B2B companies in this day and age are repeatedly encouraged to invest in electronic commerce to drive down the cost of customer interaction. Traditionally, B2B organizations first look to electronic data interchange (EDI) as an approach for this. However, more recently, B2B ecommerce has become another options for companies. Considering the fact that both systems process orders digitally, what exactly is the difference between them?
Because it can be so daunting, some organizations choose the path of least resistance and duplicate the ERP data and business logic into the ecommerce system, leaving the two systems decoupled. Unfortunately, this decoupling opens the door to a host of headaches, and companies find themselves wrestling with data replication and timing errors. Understanding and following a few golden rules will ensure that the b-to-b ecommerce site complements the ERP system, and does not try to replace it.
Among the many initiatives an organization takes on in any given year, a b-to-b ecommerce project can be one of the most challenging. Not only do these require resources whose days are filled with conflicting priorities, but it introduces an entirely new sales channel which changes the dynamic of the organization’s working business model. Here’s why the first tactic in a successful b-to-b ecommerce initiative is often the most overlooked as companies charge full steam ahead