Are B2B Managed Services Right for You?
To understand whether you can benefit from B2B Managed Services take a good look at your current situation and identify where a lack of B2B capabilities may be negatively impacting your business operations. This brief checklist will give you a range of issues to consider.
|Your employees spend time each day manually entering B2B documents (orders, invoices, Advanced Ship Notices, etc.)|
|The volume of B2B transactions continue to grow rapidly|
|More and more customers and trading partners demand you have automated B2B capabilities|
|You avoid trading partners or customers whose B2B solutions are too complex or too expensive to integrate|
|You plan to grow your business which involves new customers and trading partners in new markets or territories|
|Your supply chain and manufacturing operations are increasingly global|
|You are looking to move towards just-in-time manufacturing and fulfillment to reduce stock risk and speed time to market|
|You require visibility across your entire supply chain|
|You don’t have accurate information on stock levels leading to frequent stock-outs and under-shipment|
|Your products often reach your customers before your Advanced Ship Notices|
|You experience difficulties in on-boarding new trading partners to your B2B systems leading to significant backlogs|
|You receive poor satisfaction scores from customers and partners|
|Customers deductions and order cancellations significantly impact your bottom line|
|Senior management are concerned about increasing headcount in an area they don’t view as core|
|Other IT projects are being delayed as employees are focused on B2B system maintenance|
|Appropriate B2B skillsets are difficult to find and command a premium in terms of wages|
|Internal employees are reticent to re-skill to become B2B specialists|
|New partners mean new systems which imposes a continual training overhead|
Mostly 5 or 6
You have major B2B requirements but your current B2B arrangements are struggling to cope. At best, this is leading to a difficulty in working with your trading partners that is likely to lead to an inability to take full advantage of the opportunities inherent in global sourcing and manufacture. At worst, this is negatively impacting customer satisfaction and profitability. You may be experiencing growing stock issues and customer deductions as well as longer payment periods and cash flow difficulties. You understand that a great deal of this is caused by the complexity you are faced with and the cost and resource required to properly address it. Your organization is one that can benefit most from B2B Managed Services.
Mostly 3 or 4
You are faced with a growing trading community and are experiencing the difficulties in enabling effective B2B transactions with partners and customers. It is likely that you already have established B2B solutions in place but you require an continuing B2B investment to deliver more value to your company and your customers. The first step is to identify exactly • to a granular level such as developing a new map • where your current B2B investment is going and where you believe you can drive cost from the process while improving the end result. You can then assess if this is something that you should do or whether you could get it ‘off-the-shelf’ from a B2B Managed Services provider.
Mostly 1 or 2
Your level of B2B capabilities are appropriate for your current business needs. However, you are aware that your B2B requirements will continue to grow in the future. You are well positioned to assess whether these future developments are best handled internally or through a third party B2B network. Preparation now will facilitate a smooth transition with minimal business disruption whichever route is correct for your business.