Let’s say your business offers a wide range of services like bulldozers, petrol, cement, material mix, batteries, wires, etc. When your customer decides to subscribe to more than one of your business segments, you would have to invoice them for each of the services provided.
Varied services lead to multiple invoices and result in overwhelmed customers who will have a higher probability of having their inbox spammed and missing out on payments. This is aggravated if you have multiple software systems to support each segment of your business.
So, what’s the solution to ensure timely payments for the different services you offer your customers? Consolidated invoicing and ordering can help you.
With nearly two decades of experience in the rental industry, we at To-Increase have been empowering businesses in the construction, crane, manufacturing, and high-tech areas, by offering rental software solutions embedded in the Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management ERP.
This article will share the concept of consolidated invoicing and ordering, the benefits it has to offer, and the technology to support it.
What is consolidated invoicing and consolidated ordering?
Consolidated invoicing in the rental industry can be defined as the process in which a rental business could have customers purchasing services from disparate business segments but are invoiced on a single document. It’s also known as combined invoicing, summary invoicing, centralized billing, or unified invoicing.
Consolidated ordering or order consolidation is the process by which multiple services from different business segments can be delivered to the end customer at the same time. With order consolidation, a rental business can deliver the main items to be rented or sold with additional items such as insurance, attached consumables, pick-up, delivery, and elements with sub-elements.
What are the benefits of consolidated invoicing and order consolidation?
1. Streamline invoice processing with a single payment for customers
With a consolidated invoice, all the payment information is in a single location, making it easier for the customers to fulfill the invoice. There is a single payment for the customer per vendor and one reference document while making payment.
This is also beneficial for customers using an invoice processing program in which they would have to pay per invoice. With consolidated billing, your end customers can reduce costs by paying for one invoice stating multiple services rather than multiple invoices for each subscribed service.
2. Improve cash flow by preventing delayed and missed payments
Some of your customers may subscribe to more than one product or service that you offer, which may need renewals. However, when multiple subscriptions are renewed on the same day, your customer could receive too many invoices from you.
Receiving multiple invoices can overwhelm your customers, as they need to keep track of numerous invoices, increasing the likelihood of delayed payments. With unified invoicing, you share one bill, which your customers are unlikely to miss, and they can easily pay for all their subscriptions in a single transaction via their desired payment method.
All of this ensures you are paid on time, reducing any outstanding credits and resulting in a positive impact on your overall cash flow.
3. Recognize and manage multiple revenue streams
You can easily implement different business models, such as standard rental, selling, subscription-based services, pay-per-use, product-as-a-service, project-based rentals, and so on, with consolidated invoicing and ordering.
Multiple revenue streams can be handled efficiently as you can invoice customers for varying services you offer in a single consolidated bill.
4. Stay cost-efficient with reduced manpower
Creating multiple invoices for a single customer is time-consuming, costly, and affects your productivity, especially when dealing with an invoice management system that charges per invoice.
With summary invoicing and consolidated ordering, you can generate an invoice with a simple click and manage all your bills in one place. This makes it easier to use for personnel and guarantees that the bills are created proficiently, decreasing the burden on your staff.
Additionally, the bills are created and managed electronically, reducing paperwork, processing errors, effort to unify bills, and labor costs. Your finance team won’t have to spend time tracking your customers for timely payment collections.
5. Get an easy, user-friendly overview
While offering multiple services, it could be challenging to keep track of each service you offer to your customers over time. Consolidated invoicing and ordering help you get an easy overview of each service, the duration it was provided for, and the additional information required in one area. This makes it easy to handle customers’ payment history.
You also have the option to provide the consolidated invoice to your customers with a quick overview and a detailed insight. The quick overview will share all the services availed in the main view, and you can provide details on each service, with the invoiced rental periods, and additional configurations, with just an additional click.
6. Save time with batch invoicing
You can also carry out batch invoicing, which allows you to generate multiple invoices from a single-entry input without any manual interaction. With batch invoicing, you can easily add line items to invoices without having to re-input all the data every time.
This allows you to process multiple invoices as one, improving efficiency and saving time and effort involved in repetitive data entry tasks.
7. Plan better with more information
With summary invoicing and order consolidation, you can set up rental invoice proposals that will help you plan for the future of your rental equipment with greater efficiency. The rental invoice proposal is an all-inclusive document of everything a customer could want — services, configurations, timelines, specifications, and so on.
You could create the temporary quote in an intermediary stage, block all the services a customer has requested, and create the invoice after the customer has approved the proposal.
Additionally, consolidated billing and ordering help you keep track of records, enabling you to predict your revenue accurately. Your customers can also keep track of all their purchases in one place and organize their expenses accordingly.
How does consolidated invoicing and ordering improve business efficiency?
Besides the benefits discussed above, consolidated invoicing helps you address many challenges you’d face while offering multiple services to your customers. With consolidated billing, you can group multiple subscriptions of a customer into a single invoice, simplifying the billing process.
Similarly, with order consolidation, your customer service representative can work from one screen that provides all the necessary information, making them work quicker and more efficiently.
For instance, a company that offers cooling storage on rent as the main item can also offer thermostats, wires, and batteries as additional attached consumables.
This could all be easily handled through summary invoicing and order consolidation. Such companies can then own multiple projects and be involved with the leasing, renting, and selling of their equipment or product at the end of the business cycle.
You can easily add any related service to your main rental or leasing item, such as supplementary items, attached consumables, additional services, insurance, warranties, transportation, package rentals, rental kits, and even sell the jobs or services.
Further, the additional items can have levels added to them — mandatory or optional items with the main item provided.
Overall, order consolidation and combined invoicing enhance business efficiency in the following ways:
- Quicker processes for the workforce: Customer representatives can get more information in one location through a well-synced CRM solution. With order consolidation, they can input the order quickly and get the order fulfilled sooner.
- Efficient management of the supply chain: You can receive all the information from the customer from the point they show interest in your products to the point they become a customer. Consolidated invoicing can support all processes from quote to order to invoice, in a single system.
- Happier customers with more information: End customers can get quicker access to data on their expenses and can look up further information on a customer portal.
What kind of technology do you need to adopt consolidated invoicing and ordering?
As a rental company, you would need to aim your focus on the following technologies:
- Better and accurate reporting solutions that give insights on equipment utilization in near real-time
- Electronic invoice processing to quickly invoice your customers and receive payments on time
- Syncing your CRM with your ERP for a unified view of the end-to-end customer journey
- An all-inclusive, lead-to-cash solution that can handle your entire rental lifecycle
- A document management tool for creating, designing, formatting, and distributing all your invoices and quotes, such as Lasernet
Ready to transform your rental business today?
If you’re interested in digitally transforming your rental business and want to accelerate your journey toward consolidated invoicing with multiple revenue streams, you could explore the option of an ERP embedded rental-specific software.
Such software would usually provide multiple features that can take care of the different business segments you’re operating with, quickly and effortlessly.
If you’re interested in Microsoft Dynamics 365 or are an existing Dynamics user, you could explore the rental software we offer — DynaRent, embedded in the Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management.
Here is a screenshot of the DynaRent software showing a consolidated invoice
(Click on the image for a full-screen view)
You can further see the details of each component in the Invoice journal lines. Below are the details for the aerial working platform, invoiced based on components. It includes insurance, delivery, and more, and uses a 7 working days calendar for billing.
(Click on the image for a full-screen view)
With DynaRent you can:
- Get useful information related to products with a dashboard offering information on real-time analytics and KPIs
- Sync your CRM and ERP to offer quicker quotes and strengthen customer relations
- Provide easy ordering for your customers through dedicated customer portals allowing them to buy or rent your devices and products online
You could explore more about the DynaRent solution by checking out this factsheet.
The factsheet shares information on:
- The solution features and benefits
- The different industries the solution supports
- The features of each optional add-on solution
- How DynaRent can help your business