Mid-sized and large enterprise manage an average of 200 trading partners across multiple global locations. How can you taking advantage of global market opportunities while ensuring a high degree of agility and comply with local requirements?
Recent years have seen an increasing trend towards offshoring production to where it is most cost-effective or convenient for target markets. In addition to India and the Far East, industries such as automotive have looked towards suppliers within emerging markets such as Eastern Europe. Whether recruiting global partners to control costs or shorten supply chains, effective B2B solutions are required to ensure that customer service is not impacted by the transition.
To take full advantage of the opportunities involved in new markets or trading communities worldwide requires the smooth onboarding of a new group of local trading partners. Organizations within emerging markets will often have very limited technical capabilities and even less experience or understanding of what is involved in trading electronically.
Areas to address: Speed of entry
Your speed of market entry depends on how quickly new partners can become productive members of your extended trading community. Within developed markets such as North America and Europe, this requires being able to accommodate the latest technical standards—especially where they are industry specific—and communications protocols. Elsewhere you will have to explore B2B solutions that overcome the technical limitations of trading partners. Even the simplest Web-based forms may not prove successful in an area whose telecommunications infrastructure is not reliable.
Areas to address: Local market support
It is unlikely that you will have a physical presence in every country or geographical region in which you have customers or trading partners. However, if you wish to trade electronically with your entire trading community you must be able to provide effective partner support that understands the local market and can communicate in the local language.
Areas to address: Cross-border trading
Trading globally would be challenging enough if trading regulations were created only on a geographical basis. But in most regions, legislation is often at a national or even individual state level. Your B2B solution must be able to accommodate all these different regulations as well as meeting all the compliance rules of your trading partners. Legislation is not the only issue involved in cross-border trade. You must also find an effective means to expedite and ship parts and orders country to country. Your business will suffer if important items take weeks or months to clear local customs.
The role of B2B Managed Services
B2B Managed Services is very often the ideal route to entering new markets. Primarily because the B2B provider already has an established trading network within your target location. B2B Managed Services can provide an immediate footprint in the regions you are expanding into with B2B specialists who understand the technical, business, and cultural processes. The provider can supply all the local knowledge and support you require. Its infrastructure has developed in line with local capabilities to ensure it is as robust as possible. As importantly, the B2B Managed Services provider can give you access to local logistics and financial partners with experience of the best approach to cross-border trade in that region.
Issues to consider
- Are you looking to offshore manufacturing or production in the next twelve months?
- Do you have a presence in every country in which you trade?
- Are you aware of all local regulations and compliance issues?
- Can you support B2B systems in the Far East or Eastern Europe?
- Can you onboard a new trading partner regardless of their IT infrastructure or readiness for B2B e-commerce?
- Do you amend your product range for local markets?
- Can you monitor and manage the performance of trading partners in regions where you don’t have a physical presence?