E.O.W (End of the Week) Notable Tip: R&D Spending

Happy Friday!

I hope you’ve had a great week.

Today, I would like to touch upon R&D spend. Research has shown that highly successful innovative businesses have a lower R&D spend to sales ratio compared to their competitors. For example, Microsoft has one of the highest R&D spend to sales ratio but poor innovative value-creation; however, Apple with one of the lowest R&D spend to sales ratio has continuously acquired market space with iPods, iPads and iPhones. Another great example is 3M’s post its, which were developed with resources that were already available at the company.

Spending less on R&D is not the only factor to consider when you are looking to create innovative products. You must also understand all your potential customers, their pain points and preferences. This information will help you identify and solve a problem that your competitors are not targeting.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this E.O.W!

As always, “Success is continuous improvement!”

 

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Lean Wednesday Tip: Customer-centric digitalization

“Companies that stay abreast of consumer behavior changes and priorities coupled with a dedication to a customer-centric philosophy will always yield a greater market share. Effective leaders integrate new technologies wisely based on the company’s capabilities and it’s ability to optimize client satisfaction and profitability.”

E.O.W (End of the Week) Notable Tip: Being Grateful

“Being grateful for your business, employees, clients, vendors and suppliers should not be a one time thing. You should continuously thank them and praise them because without your employees or clients you would not have a business. Always respect them and treat them well because they are more than just numbers.”

Lean Wednesday Tip: Loss Prevention Critical KPI Metrics

“Measuring and reporting the most valuable metrics is critical to identifying areas for improvement because they can be compared to industry and competitors for the purpose of lowering costs, enhancing productivity and safeguarding assets. Some critical Loss Prevention/Fraud KPI metrics you should be measuring are process cycle time, average days to resolve a fraud incident, cost per fraud incident, and process cost).

E.O.W (End of the week) Notable Tip: Client-centric Accounts Receivable

Happy Friday!

I hope you’ve had a great week.

Today’s E.O.W is about encouraging your accounting team to embody a more client-centric approach to accounts receivable by asking smart questions that glean insights into what clients value most and what their priorities are. To truly understand that customer everyone must be part of the customer service spectrum because anybody in the company can affect how the client sees the company. This also provides the opportunity to realize areas for improvement, for example, reduction of receivable days and optimized value creation.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this E.O.W!

As always, “Success is continuous improvement!”

Days Sales Outstanding: Get Paid Faster tips

You’ve made a sale! That’s great but the customer hasn’t paid and the invoice is now 90 days past due. This scenario is common amongst many businesses. Many businesses resort to offering extended payment terms but this is a bad idea because it affects their cashflow. What you really want is client satisfaction because when the client is happy they will quickly remit payment for the service or product that was provided to them coupled with strong A/R controls and processes that ensure you get paid in a timely manner.

By developing and comparing critical A/R KPI metrics (cost per invoice, process cycle time, payment turn-around, et cetera) to industry and competitor data you are able to realize opportunities for improvement in DSO. Finance executives can use this knowledge to reduce DSO with the company’s capabilities and ability to sustain DSO process controls in mind.

A client’s ability to pay on time is based on their credit risk. Finance Executives should stay abreast of client industry and market shifts, require and create a client financial stability plan when pursuing clients to ensure they are financially stable and are not slow payers. Some companies may be apprehensive about requesting a credit history in fear of losing an attractive customer, however, incentives and credit risk insurance can be offered to offset this possibility.

Payment terms should be made clear to clients by various communications, such as, the invoice itself, on-boarding materials, introductory emails, et cetera. These payment terms should also be in agreement with common industry practice and customer needs and expectations. For example, if clients are billed per retainers/retention, it is best that you require an initial upfront payment. Other ways to safeguard cashflow and ensure faster payment would be to offer broad payment options (ACH, Check, wire transfers, PayPal, Credit Cards, et cetera), payment plans and quick pay discounts.

Overdue receivables should require constant and daily communication with clients to understand the reason for the payment delay, offer payment solutions or optimize value.

The billing process is critical to the reduction of DSO because it should run smoothly. Meaning invoices should be created and sent on time, have no errors, and contain all the appropriate information. Incorrect charges, incorrect rate discounts and mailing addresses are all things that can delay payment. It is also important to update customer profiles in accounting software with contract agreements and up-to-date contact information.

Companies should regularly convey and update their A/R controls and processes. They should utilize the voice of the customer to gather data that can help improve those processes, support clients falling on hard times by offering payment plans, and develop client-centric processes for handling non-paying customers, including guidelines for managing disputes and turning over invoices to a collections agency.

Top management must commit to these DSO reduction efforts and have continuous conversations about A/R controls. They should make these controls visual so that everybody can see them and audit the process periodically. By continuously staying abreast of DSO metrics and making improvements as the industry and company changes will ensure that employees understand how important these efforts are to the company.

E.O.W (End of the Week) Notable Tip: Product Innovation for lower freight costs

Happy Friday!

I hope you’ve had a great week.

Freight and shipping costs can eat away at profits but they don’t have to. By having strong auditing, procurement and vendor management processes you can yield better profits. One way to reduce freight costs is by working with suppliers on product innovations that reduce the weight of the product without affecting quality. By designing more sustainable products that in turn reduce waste is an effective way in reducing freight costs.

That’s the E.O.W for today. Hope you’ve enjoyed it.

As always, “Success is continuous improvement.”

 

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