DTP: Introducing B2B e-commerce
Big companies have accomplished their size by being good and performing better. The tube group is one of those companies. This trading company operates on a global scale, having twenty operating facilities all over the world. The assortment offers over tens of thousands of different products and has hundreds of thousands tons of products in stock. With such bulk at your service, it can be assumed that this is they have figured out the perfect way of handling, checking and keeping track of these products. But also how to get it to the client, both in sales as well as transport. However there are still challenges. In terms of handling the stock, a solid ERP system is required. The desire was to have all operating companies use the same SAP system. However during the implementation this went wrong. So eventually only four used this ERP system, the rest of the operating companies work with tailor made BusinessOne modules.
Another point of improvement it the communication towards the client in terms of e-commerce. Both IT problems and both in need for an IT solution.
So to gain insight into the current situation first a semi-structured interview was conducted, later adding more quantitative data from the annual report. The findings were analyzed for similarities and differences across cases and in comparison to theory.
Based on the research the recommendations that we proposed is, firstly, the implementation of the click-and-mortar B2B e-commerce model. Online channels through which the customer can interact with the company have to be developed. When implemented it will allow for a multi-channel strategy.
For example, it will enable the sales and marketing department to gain insight on customer buying behavior. It will make the ordering process more efficient and pleasant for both the customer and the sales agent. Also, it provides a platform for knowledge sharing within the company and the reduction of operational costs. It will not replace the current model but it will be an enhancement with great impact. An important condition for success of the e-commerce model is creating one standardized ERP system, because without that the e-commerce channel can’t be implemented on the scale The tube group desires it.
So independ on the size of the company, the stock or how long you already exist as a company, there is always room for improvement. Using the knowledge and new insights there is, especially in this recent field called IT, can provide solutions for previous companies struggles.