By Nick Roquefort-Villeneuve, Global Marketing Director – Amalto Technologies
Fully integrated end-to-end B2B integration is required to seamlessly exchange documents and enhance collaboration as well as communication with your trading partners. Potent B2B integration indeed eliminates manual tasks, which ultimately create dire dysfunctions, such as communication breaches, delays in payments and erosion of the trust among business partners. Furthermore, the increasing levels of complexity that characterize business exchanges demand that organizations rethink the way they’ve been operating and understand the urgent necessity of automating their processes, in an effort to strengthen relationships with customers and suppliers to stay competitive.
Fully Integrated End-to-End B2B Integration: 5 Key-Features
1. Documents Exchange Automation: Naturally, B2B integration’s number one goal is the ability to automate the exchange of documents that sustain the lives of businesses, such as orders, invoices, field tickets and information associated to logistics processes, among others. Such integration is required to eliminate manual intervention and paper. Whether your customers are e-ready or not, it should not matter. A B2B integration specialist will build modules that automate the exchange of documents with either category of buyers.
2. Connections to Marketplaces and Customer Portals: B2B integration is pertinent if documents can be pushed from and to marketplaces and customer portals seamlessly. Connections can be made via API or a secure file transfer protocol (SFTP). The supplier doesn’t have to worry about inputting his or her credentials to access a client’s portal any longer.
3. Data Translation: It’s likely that you and your customers do not use the same data formats in the documents you exchange, and the reason lies in the type of systems (ERP, accounting, other) you use. B2B integration means receiving a document and translating it, so destination systems can understand it and take the next step, so the process can continue to flow.
4. Communication + Collaboration Among Trading Partners: Without access to a web-based tool, both the customer and the supplier cannot interact with each other, respectively to dispute an invoice and find resolution by clicking on an option, for example. This is one of the benefits workflows offer. Lists of rules, exceptions and solutions can be configured, so trading partners can communicate in real-time.
5. Dashboards + Reporting: Users can customize dashboards to access online reports, KPIs and any other content they require to conduct business more efficiently as well as being able to download and/or share graphics and tables.
Fully Integrated End-to-End B2B Integration: 5 Key-Benefits
A fully integrated end-to-end B2B integration application offers a wide array of benefits:
- Elimination of resources (human and financial) associated with the manual management of processes, generating significant savings
- Dramatic reduction of errors involved in the manual processing of business documents
- Enhanced efficiency thanks to process automation
- Increased visibility (dashboards) as well as agility and collaboration among trading partners (access to workflows)
- Strengthened security thanks to the use of an integration application hosted on a secure and dedicated cloud
To Conclude: What’s Next?
What will the next generation of fully integrated end-to-end B2B integration look like? Artificial intelligence is slowly starting to play a part in the scoring of customers. Scores are based on a buyer’s propensity to pay a given supplier on-time, among other attributes. This information can then be integrated to automatically apply preferential pricing, when applicable.