The OrderCloud B2B eCommerce Data Model in Action: Diversified Foodservice Supply

May 7, 2021

Category: B2B eCommerce

OrderCloud is a B2B-first commerce platform that powers uniquely complex ordering experiences for enterprises who haven’t been able to get what they need from out-of-the-box commerce solutions.

OrderCloud’s robust data model makes supporting the most complex organizations possible.

Many B2C-first commerce platforms tie you to one single product catalog and a single definition of a buyer user.

OrderCloud allows you to mirror your organization’s makeup, providing you with a unique ordering experience that matches the way your business needs to work.

Overview of the OrderCloud Data Model:

NOTE: To understand OrderCloud’s full Data Model, review the documentation on

Exploring the OrderCloud documentation, you’ll get a good sense for the OrderCloud data model:

  • Seller – At the center of any solution is a single seller organization. It consists directly of users, groups, and addresses (used mainly for shipping calculations), which should be established ahead of product catalogs, buyers, and suppliers.
  • Buyers – Buyers represent real-world legal entities to which the Seller offers Product Catalogs and from which the Seller receives Orders. Buyers can be set up with their own addresses, users, catalogs, and much more, including Cost Centers, Spending Accounts, and Approval Rules.
  • Users – Users can be part of the seller, buyer, or supplier setup. They allow you to set up a great deal of flexibility in setting up a marketplace and coordinating commerce. Additionally, you can set up User Groups that allow you to assign catalogs, permissions, addresses, or other properties.
  • Product Catalogs – OrderCloud supports publishing any number of variations of your product catalog out to buyers and users. May it be to offer customized products for sub-segments of your market, or to centrally manage catalogs that mirror your global supply chain.
  • Suppliers – Suppliers are a third, optional type of organization used in indirect supply chain scenarios. Like the Seller, they contain Users and Groups. Once established, Products can be configured to auto-forward to Suppliers when ordered. This will automatically create a new PO, notify the Supplier, and track costs and profit margins if configured.

OrderCloud Data Modeling Example: Diversified Foodservice Supply – B2B eCommerce Application

Each application powered by OrderCloud utilizes the data model differently. Let’s take a look at an example:

Diversified Foodservice Supply (DFS) is a market leading distributor. They sell maintenance repair and operation parts, supplies and equipment to the foodservice industry. They have ten unique brands (including Tundra Restaurant Supply, Franklin Machine Products, and Allpoints) that sell over 100,000 SKUs to over 53,000 unique customers, including Chipotle, Applebees, Honey Baked Ham, and Starbucks.


DFS needed to create a B2B eCommerce experience with account-specific  ordering experiences for their key customer accounts. 

To do that, they utilized Sellers, Catalogs, Buyers and Users to create the experience they needed.

  • Sellers: For DFS, Sellers, or Seller Organizations, are used to represent each of the DFS brands: Tundra, FMP, and AllPoints. Separating these brands and creating a separate Seller organization for each brand made it easy to connect each separate experience to a separate back-end system (like AS400 or SX).
  • Catalogs & Categories: DFS has two main levels of catalogs:
    • DFS Full Catalog: This catalog represents all products that DFS sells. It mirrors the B2C catalog structure.
    • Customer Catalogs: This is a specific catalog created for each customer. The catalog is mapped to the category structure familiar to them, and scaled back to products applicable to their business.
  • Buyers: Buyers represent the customers of each DFS brand (Tundra, FMP, AllPoints). Customers can be large restaurant chains like Chipotle, for example. EAch buyer has unique approval rules, catalog requirements, pricing and c content marketing that they need incorporated into their ordering experience.
  • Buyer User Groups: DFS utilizes buyer user groups to present different segmentations of a specific customer:
    • Store locations – Each restaurant location within a brand is represented as a buyer user group. Users are then assigned to a user group (a single location) which hosts their store’s shipping and payment methods.
    • Catalog visibility – User groups are created to represent different catalog visibilities. Users can then be assigned to these user groups to view additional categories and products.
    • Approval Rules – User groups are used to represent a set of users eligible to approve orders routed to them based on approval rule expressions.

To learn more about what’s possible on the OrderCloud platform, explore And to explore the OrderCloud platform and architecture, download the feature guide.

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