Skip to main content

Automate the Quote-to-Cash Lifecycle

Victoria Ebel, Appian
July 10, 2020

Speed is crucial throughout the quote-to-cash lifecycle. The faster an organization can get pricing out, fulfill orders, and bill customers, the sooner they can move inventory and collect money to invest back into the business. However, the quote-to-cash process can prove challenging for those companies working with dated systems, email-based processes and manual forms throughout.

These manual processes and inefficient hand-offs are inhibiting effective quote-to-cash execution. Manual data entry is still used to input key information from documents and forms, which is slow, expensive and error prone. There is a need to improve visibility and collaboration for stakeholders involved and better coordinate tasks across sales, contract, fulfillment, and finance teams. Organizations must look toward automation solutions to streamline process execution, ensuring the speed and accuracy of data intake and action across the critical quote-to-cash lifecycle.

An Innovative Solution for Automation

Appian Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) overcomes these challenges by using machine learning and artificial intelligence to "read" documents, such as price quotes, contracts, order forms, and invoices, to accurately extract data without the need for manual effort or custom code. With IDP, companies can quickly automate document workflows, enabling users to process high volumes of many different document types. Once the information is captured, it can be used to action tasks and trigger workflow throughout each step of the quote-to-cash process.

Appian marries the best of people, processes, and AI. IDP uses AI to quickly classify and extract data from huge quantities of incoming documents; something that would take an army of workers to do. Out of the box, IDP enables you to:

    • Apply AI to workflows via drag-and-drop interfaces to handle the bulk of document understanding.

    • Seamlessly loop-in people through process automation to reconcile issues and discrepancies, such as an incorrect contract value, as they appear.

    • Feed human interactions, like reclassifying an invoice field, back to the machine learning models to improve future accuracy.

Effectively Manage Quote-to-Cash

Along with IDP, Appian offers a platform to automate and manage the entire quote-to-cash lifecycle.

Quote & Configure: A global telecom company delivered a quote-to-cash application used for sales quoting on mobile, complex setup configurations, and finance billing and collections

Contracting: A large paper and packaging organization deployed a mobile app for sales representatives to generate quotes and process contracts on their mobile devices, leading to 50% increase in new contracts and the ability for new contract on-boarding to be completed in a single day

Order Management: A leading manufacturer improved customer order management with an application that allows the customer service team to see a unified view of customer orders, proactively communicate on status, and improve speed and quality in resolving order inquiries

Revenue Recognition: A pharmaceutical solutions organization manages revenue recognition processes, including calculations and approvals around product delivery, cost, and change orders, to improve accuracy and ensure compliance with financial regulations

Bring together siloed processes for finance and operations with heightened capabilities:

    • Automatically pull information into forms and intuitively prices deals

    • Easily manage pricing approvals and standardization of product and services

    • Dynamically generate contract language and produces signature-ready documents without legal being involved

    • Significantly reduce data entry into the accounting system, which ultimately decreases close time

    • Easily integrate with pre-existing financial and other systems

    • Master data management leaving the data where it is and are pulling from it on the fly when needed

Learn more about how Appian is helping to transform the quote-to-cash lifecycle, along with other areas in the supply chain with this ebook.