Technology influences every aspect of what we do today. From the professional to the very personal, software solutions and applications make our lives easier and organized.
In the world of B2B eCommerce, however, the technology used looks a bit different. More often than not, business owners use decade-old technology to conduct B2B operations.
Why? Because replacing them means going through changes that might hurt a running business operation. For your bottom-line, an unwillingness to embrace change might be justified. Regardless, change is inevitable.
Take the B2C eCommerce landscape. While the trade is still the same, how it is conducted is now very different. You currently have customer reviews, ratings, self-service, and so much more.
B2B customers, taking a cue from their B2C experiences, now demand a similar experience when purchasing business-facing products. To cater to these needs, you need to have a Digital Operations Platform (DOP) on your B2B store.
The services offered by traditional technologies just don’t cut it anymore. Making your B2B operations digital can change your business for the better. Here’s the ultimate reason why:
DOP and The Replacement of Legacy Systems
From the introduction, you might have assumed that B2B is a head-strong industry that’s never going to change.
That’s not true. Over the years, B2B businesses have changed their practices and embraced technology in one form or another. Nowadays, almost every B2B company has an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), and Order Management (OMS) software as part of their operations.
The change has been good to them, but it’s still too slow. To maintain customer experience, you need to have continuous integration between the systems mentioned above. Departmental integration can make information sharing a lot easier. But that’s only to an extent.
The downside to using an integrated system is the creation of mazes of information. If not handled correctly, it could lead to serious inefficiencies and hits to your company’s bottom line.
So, if you’re a B2B store owner, what’s the alternative solution? Well, the answer to that lies in the introduction of a Digital Operations Platform for your business. With it, you can avoid the complexities of integrating your B2B Management Information Systems (MIS).
What is a Digital Operations Platform DOP?
The main goal of a Digital Operations Platform is to unite all your back-office operations into a single system. True enough, it does work as an ERP. The only difference is that instead of mixing your processes up, it gives an organized space where you and your team can work together.
At its core, a Digital Operations Platform makes coordination easier and improves the customer experience.
Let’s look at some of the benefits of this platform:
Centralized Team Platform
By establishing a DOP, all your departments are synced up in one place. They can handle and conduct their B2B operations from a single space without getting their processes mixed up.
Let’s look at an example. With a DOP, you can manage sales through both online and offline channels. At the same time, your warehouse managers can organize their inventory; your order managers can see customer orders placed and more.
With the data constantly synced up, your store can benefit from increased coordination and give your customer service and marketing teams relevant, real-time data to tailor your content.
The prime benefit of using this system is that it reduces errors in the collected data. Since the DOP handles all the inaccuracies, you reduce your chances of transferring erroneous data through the system.
Data-backed Decision Making
Utilizing data accurately for business operations is the need for modern businesses. With a DOP, you can remove the departmental data-silos, making collaboration a dynamic process.
By automating processes, you’re reducing the need for extra labor. With a DOP, you can reduce the number of staff required to do manual data entry, reducing errors.
At the warehouse level, you can organize your inventory flow more effectively and gain useful insights. With the data in hand, you can remove significant guesswork and sentiment regards to your decision-making processes.
Optimized Customer Experiences
The modern B2B buyer is looking for smooth customer experience. Regardless of the channel used in purchasing products, a DOP can prove to be a game-changer for optimizing the customer experience.
At a glance, you can automate the following processes:
- Complexities ordering workflows
- Tracking orders
- Customer service operations
With this data at your disposal, you can form better relationships with customers and provide an overall refined B2B service experience.
Reduction of Integration Mazes
As discussed before, a DOP allows you to centralize business processes. Though this centralization is beneficial, it doesn’t imply that all your internal processes will have to be replaced.
The processes can stay as they are. The DOP only organizes those processes into a single framework focusing on organizational cohesion. Seamless integrations are at the forefront of DOP.
With a centralized interface at your disposal, you can integrate your payment gateways and shipping partners seamlessly and effectively.
It’s a less-costly and easy-to-use integration that’s better than legacy solutions.
Is a DOP The Right Fit For Your Business
It’s a justified question and one that needs to be addressed.
The B2B industry consists of a variety of different sub-industries and niches. Depending on your B2B operations area, you can choose to have a DOP for your business. Again, while the choice is yours, it’s always best to consider a DOP a must-have due to the benefits it provides your store.
Your B2B eCommerce platform, integrated with a powerful DOP, can give you significant advantages over your competitors. Moreover, it also promises tons of benefits regarding efficiency and optimization of all aspects of your store operations.
All in all, a DOP solution is one that’s guaranteed to give you the upper hand.
The goal of a B2B eCommerce store is to streamline and improve processes. You can’t just rely on traditional and outdated methods to run a store in these times. The important takeaway from this article is that B2B operations are complex, and you need a solution that promises an organization that makes your processes more seamless and organized.
Yes, it feels that there are solutions that advertise so much yet provide so little. Instead of going for a solution that promises a lot, look for one that solves organizational problems.
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