How To Renovate Your B2B Order Management Process

July 14, 2016

In today’s frenetic, internet oriented world, running a channel network is one of the hardest management challenges out there.  You have to grow and so do your partners.  But the traditional ways of B2B order management don’t seem get the results any longer.  Competition is moving quicker.  Your channel partners are moving in different strategic directions to ward off new threats like Amazon.  You need to figure out new ways to develop existing partners and find new ones.

Unfortunately, there is little time to think strategically, the fires are too many. To name a few:

New multi-partner marketing campaign coordination
Regional Pricing promotion rollout
Product bundle fulfillment issues
Can’t get samples out to dealers for a brand promotion rollout
New distributor onboarding
Resolving a significant channel conflict between distributors
Excess inventory from an ineffective promotion
Large new product introduction
Key distributor sales declining
Customer support issues – returns are taking weeks to process.  Dealers are unable to order free samples
MDF award and redemption issues
IT issues – EDI network is unavailable, pending price changes were sent to the wrong partners
Regional Sales Rep leaves and is threatening to take customers

If any of these issues apply to you, then you probably share a common dilemma.  How can you move the ball forward and be strategic when there are so many challenges to manage?

It’s time to renovate your B2B order management process.

Your channel is looking for new ways to sell you products & services but you are burdened by the everyday operational challenges of a complex, multi-tenant reseller base.  Orders seem easy, until you apply the complexities of partner demographics, multiple order processes, pricing diversity, promotions and change.  Suddenly the ordering process is burdensome, error-prone and a value detractor to your resellers.

B2B eCommerce platforms can improve your ordering process when the strategic imperative exists to do so.  But just as importantly there are many ways that eCommerce solutions can tactically take on portions of your key pain points.  You can systematically automate key elements of your ordering process, relieve stress points in your channel and enable new ways to sell, promote and educate the network.

With Four51 OrderCloud you can renovate your entire ordering process with a data model that adapts to all of the complexities of the commercial relationships in your channel.  But more importantly, you don’t have to completely renovate at once.  Tackle portions of the process, create incremental gain without massive capital expenditures that many strategic initiatives require.  Examples of niche areas where we have helped customers tactically advance their process:

  • Customer service ordering UI – allow the customer service area to have a custom user interface that allows them to easily manage all channel ordering issues without learning an extensive ERP system
  • Product information management – Create a single database off ALL product information, including pricing & promotion as a reference point for the channel without affecting existing ordering processes.  Tailor the information to the requirements of ease channel partner and ease the burden of managing the complexity of those relationships.
  • Samples order – establish an ordering process for samples only.  Make it easy to get your product visibility to the end customer without making burdensome to your partners
  • Marketing development fund and loyalty management – Improve your key loyalty tool by automating, digitizing and adding new promotional capabilities to the program.

Take a break from the chaos that comes with B2B selling – tame these complexities with a new B2B eCommerce strategy. There are many moving parts in how B2B businesses sell (distributor, end customer, sales reps, etc.) and current solutions cannot organize all of them.  With Four51 OrderCloud, your renovation can occur in the steps and minimize the impact to current operations.  

Renovate your order management. Reinvent your B2B commerce.