(My apologies for being late in updating this post – grading, etc. has been my focus). Continuing great job on the discussions. Keep up the good work. You raised most of the important points but let me summarize my view.
Q1: If an outside organization – where would attack the OTC process? – You suggested several innovative ways to attack the process. In the end a decision like this would depend on your motives, what you capabilities where vs. known vulnerabilities.
Q2: Who should care more about collections – Sales or Finance? Many of you pointed out that sales function often has a conflict of interest in dealing with collections because of their customer focus and loyalty. Therefore, I believe collections needs to be ‘owned’ by a finance related function. However, overzealous and callous collections process can erode customer satisfaction considerably. There needs to be a cooperative relationship between the finance ‘owner’ of collections and the business and sales organizations to assure appropriate collections policies are in place and to work cooperatively with customers who don’t pay well – there needs to be united messages to the customer.
Q3: Controls domestic vs. international: You pointed out many of the differences in your discussion. My experience is that currency, import/export regulations, customs authorities and different shipping modes drive the major differences and depending on a company’s business appropriate control differences are also needed.
Q4: Order to Cash (OTC) Process – what keeps you up at night: This depends some on the nature of the business you’re working with. Regardless – I recommend keeping focus on value, $$ related segments of the process (e.g. pricing, invoicing, cash collections)
Always when working with the OTC process, make sure you understand the nature and structure of the business. The OTC process must relate more than other processes to this nature and structure.