Persuading customers to make a purchase is half the battle won. Today, selling skills are being focused toward reaping the true profit potential of products by bundling them with services. For example, smartphone manufacturers want to bundle their devices with music subscriptions and advanced photo editors; packaged database software vendors want to combine their products with consulting, management, security and customization services; hair care companies want to sell long-term salon services. Pairing products with services is becoming the norm, especially for trusted brands. The problem is that customers are demanding extreme flexibility while doing so. They have begun to opt for providers who are able to customize payments for services at the time of buying the product. This can be a challenge.
Traditionally, organizations have used an order management process to sell products that generates one invoice or bill. Then, switching to another process, they re-enter customer and purchase details for services, subscriptions, warranties, etc., which involve a contract or agreement. For this, a second invoice or bill is generated.
In essence, there are two types of billing, two back-end systems, two separate teams involved, and two separate bills—while the customer wants a seamless buying experience.
Today’s order management systems need to be flexible. They should be able to combine products with services and cater to customers who want free trial periods, annual payment options, quarterly, monthly and even pay-as-you-go options. The systems should allow customers to move smoothly from an initial free, daily or monthly subscription/payment to a quarterly or annual one. The need is for a system that permits these permutations and combinations, providing the customer, the organization and its agents with one UI experience while the sales and service data gets distributed at the back end to different teams.
Oracle R12.2.2 ERP solves this problem. Unlike previous versions, R12.2.2 is a robust platform with one Order Management (OM) module that can generate an invoice for the product and the entire duration of a service/ subscription contract in any permutation or combination. It does this by presenting two tabs to users – one for Sales Orders and the other for Service Contracts – that are linked. Between them, the new options allow:
- Full billing from Order Management: Generating a single invoice from OM for the entire duration of the contract
- First period billing from OM, subsequent billings from Service Contracts: Generating the invoice for the first installment from Order Management and for the subsequent installments from Service Contracts (multiple billing is supported)
- Full billing from Service Contracts: Generating invoices for all installments from Service Contracts. In this scenario, Order Management does not generate any invoices and multiple billing is supported
Wipro has implemented R12.2.2 for a variety of customers, from manufacturing to defense companies. Existing contracts have been migrated to the new system, templates have been populated with data and data has been tested. Now, these customers completely avoid entering the same data twice (for product and service), they have gained access to flexible service options that customers want and are able to generate a single invoice efficiently. This is the future of Order Management. Anything less will be inadequate, forcing end buyers to look for more convenient options.