Invoice Finishing & Delivery
Invoice Finishing and Delivery shouldn’t just be about ensuring you can collect payment. It is an opportunity to communicate with your customers. How an organization chooses to structure their invoices and get them to the customers can have a pivotal impact on the overall effectiveness of the Monetization Ecosystem.
Invoice Finishing and Delivery is critical for delivering the right information to the customer at the right time. Too much detail in the invoice delivered too frequently could lead to confusion. When not enough information is provided, customers can get confused and contact support, riddling them with questions.
In order to create an invoice finishing and delivery system that is both effective and efficient your organization should be thinking about:
Organizations that think about these areas during procurement stages of enterprise software implementation will find themselves reducing operational costs by lowering customer inquiries into call centers and reducing the use of unnecessary paper and printing. In tandem, clear invoice finishing and delivery increases the overall sales effectiveness by keeping new products, services, and opportunities in the customer’s field of vision.
Invoice Finishing & Delivery Components
This area defines how the different elements on an invoice are laid out, detailing what is displayed and where is the information is displayed. Invoice Formatting can be broken down into the following areas for analysis:
The invoice should clearly display who the invoice was intended to go to, who the customer should contact in case there are questions and where payments should be sent.
Level of detail, spacing and detail are important to accurately convey charges to customers.
Invoices may include pre-populated pages for payment remittance to reduce the cost of operational errors and increase customer satisfaction.
Printed invoices are fast becoming an operational drain – almost every company currently retains paper documentation for B2B selling channels but offers paperless options for B2C selling channels. Promoting incentives for customers to go paperless can save money and time. Complex products and services often warrant several invoice pages, increasing the potential costs. When printing invoices, organizations should consider the costs involved with color versus ink, the overall presentation of the invoice, and how large it will be.
Billing cycles can be run daily or weekly to dilute the impact on the organization and its infrastructure.
Envelope Bill Insert
Envelope Bill Insert is the physical step of putting the bill or invoice in the envelope. Typically, large organizations either use a third-party to print, stuff, and mail their bills. Some choose to perform this in house, utilizing special machinery that folds the statement, inserts it into the envelope, and readies it for delivery.
Invoices can contain errors like any other document. What if the invoice gets sent to the wrong address or the wrong department in a company? An organization should take this into consideration to ensure business processes and systems are in place to manage customer Returns when these scenarios arise.
Marketing Messages are often found on the envelope or the bill insert. These messages are used as a way to up-sell and cross-sell customers while maximizing the value an invoice can have for an organization. Marketing messages are supportive and tied to Customer Lifecycle Management (CLM).
Bill Inserts are a means of communication with customers by the organization or a third-party. This is done by adding additional marketing material within the client’s statement. In many cases, large companies can create an ancillary revenue stream by allowing third parties an advertising opportunity within one of their billing runs.
Detailed: People | Process | Technology
Invoice Finishing and Delivery responsibility falls to the Finance – Billing team and, perhaps surprisingly, the Product organization. Finance-Billing handles the tasks around the billing run itself, while it is Product’s obligation to ensure that products, services, and bundles all appear on an invoice in a manner that is clear and concise to the customer.
Additionally, the IT organization’s standard monetization processes apply to this domain as well.
ATG maintains a set of 75 key business processes to support management of Customers and Revenue for Service Providers. Thirteen of these processes originate, or are impacted by, the Invoice Finishing and Delivery domain. Below are the key processes that touch the domain, categorized by the Organizational Unit that owns the process:
Finance – Billing Organization
Billing Setup Process – Tasks and functions associated with setting up the billing processes for given products and services.
Billing/Invoice Processing: Recurring/Periodic – Process for aggregating financial activities and adjustments for a given billing period and generating respective invoice.
Invoice Finishing & Delivery – How a company structures and delivers their invoices.
New Product Introduction Process – Configuring attributes and introducing a new product or service to the product catalog.
New Product Monetization Process – The configuration of pricing for a new product or service.
Bundled Product Introduction Process – Configuring and introduction of a bundled product or service to the product catalog.
Maintenance and Oversight of Monetization Ecosystem – processes around ensuring that all touch points and connections within the ecosystem are optimized to their fullest potential.
Monitoring & Testing of Vendor Functional Releases – As ecosystem components release updates and patches, each is checked and tested to confirm all systems are working together as required by the business’ requirements.
Vendor Management of Monetization Ecosystem – oversight and communication duties of ecosystem software components and their vendors, including management of vendor road map and change logs and general relationship nurturing.
Cross-Training of Monetization Ecosystem Components – process for training organizational resources on the appropriate software systems.
Security Oversight of Monetization Ecosystem – process for maintaining and controlling access and permissions to ecosystem components.
Data Stewardship Across Monetization Ecosystem – process of assigning ownership and sources of truth for data within the organization.
Daily, Periodic, or Ad Hoc Reporting (Extraction, Load, Report, Dashboard) – movement of data between domains to create single source of truth for reporting and dashboarding.
HQ: Stamford, CT
Company Type: Public
Pitney Bowes Doc1 is an automated, expedited document composition and multi-channel delivery software that operates in a batch environment. This user-friendly enterprise communication engine enables users to deliver customized, targeted messages in a variety of languages through creating, editing, and managing accurate transactional communications. Additionally, customers can import font, images, and branding logos and names from existing productions. Features of Doc1 include:
- Production of thousands of pages per second
- Consolidation of multiple online bill payment processors into a single customized posting file
- Transaction search and easy-to-use web-based reporting tools
- Electronic rejection or stop payment of postings
- Multi-level access and security
Pitney Bowes Doc1 tends to target enterprise companies specializing in insurance, financial services, communications, utilities, service bureaus, public sector, and travel.
AON Hewitt – provider of human capital and management consulting services
Las Vegas Valley Water District – nonprofit agency providing water to the Las Vegas Valley since 1954
Shenzhen Telecom – branch of China Telecom, world’s largest wireline telecommunications and broadband service provider
Movistar Ecuador – Telefónica subsidiary operating in Ecuador focusing on innovative mobile telephony products and services
HQ: Hamilton, NJ
Company Type: Privately held
Billtrust is a company specializing in Payment Cycle Management and Invoice-to-Cash automation. Billtrust provides flexible approaches to solving payment cycle and invoicing issues for companies across North America. This company has many cloud-based offerings, including:
- Invoice Central – invoice management solution
- eInvoice Connect – an online way for customers to view and pay invoices
- Cash App Connect – automation for manual payment processes
- ePayment Connect – electronic payment processing
- AP Connect – automation of integration to AP Systems
In addition to these solutions, Billtrust also provides interaction with systems across the Invoice-to-Cash lifecycle. These include Infor, SAP, Oracle, SunGard, and Intuit QuickBooks, among others.
Billtrust tends to target midsize to enterprise level businesses in a wide variety of industries. They provide solutions to over 1,200 companies in industries such as finance, transportation, healthcare, and food and beverage.
Clif Bar & Company – organic food and beverage company
Penn Waste – Pennsylvania’s leading waste removal company
Daylight Transport – American transportation company
Chiquita – producer and distributor of produce products
Rotech Healthcare – provider of home medical products
HQ: Waterloo, ON, Canada
Company Type: Public
OpenText StreamServe is a SaaS-based Customer Communications Management solution for defining, producing, and interacting with enterprise documents. Providing tools for business users such as designers, marketing staff, customer support agents, and process owners enables efficient creation and use of relevant business documents. Additionally, OpenText StreamServe allows user to leverage customers’’ personally relevant information at various touchpoints, automate document execution and handling, have hands-on control of needed documents sans change requests and support, and improve the efficiency of business processes. OpenText StreamServe Solutions include the following components:
- Ad Hoc Correspondence, Collector, Composition Center, Correspondence Reviewer, ERP Connectivity Packs, Input formats (AFOIN & PDFIN), Post Processing, Production Monitor, RFID, and StoryTeller
OpenText StreamServe tends to target enterprises needing an enterprise communication suite.
Amerisource Bergen Corporation – Pennsylvania based drug wholesale company providing drug distribution and related services
FWD Life Insurance Company (Bermuda) Limited – Life insurance product and service provider formerly known as INF Life Insurance Company
L’Oréal – French cosmetics and beauty company and the world’s largest cosmetics company
KPN – Dutch landline and mobile telecommunication company
HQ: Ridgefield Park, NJ
Company Type: Privately held
OSG Digital Solutions is an offering from the company OSG Billing Services. This offering has several components working to provide an all-in-one platform for invoice finishing and delivery. This solution includes the following features and services:
- OSG ePayment & ePresentment – web based presentation and payment of bills, invoices, and statements
- OSG Email Service – electronic communication for customers and service providers
- CSR eView – CSR (Customer Service Representatives) tool for customer information navigation
- OSG eAdoption – conversion tools for the transfer of current systems to electronic solutions
OSG targets companies that range from small and mid-sized businesses to global enterprises in a wide variety of industries. These industries include communications, media, financial services, home comfort services, government, and property management, among others.
Commsoft – voice, video, data, and wireless software development company
NetCracker – business software development company
ADD Systems – hardware and software company for the petroleum, propane, wholesale/gasoline, and lubricant industries
IDI Billing Solutions – billing, operational, and business support systems provider for the telecommunications industry