How Acumatica Streamlines the Beauty Industry’s Quote-to-Cash Process
by Darren Talley on 11/10/22 4:00 AM
As 2022 draws to a close, it is clear that consumers are pulling back on spending in most areas – but not in the beauty industry.
Have you heard of the “lipstick index”? It’s a phrase coined by Leonard Lauder, chairman of the board of Estee Lauder in the early 2000s, used to describe the phenomena in which economic uncertainty leads consumers to spend more money on beauty products. The idea behind it is that larger purchases like clothes or purses were too extravagant in times of economic distress, but a nice lipstick or facial product was OK to splurge on.
Rising inflation is leading some in the beauty industry to begin talking about the “lipstick index” again, and for good reason. According to an article by CNBC:
“Makeup sales, including lipstick, are up 20%, skincare is up 12%, fragrance is up 15% and hair care is up 28% for the first half of  — and they are all growing in units, as well as dollars...”
So whether you’re a manufacturer, wholesale distributor, or a mom-and-pop shop, you need to be taking advantage of this inc. How? By ensuring that your quote-to-cash process (QTC) is both robust AND efficient. Acumatica has you covered.
[The video below will walk you through the entire QTC process – from creating an opportunity to sending the item to processing payment. The blog below that will look at each step in detail.]
CRM Functionality in Acumatica
Create a Quote
The first step in any QTC journey is creating a quote. This could be for a prospective buyer, an opportunity, or a current customer. Acumatica comes with a fully-integrated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system [LINK?].
An opportunity can be associated with a specific account that's already been set up in the system, or it can be set up for a lead or contact that hasn't yet become a customer in Acumatica. The opportunity stage is set up and configured by organization, so you can create various workflows and approvals that go into getting a quote built.
Track Sales Activities
The Activities tab will track any activities that a salesperson took to move the sale along (e.g. phone calls, emails, or a product demonstration).
Price breaks can be built right into the system at the organization level, but salespeople can be given the ability to override that price to one that they’ve negotiated with the customer.
Manual processes during this stage can cause costly errors, infuriate customers, or disrupt the other processes in the QTC process.
Sales Order Processing in Acumatica
Let’s say that the customer has accepted your quote; it’s time to convert it to an order. Once again, Acumatica gives the user the operations to recalculate prices or discounts at the sales order level, if necessary. All of the company’s salespeople and operations can now review and see that the approved order. Users can click and drill into the order, the quote, and any other related documents right from a single screen in Acumatica.
From the sales order screen, the sales staff has the ability to create a shipment with a click of a button.
Over on the Shipment tab, users can print the picking list (AKA a pick list or pick ticket). The picking list integrates with the Warehouse Management System (WMS) and can be barcoded for simpler and more strategic picking.
Once items have been picked, they'll be packed, and Acumatica can help here, too. The system can make a recommendation on what types of packages are needed in order to ship these specific products, and will track their inventory as well. You can also integrate this with various add-on shipping systems seamlessly; sending all the relevant information to the shipping system, and then tracking information back into Acumatica.
Once the boxes have been packed, you can print a shipment confirmation or a packing list to be included in the packages that you're sending. Once this is complete, confirm the shipment and it will be ready for invoicing.
Invoice Processing (Accounts Receivable)
Once again, a simple click of a button is all that is needed to automatically generate an invoice based upon the shipment itself. The invoice can then be emailed to the customer. It can also be printed and sent along with the items.
An End-to-End Connected QTC Process Increases Profitability
That’s all there is to it. Smooth selling and shipping means happy customers, and happy customers means more sales.
Companies that implement the right quote-to-cash software for their unique needs will see improvements in their teams’ efficiency and communication, a reduction in errors from manual entry and lookup, streamlined order fulfillment and billing, and therefore an overall increase in profitability.
Don’t let clunky processes prevent you from riding the lipstick index through any economic slowdowns. You’re in the right industry; just make sure you have the right tools. Contact Milestone to talk more.