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As ecommerce continues to grow, sellers are facing the challenge of managing larger inventories and expanding supply chains, particularly those retailers dealing with both B2B and B2C customers. Lack of visibility and communication across these supply chains is becoming a significant issue and can result in increasing costs and compromised customer service.

Likewise, suppliers are having to cope with increasing customisation as they struggle to comply with the support services requested by their account customers, including different order forecasting, fulfilment and logistics processes, and a wide variety of technology standards for visibility, collaboration and synchronisation.

Process automation has made a positive impact in areas such as order-taking, storage, processing, distribution and inventory updates for supply chain partners, but improving order cycle time is still a big challenge for retailers. There is now huge pressure to improve supply chain visibility and communication, driven by the need for increased distribution centre and sales channel service-level requirements.

However, while investment in better control of inventory and end-to-end order visibility should be a priority in improving customer service and controlling costs, to achieve this, process improvements across the supply chain are necessary. Responsiveness and agility are key to a streamlined supply chain network, and ultimately, competitive advantage. At the heart of this is the supplier’s ability to meet customer demands for more complex and tailored services by embracing the most robust and adaptable B2B ecommerce solutions available.

As suppliers move from a traditional push supply chain approach to a customer-centric, demand-driven model the supply chain is able to manage demand rather than simply just responding to it. A B2B ecommerce solution that enables greater process visibility and collaboration throughout the supply chain will help ensure that suppliers are able to provide the right products at the best prices, while meeting the unique support service requirements of different customers.

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