Third-party technology partners accelerate integration, digitization, and ingenuity in B2B commerce

TradeCentric’s Michael Sonier explains why your business must modernize their buying and selling process.

Asian female leader using laptop and communicating with her business team during office meeting.
Image: Drazen / Adobe Stock

The last few years have highlighted the divide between early adopters and laggards of automation and digitization. Buyers and suppliers investing in integration between E-Commerce platforms and E-Grocery systems have far outstripped their competitors – and they are reaping the benefits through improved efficiency and stronger trading partnerships.

While many industry leaders are interested in providing a more sophisticated commerce experience, for too many B2B commerce remains a tedious and manual process. Digitization efforts place a strain on already stressed groups, including IT, eCommerce, and digital shopping.

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Industry leaders, especially those in technology, must be more resourceful than ever to achieve the speed and volume required of today’s businesses.

Given the current environment, it would be wise for C-level executives and IT managers to take proactive steps to reduce the workload associated with integrating and automating Commerce systems. e-commerce and e-grocery. As the B2B sector embraces digitization, it’s time for businesses to modernize time-consuming buying and selling processes while expanding connectivity.

Accelerate time to value

Automation and integration are key technology areas of focus for leading B2B buyers and suppliers. Organizations are implementing solutions like PunchOut, Order Automation (PO) and Invoice Automation to enable seamless digital commerce. However, businesses trying to tackle certain internal integration encounter the complexity of implementing this type of integration.

First of all, developing these integrations takes time. Each solution requires a separate connection. Companies that choose to develop and internally maintain these integrations must clearly understand the development and testing work time required to ensure these systems are properly set up and functioning properly. This process can be overwhelming for teams that have never been exposed to this type of integration. And even if a team has created 10, 20, or even more than 30 integrations, there is still a time requirement to build each integration. In our experience, having deployed over 15,000 of these integrations, the nuances of source system deployment mean that connecting routes and maintaining them is rarely plug and play.

Successful integration requires expertise to understand the nuances of B2B commerce with a platform that is flexible enough to adapt to the complexities of buyer and supplier systems. Third-party integration solutions providers specialize in building these integrations, and they often have pre-made connectors to speed up the integration process. Since B2B commerce integration is the sole focus for these vendors, they can significantly expedite the initial integration process while managing the ongoing maintenance of these integrations.

Leverage third parties to redirect and reallocate resources

Technology leaders are feeling pressure from all areas of the business to keep pace with digitalisation. Outsourcing to third parties is one way teams can partially accommodate incoming requests so employees can focus on other areas of the business.

Often, companies seek to deploy technology for the benefit of the technology, but this can backfire if it leads to another platform or system that teams must manage. Ideally, technology platforms should make employees’ lives easier, not create more jobs.

The eCommerce and eProcurement integration is no exception. Many IT teams are asking to develop integration between the two systems, but this can be a challenging feat. Most systems don’t speak the same language, and creating a seamless flow of communication can be tedious if not impossible. An integration can take months to complete, after which IT teams must manage and maintain that connection in the future.

Now imagine having to create, manage, and maintain dozens or hundreds of these integrations concurrently – all while E-Commerce and E-Grocery systems are constantly pushing for updates. It’s a surefire way to drain resources and burn staff, while increasing FTE requirements and incapacitating other areas of the organization. The ongoing management and maintenance of these connections is an important challenge to address as well as the evolution of the integrations themselves. Leveraging a third party to build and maintain those integrations not only saves money and resources, but also keeps employees awake.

Enhance digital ingenuity

Harvard Business Review definition digital ingenuity is “ambition and ability to use technology for better business results.” Gartner reports that high digital skills in an organization increase the likelihood of a successful digital transformation.

Even so, a Gartner survey found that 83% of leaders struggle to create lasting and meaningful change related to digital transformation. This begs the question: “if digital ingenuity is so important to businesses, why are so few companies able to achieve success?”

There are many factors that contribute to poor digital skills, but one that is often overlooked is the inability of tech teams to focus on a handful of strategically important technology initiatives. important. No wonder the IT team is stretched thin. How can they discover innovative technologies that support digital transformation if they are constantly bogged down with tedious and manual tasks? Delegating complex integration development and maintenance to a third-party solution provider is absolutely critical to unlocking the full digital potential of a technology team.

Digital transformation is more important than ever, and technology leaders play an integral role in driving digitalisation within the business. It is in the best interests of business leaders to partner strategically with third-party technology providers that have the resources and expertise to support integration and automation in B2B commerce so that their teams can focus on technological innovations that drive increased corporate value.

Michael Sonier

Michael Sonier is VP of Product at TradeCentricglobal leader in B2B commerce integration specializing in connecting eCommerce platforms with eProcurement and ERP systems.

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