Value Stream Mapping Order-to-Cash or Quote-to-Cash

As forward-thinking organizations develop strategies to scale and grow, they recognize the need to establish world-class efficiency throughout the entire sales cycle, from attracting the right customers to long-term customer satisfaction, (and overall customer retention).

If your sales teams seek to optimize each and every sales opportunity, gaining an in-depth understanding of both your Order-to-Cash and Quote-to-Cash process is an imperative first step.

The ideal way to understand your overall process is to leverage the true power of Value Stream Mapping. The Value Stream Mapping process may be applied at different levels, sizes and scope, based on the actual need as well as the processes that need to be analyzed and assessed.  An organization may decide to map a single process while others may decide to have an entire end-to-end view of their business enterprise.

Does Quote-to-Cash Value Steam Mapping include Order-to-Cash processes?

The answer to this questions is…ABSOLUTELY!  Typically, organizations utilize the terms quote-to-cash and order-to-cash interchangeably which may cause challenges when attempting to understand how best to assess and improve.

The “Quote-to-Cash” business process is the main artery to all organizations.  This process describes how organizations quote and order, generate sales, commit resources, and deliver to customers on-time and complete.

The “Order-to-Cash” process places a keen focus on the organization’s “order management system” and is an imperative reflection of the organization’s relationship with its customers.  We may view order-to-cash as the set of processes required to deliver a product or service based on an actual customer order.

Another way to view these distinct Value Streams is the following:

  • The QTC Value Stream spans from the ultimate customer’s intent to procure through the realization of revenue
  • The OTC Value Stream includes order fulfillment through the invoicing process and the recording of revenue.

In essence, Order-to-Cash may be viewed as a process or subset of the entire Quote-to-Cash Value Stream.  When seamlessly integrating these two value streams, organizations can provide a world-class purchasing experience for their customers that is unmatched by their competitors.

order to cash

Taking a closer look at the Quote-to-Cash Value stream, it is important to assess these critical areas:


The number of inputs may include on-line quoting, phone order, catalogs, and in some cases, organizations may still be utilizing fax orders.  In addition, these orders may be handled by both Inside and/or outside sales coordinators.  The outputs may include a Sales Order Acknowledgement and of course data entry into the CRM.

Order Entry

Once an order is placed, you may have high variation where such written or verbal orders in many cases can trigger a CRM change.

Schedule and Commit Resources

In this instance, we must understand inventory and/or workload demand that will trigger sourcing decisions associated with outsourcing or vendor scheduling.

Source/ Make

In many cases, an organization may review planning, scheduling, drawings, and the overall customer order to fully understand the scope of the order to clearly understand all “source/ make” decisions.

Ship Schedule

It is imperative to understand all ship and confirm sub processes that may not be clearly defined through a manufacturing-based Value Stream Map.

Typically, when assessing your Quote-to-Cash or Order-to-Cash Value Streams you will identify critical areas to improve that may include:


  • Inaccurate Quoting
  • Rebate mismanagement.
  • Billing and invoice issues
  • Frequent customization of T’s and C’s


  • Slow Quote-to-Cash cycle time
  • Slow New Product Introduction time
  • Sow response to customer requests
  • Delays in delivery of services

Sales Efficiency:

  • Low value-added tasks
  • Low workforce productivity due to manual processes along sales cycle


  • SKU proliferation due to excessive product/ service options
  • Multiple customer segments being serviced.
  • Limited customer and partner visibility
  • Suboptimal Pricing

Sales Effectiveness:

  • Poor sales enablement, (i.e., onboarding, product training, job specific training)
  • Lack of insufficient E-Commerce platform
  • Low quota attainment and high sales turnover


First, it is important to lead the creation of a detailed Current State Value Stream Map across Quote-to Cash or Order-to Cash-processes that should include the following elements:

  • Assess current organizational alignment, roles responsibilities and skill set as it relates to your Quote-to-Cash process
  • Assess and map current policies, procedures, and escalation protocols as it relates to your Quote-to-Cash process
  • Assess current technology opportunities, workflow, and data integrity as it relates to your Quote-to-Cash process
  • Prioritize Top Customers and identify trends across improvement opportunities
  • Assess the overall sales process from lead generation to customer order
  • Assess customer order and order entry process
  • Assess current process to determine availability of service ordered by the customer
  • Assess current resource management process and systems
  • Assess current supplier management process and systems
  • Assess current customer receipt and invoice management process
  • Assess current process to record revenue and receivables
  • Assess current payment process and lead time to receive cash
  • Assess current process to manage receivables, customer receipts and reconciliation processes.
  • Assess current collection strategy and workflow
  • Assess and map current KPI’s, benchmarks and performance management (including % of complete and on-time delivery, % of Days Sales Outstanding, (DSO) and lead time between process completion and invoicing, Right the First Time, cycle time, lead time, etc.)


An Eye-Opening Management Process

Value Stream Mapping (MUST) be used to:

  • Illustrate and analyze the flow of information, material and processes needed to ensure a world-class customer purchasing experience
  • Visualize and recognize limiting factors across each process role and division
  • Highlight problems, losses, and inefficiencies
  • Develop and implement countermeasures visually to facilitate continuous and never ending improvement
  • Monitor and continuously improve through planning, implementation, validation and adjustment, (PDCA).


Finally, it is becoming imperative that organizations leverage Value Stream Mapping to make critical decisions as it relates to their Order-to-Cash and Quote-to-Cash business processes.  Value Stream Mapping will make a significant impact when deciding critical elements of your business, such as, the resizing and/or restructuring of your teams, how to make your business models more flexible, shorten decision chains and streamline your overall process.

Through Incito’s Quote-to-Cash Value Stream Mapping coaching and facilitation, you will learn how to:

  • Conduct value stream mapping through the selection of key processes across your business enterprise
  • Determine sources of unevenness, overburdening and overall waste to establish process flow
  • Identify the existing state of performance against your ideal performance requirements
  • Define and assess waste opportunities
  • Identify and prioritize improvement opportunities designed to improve not only your competitive advantage but your financial performance as well
  • Prepare a future state map and gap analysis
  • Conduct key performance indicator validation against future state to ensure performance success
  • Develop a master schedule roadmap and milestones to ensure a stable future state

Contact Incito Consulting Group

To learn more about the Incito Consulting Group’s Enterprise Value Stream Mapping  process, please fill out the form below to schedule a consultation.

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