratively with sales. We had the time and the insights to explain exactly why we didn’t extend credit to certain customers and we could also use that same information to accelerate customer onboarding. This transformed my team’s reputation in the business.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Quadient AR integrates with NetSuite to enhance AR management, accelerate cash flow and minimize DSO, read our blog post — 4 Value-Added Benefits of Integrating NetSuite with YayPay.