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Catch Them While You Can: Why You Can No Longer Afford to Ignore the Value of B2B e-commerce

Catch Them While You Can: Why You Can No Longer Afford to Ignore the Value of B2B e-commerce

At first, B2B e-commerce was pretty simple. Storefronts, the ability to reorder consumables, or request service. Basic steps in response to an emerging desire by customers to serve themselves, online. Now? Your customers no longer distinguish between you and Amazon or any other consumer outfit. To them, online is online and they expect speed, simplicity, an elegant user experience, and complete control. Yes, this presents more challenges to a manufacturer than to a typical retailer, especially in light of the dependence on legacy ERP systems. Unfortunately, your customers are unsympathetic. Give them what they want, or risk losing them to somebody who will. Nobody can predict what the e-commerce landscape for manufacturers will look like going forward, given the breadth and speed of the disruption that’s taking place. Just one example: what’s going to happen to channel partners and distributors as customers continue to seek a more direct relationship with you? Will the middlemen adapt? How? If not, will they cease to exist? Big questions that currently have no clear answers. But here’s something we do know for sure. If you’re not learning from the example of B2C and e-commerce pioneers in B2B, and looking for ways to adopt their […]

Why Choose a New Cloud ERP Solution?

Everybody’s getting lean. Manufacturers have known for some time that in order to compete locally or globally, be profitable and grown their companies, they need to adapt lean manufacturing techniques to reduce waste, increase efficiency, sustain continuous process improvement, ensure product quality and support just-in-time manufacturing. Lately these firms have been embracing cloud ERP in their efforts to get lean. Why are manufacturers choosing cloud-based ERP solutions? First, many of these firms have discovered that legacy ERP systems are simply too expensive, difficult to use and don’t grow with their company. Sure, some legacy, on-premise ERP vendors are promising some cloud-based functionality, but often these are bolted-on afterthoughts in an effort to get some of the cloud ERP market share. A true cloud-based ERP solution is one that is designed and implemented in the cloud and takes advantage of storage, real-time access and mobility benefits that the cloud provides. Cloud ERP’s ability to provide real-time access to critical data allows firms to track every step and component in their supply chain. For example, firms can use cloud ERP to track production, receiving, yields and efficiency, and their production workers can then access this data in real time on their smartphones. […]