Order-to-cash: A competitive advantage

One step ahead of the competition

The more services are provided for a single client along the supply chain, the more smoothly the processes mesh with each other. This helps to maximize the cost efficiency of the supply chain while minimizing the possibility of errors. From order processing to customer service to payment management, all order-to-cash processes are controlled by a single provider. During the order process, order management systems collect and analyze all of the important details from the consumer; this data management forms the basis for the analysis and further development of our processes.

Additional expertise in areas such as returns management, dunning and customs issues, and the extremely wide range of services cover every step along a client’s supply chain. This is a key advantage that sets Arvato apart from the competition.

A singular solution

One client whose entire order-to-cash cycle is covered by Arvato is a medical technology company based in the US. In 2016, the company was looking for a partner for its market entry in the EMEA region – and chose Arvato.
It was not clear at the time that the business would grow with such incredible momentum as it has. After three years, Arvato not only handles the company’s logistics processes but also the various other steps in the order-to-cash cycle, from
incoming orders to the disposal of expired products.

With the implementation of all processes related to the order-to-cash cycle, Arvato provides an end-to-end solution that is unique in the health industry – a solution that benefits all stakeholders along the line, from the client to its customers to consumers. “At the same time, we have realized a best practice example that shows us the potential that lies in this business approach. Even if we are not able to transfer this model to other clients one-to-one, it still provides us with important information for other order-to-cash projects,” adds Stefan Weidt, Vice President Healthcare at Arvato Supply Chain Solutions.

To get to this point, we have developed a complete solution that is unique in the industry and covers all parts of the supply chain. Every day, Arvato employees receive hundreds of orders from hospitals, clinics and other customers, for medical supplies such as catheters, examination gloves, syringes and other health products. The orders are fed into the system through a designated IT platform, in which all project data and client processes are stored, and the ordering process is initiated. Customers placing orders are not able to tell that they are actually communicating with a service provider rather than directly with the  manufacturer. “We operate exclusively on behalf of the client, and not as Arvato. We stay in the background; and, like a well-oiled machine, our work ensures that customers are satisfied and that they keep coming back to our client,” explains Stefan Weidt, who has a convincing explanation for the customer's rapid growth: “When it entered the EMEA regional market in 2016, they had neither a local sales structure nor its own distribution network. We essentially started the project from scratch, developing scalable solutions from the very start, which we were able to easily expand later. This alone enabled us to smoothly effect the strong growth of these past years.

The order-to-cash process, which was set up especially for the customer in pharmaceutical logistics.

Growing with the client

Not only the business volume but also the scope of services has continuously expanded since the start of the collaboration. An array of new services and countless process enhancements have been added. “For instance, we are now classified as a hub in our customer's global supply chain,” explains Stefan Weidt. “This lets us supply goods directly to hospitals in 13 countries. The same applies to a number of distributors in other countries.
At the same time, manufacturers that are under contract with the customer can send their products directly to us. This further decreases the number of participants in the supply chain, reducing the complexity of the processes and eliminating potential sources of error. The client thus meets its important strategic goals and we are able to generate more added value for it.”

At Arvato, we are more broadly positioned than almost any other service provider in the industry. If we bundle these competencies even more strongly in joint solutions, order-to-cash offers enormous opportunities for us and our customers.

Stefan Weidt
Vice President Healthcare - Arvato Supply Chain Solutions

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