Customer Reimbursements – Postponed Again?

As the automotive industry finds itself on another rocky road, rigorous cash management again climbs into the front seat.

Despite the immense importance that cash plays, suppliers still struggle getting clear and accurate forecasts of one-time payments due from customers for items such as tooling or development fees. The issues originate in the fact that the amounts are agreed months and years before they actually become due and, frequently, recorded on the local drive of the Sales manager´s laptop. As time progresses, changes in the project scope, additional negotiations and rotation of team members compound to make the situation even less transparent.

Even when the amounts become clear, the path to issue the sacred invoice is pitted with obstacles and diversions that delay the arrival. OEM customers all have their own unique prerequisites and routes to follow which require significant collaboration on the side of the supplier’s project team to ensure everything is prepared accordingly and on time. Mr Murphy always plays a role here, leading to inevitable postponements which frustrate all, especially the Finance team who usually are the last to find out.

It’s clear that traditional IT solutions are poorly equipped to provide the real-time tracking that suppliers need to correctly steer their business. Multiple tools with difficult data input and limited sharing capabilities mean that many are driving in the dark. 

Investing into new technology right now may seem counterintuitive but the smart suppliers see the strategic importance of crisis-proofing their business with digital, mobile transformations. A cloud-based Sales Management solution with a closely integrated, agile collaboration tool will supercharge your processes with excellent data quality and improved cooperation across teams, resulting in actions to predict and prevent unnecessary delays, and ultimately give the full visibility to navigate the future.

In times like these, faster cash is priceless.