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Smarter Commerce | September 18, 2014

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B2B Automation – Your Organization May Be Further Away Than You Think

B2B Automation – Your Organization May Be Further Away Than You Think
Matt Bucey

The state of EDI and B2B integration for many organizations still poses a challenge as they struggle to effectively extend their internal business processes with their community of partners, suppliers, and customers. We know this, because we’ve been listening to you.

Based on research conducted by Vanson Bourne on behalf of IBM, 87% of global companies believe their business community is critical to their success; however, what’s more telling is the fact that 76% do not believe they collaborate with that business community effectively. That’s a compelling gap, and one that companies should not sit back and ignore.

So what is holding these organizations back? The issue, at large, is a combination of the myriad of global legacy and manual processes coupled with the ever-growing complexity of that partner community.

 

Did you know…for transactions (invoices, POs, etc.) with customers, suppliers, and partners…

  • 78% rely on email

  • 53% rely on mail/fax

  • 50% rely on phone (call centers)

 

How automated are your B2B processes with your business community? Chances are you have some automation, but, like the study respondents, you may be relying on email, fax, or call centers. Can you efficiently deliver products and services to your customers if the lifeblood (that transactional data) relies on outdated technologies or error-prone manual processes?

 

Take a look at these country-specific infographics to learn more about the benefits of automation.

Global  |  South Africa  |  Australia  |  Brazil  |  UK  |  France  |  Germany  |  China

Comments

  1. Alan Ernst

    I understand where you are going with this but the suggestion that email and the phone are outdated technologies is ridiculous.

  2. Matt Bucey

    Alan – While tools such as email and phone are still viable and useful tools for companies, they are not efficient for managing the complex transactions (invoices, POs, etc.) which drive the supply chain. The reliance on people in the processing of that critical data drives the cost per transaction up. Our studies, as well as 3rd party researchers and analyst have shown these types of manual transactions cost at minimum $10 per document. Many clients we work with have a goal to automate their order-to-cash, or procure-to-pay processing in an effort to both reduce costs, and increase the speed to which they can deliver products and services. In this respect, email, phone, fax, and call centers are most definitely outdated.

  3. mike serpico

    IMO, in a B2C scenario, if the call center relies on a CRM or other systems than we can say that the “phone” is just the communication channel and we could consider it not outdated BUT in a B2B scenario in which companies exchange thousand of documents AND such documents are related each other (e.g. PO->CONFIRM->…->SHIP->…->INVOICE->…) than using the “phone” drives to an error-prone, bottle-neck, expensive approach.
    In the meanwhile, the email could still represent an alternative if we see it just as a comm. channel like FTP or AS2 are. Today, any B2B gateway is able to process email detaching the enclosed file (e.g. XML or CSV) and integrating it to the back-end ERP.

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