2021 Predictions: Businesses Will Look to Create Supply Chain Efficiencies by Focusing on Supplier Self-Service

January 19, 2021

Category: Digital Transformation Strategy

Covid-19 shined a bright light on gaps in oversight of the supply chain – delayed shipping, reduced flight routes, increased demand for unique goods and services, suppliers shutting their doors temporarily or permanently all caused major disruptions to B2B supply chains. 

Distributors and retailers alike sit in the middle of a two sided network of many buyers and many suppliers.

Within such a complex network, many challenges exist:

  • Distributed sales reps facilitating orders amidst numerous buyers with unique needs
  • Management and fulfillment of orders across an array of suppliers
  • Disparate and disconnected systems to manage both buyers and suppliers

In 2021, Businesses Will Look to Create Supply Chain Efficiencies by Focusing on Supplier Self-Service

In 2021, B2B businesses will be even more focused on supply chain management and optimization because 2020 has opened their eyes to the holes in their systems, technologies, and procedures.

When it comes to supply chain efficiencies, we’ll see B2B businesses focused on:

  • Consolidating and integrating technologies: Whether you’ve acquired several businesses, or have historically allowed each department to make their own technology decisions, it is not uncommon for businesses to find themselves with siloed and disconnected technology systems. This year businesses will focus on creating a single source of truth for all orders, ensuring all orders are being processed in the same way, thus saving time and money.
  • Digitally connecting suppliers: Spending time on supplier consolidation and vendor management will help businesses create a more efficient network. Making sure these suppliers are connected to your technology so you can automate order notification, fulfillment, shipping information, payments and more, will create additional efficiencies. And a better connected network will enable you to prove more aggregate more demand for suppliers, oftentimes ensuring better pricing as you drive more volume to your suppliers directly. 

To do this, businesses will seek out API-first technologies to establish a consistent, single source of truth to power all order management capabilities, whether they are customer, sales or support facing. Supplier self-service capabilities will be paramount as well, to aid in the eliminating of time spent managing suppliers’ product information and orders.

Read more about the 2021 B2B eCommerce Predictions in the eBook.

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