Danica Yanga, Senior Manager, Payments and Collections, has been with Box for over 10 years and has seen all levels of evolution across its finance organization, from solely relying on inbound billing support to developing a robust collections team, platform, and strategy. In the early days, Danica raised her hand to build out Box’s first-ever collections function. “Up until that point, we were only focused on inbound payments and left it up to our customers to pay us. So the first thing I did was put a collections policy in place. At Box, we always put the customer experience first, and believe that a customer should not receive any friction or frustration from our brand. That means that we must rely on consistent communication and strong relationships with our customers’ finance departments to collect on time and have predictable cash flow.”
Establishing a forecast through spreadsheets & rigid tools
With the realization that not all clients were paying timely, the focus grew to the collections team. “What I quickly realized was that you can’t have an accurate cash forecast without insight into payment status and reasons for payment delays. This was a big learning for me and although it was great to have this level of insight, it was messy and complicated to keep track of in spreadsheets.”
As the collections team kept growing, it became more tedious and time-consuming for Danica to consolidate collections data and adequately communicate with leadership. “I was managing a large spreadsheet where everyone on my team—now up to 4 people—had a tab with their own collection notes, deadlines, and exceptions. To see a single view I had to copy all spreadsheets into one view, and that’s assuming that all columns and rows aligned, which they almost never did.”
“At that point, we knew we needed a better way but this was five years ago and Tesorio wasn’t even on the market yet, so we ended up utilizing an existing tool. We tried to use our ERP but it just wasn’t meant to be a collections tool at the end of the day. My team did not adopt it and many times, went back to their spreadsheets.”
Becoming a critical vendor and key business partner
Finally, a few years later and now a public company, Box determined that being able to manage collections predictably was critical not just for internal reporting, but to have reliable cash forecasts—it was time for a true collections tool. Having waited years for this, Danica knew exactly what her and the team needed in a tool. “I had a list of business requirements for our new collections tool. It had no less than 67 bullets. When I presented this to Tesorio, there was no reservation or shock but instead excitement to partner on delivering these needs. I never felt like they were trying to mold us to their platform but instead listened to our needs and delivered on each one.”
Danica’s team has now retired the use of spreadsheets and is able to track all escalations, commitments, exceptions, and workflows in a single place.
From Engineering sprints to personalized communication
Prior to Tesorio, Collections managed client communication through a homegrown system so updating copy required engineering support. Imagine your Sales or Marketing teams needing engineers to code up every outbound campaign—A/B testing would be very complex and personalization to improve response rates would be nearly impossible.
“If I wanted to make a change in our collections emails, I had to submit my request via an engineering ticket, hoping to get it into an existing sprint and that it wasn’t de-prioritized. Because of this, it could take weeks to make a simple change to our generic messaging going out."
With Tesorio’s dunning campaigns, the team has been able to personalize communication for their larger accounts to provide a better customer experience. Since the launch of Tesorio, Danica and her team have done away with managing manual notifications and found that optimizing dunning messaging has been a breeze—a feature they’ve used even more than anticipated. “My team now has full control over their communications strategy. We can customize touch points generated by the dunning campaigns before they go out based on recent conversations or agreements they’ve had with a specific client—it’s been critical for the recent economic volatility but also for any time.”
“In light of COVID-19, we have been able to customize our dunning so that we are more empathic and flexible to our clients and their needs. This would have never been possible in our previous scenario. In addition, I was able to add a custom ‘payment plan’ tag into Tesorio and can now report out weekly our impacted customers so that we can better answer the recurring question from leadership of how much cash is being impacted by the pandemic.”
Additionally, with Tesorio, Danica was able to simplify the bad debt process and gained back 2 hours a week. “Prior to Tesorio, I had to manually consolidate 14 spreadsheets each week. Now with Tesorio, I can simply run an aging report, and trust they’ve received the appropriate dunning campaigns without reviewing each account scenario.”
Answering leadership’s question within minutes
At time of forecasting, Danica typically reviews the largest open invoices. “On our monthly forecast call, we discuss forecast methodology. With Tesorio, I was able to pull up our top 10 accounts and showed our historical data and other notes to back up why we predicted the way we had. Within minutes there was consensus that what I had forecasted made good sense. The level of transparency and visibility I was able to provide to leadership within minutes would have never been possible prior to Tesorio.”
Joint growth that influences Tesorio’s product roadmap
Danica is excited to take advantage of Tesorio’s new Action Center and Automations feature. Automations will allow the Collections team to set rules and trigger tasks when certain deemed actions or activities take place, removing the manual effort to track certain scenarios. “Automation will allow my team to focus on more strategic work and trust that Tesorio will flag concerns based on the conditions we’ve set. For example, if a payment is a week late, automation can recognize this, trigger an escalation, create a task to follow up with the customer, and even reassign it to someone else. And as our policies or the business change, I’m able to adjust these drivers at any time to ensure our automations are as effective as possible.”
Then with these automations in place, Danica can pull together a workspace based on a tag to keep tabs on something specific or timely. “The workspace concept, in combination with Automations, has been incredibly helpful during COVID—being able to have immediate visibility into all the customers that are now on a payment plan has been critical. With this information at my fingertips, I’ve been able to provide the business with proactive insight on shifts in expected cash flow. With this in mind, I’m excited for my team to discover other instances of how automation and workspaces can help us improve our data, identify trends, and better serve our customers and the business.”
“Tesorio has been such a great partner. What has been really cool throughout our partnership is that we’ve seen our business requirements actually influence the product roadmap, and we’ve been able to be very involved in Tesorio’s product growth. We all know that isn’t the case for the majority of technology vendor relationships.”