The last couple of months continuing to build our business during the COVID-19 crisis have seemed like years — for us, and for many of our customers. We’re all adapting to new ways of interacting with each other and with our customers.
At this moment, everyone is doing what they can to meet customers "where they are" and grow efficiently. Here are six ways our customers are using the flexibility of the Ordway billing and revenue automation platform to stabilize their business, and to better serve their customers during this challenging period.
In this post, we're not revealing names of the companies involved to protect their internal process and relationships with their customers.
#1. Using mid-contract changes and one-off orders to address unavoidable shipping delays
One of our clients combines a SaaS fee with hardware purchases. They are experiencing delays in shipping due to systemic backlogs in their logistics supply chain. To address this with their customers, they made mid-contract changes and a series of one-off orders associated with the affected customers to bill the correct amount at the correct time.
Because billing and revenue schedules are tied together within the Ordway automated billing software, they are able to recognize revenue appropriately when hardware is shipped (see how we support ASC 606) without additional manual intervention or reconciliation.
Example of updating a billing schedule mid-contract
#2. Encouraging the use of ACH over printed checks
A SaaS provider we work with normally receives paper checks for payment by mail. The COVID-19 work-from-home movement meant no one was at their office to receive and process these checks.
Using the Ordway “Pay Now” portal, they were successfully able to move many of their clients to the ACH method of payment. This is good for both them and their customers, and will result in increased efficiency even after social distancing guidance is eased.
#3. More frequent reporting on revenue
Because Ordway’s platform is capturing real-time accounts receivable data, a Finance leader at one of our clients is creating weekly revenue reports as opposed to monthly. The built-in reporting engine and support for the creation of custom financial periods (in this case seven days), means that they can run weekly reports on the health of their business.
#4. Focus on process resilience
The Ordway SaaS billing platform can partially, or fully automate a company's sales-to-finance workflow. One of our clients is taking advantage of a little down time to move further towards full automation.
They are configuring the Salesforce Ordway connector to move contract details from “closed won” contracts automatically to the Ordway billing and revenue automation platform. This enhanced process will remove any chance for data issues and errors. In the end, the streamlined operations will be more resilient and less reliant manual interventions.
#5. Use “Custom fields” to categorize at-risk contracts
One of our clients is using Ordway’s ability to add unlimited “custom fields” (i.e. attributes) to individual subscription contracts to categorize their customers’ likelihood to pay in the near term. They are organizing contracts with a customer health metric, whether they need to pause the contract, or even need to consider writing off the contract entirely.
Using these filters, they are able to prioritize follow-up with individual customers. They can change contract details related to payment terms, frequency, etc. and better meet the needs of their customers and their ability to pay.
#6. Updating payment terms
One of our clients easily updated payment terms for some of their customers’ contracts from Net 30 to Net 60. This simple change ripples through the system and will impact relevant reporting, dunning process, etc.
While we are all adjusting to a new way of doing business, we’re very proud that the platform we’ve built is helping our customers absorb at least part of the shock to their business.
We’re thankful they can focus on more difficult-to-manage parts of their business operations, and leave the billing and revenue recognition to us…