Situation: A company is losing billings because individual billings are getting lost in their process flow. Requests for enhancements come from clients to Project Managers. Project Managers take on development of the enhancements but are sometimes too busy to keep track and don’t report their work to the billing department. How do you improve quote to collections flow?
Advice from the CEOs:
appears that two processes are missing:
- A formal trigger mechanism to assure that a PO is in place BEFORE Project Managers undertake enhancement work, and
- Managers are incentivized to assure that the client is billed and revenue collected for the work performed.
the process and do not allow Project Mangers to initiate any work until a work
request is logged in the billing system and a PO is received from the customer to
cover the expense.
- Develop a process to track customer requests, estimate development and transmission to billing, forwarding of estimates by billing to the customer with a request for a PO, and upon receipt of PO authorization by billing to initiate work.
- This can all be tracked and managed by most accounting software packages.
- Facilitate tracking of actual expense vs. estimate;
- Tracking of requests for which no POs are received, for client follow-up; and
- Tracking of enhancement requests to guide future product development.
Account Managers to track and manage the process.
- If an Account Manager receives a commission for enhancement work they will have an incentive to keep track of all ongoing work, both for timely delivery and to assure that the customer invoiced for the work.
- Commissions paid to the Account Mangers will be a small percent of the extra revenue collected.
- To improve process management, schedule regular meetings to review all enhancement and other work being done for clients. Review and assure that all work has accompanying POs, that the work is being completed on a timely basis and in line with original estimates, and that the company is invoicing and being paid for the work. Empower Account Managers to organize and conduct these meetings. Their incentive will be the commissions they will collect on payment for the work.
upgrades and a certain number of enhancements into the product price.
- This enables to company to increase prices and to collect prepayment for enhancements and upgrades that may or may not be requested.
- Use the process outlined above to track enhancements which are credited against the prepaid accounts, and to assure that enhancements above the prepaid limit are invoiced.