Many B2B companies, including those in automotive, electronics, and manufacturing, are at a crossroads with their sales and inventory management processes. Historically, they’ve been reliant on legacy or ERP systems – tools that were designed for predictable, back office business processes. As B2B commerce becomes more digital, these organizations require a system that is more agile, scalable, and adaptable to meet customers’ changing needs.

“With our homegrown solution, there was no single record for deals or inventory information unless you went back and tried to reassemble things­­– which in many of our back offices was impossible.” VP of worldwide business systems, motion controls technology

As supply chains either rapidly slowed down or accelerated in 2020, the lack of agility in these tools became abundantly clear. Manual processes are also making it more challenging to adapt in a time where disruptions are everywhere. By relying on manual processes, organizations are subject to increased human error, delay of goods, and higher costs to do business. On top of these challenges, B2B consumers are demanding a more B2C experience with seamless ordering and self-service, and manual processes can’t deliver.

An omnichannel order and inventory management solution empowers your business to maximize results by automating business rules that are right for your customers and your company, while supporting the agility and scalability requirements driven by today’s customer expectations.

Let’s explore the benefits in more detail:

1. Automate sales orders

With the help of the right B2B order management system, you can accept orders via multiple sales platforms, saving time as you easily manage your inventory, create a new order, update an order, and process the payment. Consolidate sales information from multiple channels so you can track your inventory and orders in a single platform. This gives you the flexibility needed to source and allocate orders more efficiently across your network.

“We are making it easier for customers to do business with us than ever before, and empowering our teams to service those customers more efficiently.”

Bob McAdoo, Vice President, Worldwide Business Systems, Parker Hannifin

2. Reduce manual work

An advanced order management solution processes large B2B orders at the line level — providing more flexibility around splitting orders and managing different workflows on the same order. Sourcing rules are much more extensive to support scenarios like order prioritization, substitutions, and customer level requirements.

3. Real-time global inventory

Get up-to-the-minute inventory tracking and accurate available-to-promise data with a global view of inventory across all your business units. Having one picture of inventory enables you to accurately sell omnichannel inventory, including in-transit, and allows your customers to place one consolidated order with a single invoice. Reduce over-promising by identifying exactly what inventory you have and where it is, with stock thresholds and alerts that ensure you always know when to replenish to prevent lost sales.

“We have a couple of centers that used to have to log in to about 17 different systems to view our operations. Now they essentially go to just a single screen.” VP of worldwide business systems, motion controls technology

4. On-time delivery

B2B customers have high expectations for on time, in-full (OTIF) delivery, and some may have pre-established SLAs to hold you to that promise, with penalties when the order is not received on time. Failing to meet these expectations can impact your brand’s reputation, customer satisfaction, and future sales. With an order management solution that pulls together a real-time, multi-enterprise view of your inventory, you feel confident to meet your customers’ promises and expectations.

5. Grow your business

Scalability is important to meet increasing expectations, changing strategies, and organizational growth. An order and inventory management solution transforms your ERP to face these challenges head on. Whether you have an unusually high “peak” season, or your competitor has a recall that hurts their sales but skyrockets yours – the system can easily handle the automation, inventory fluctuation, and OTIF delivery promise. A scalable system gives you the capacity you need to succeed today and grow for tomorrow.

Order and inventory management solutions are perfect for B2B companies because they automate the typically manual, paper-based system that an ERP delivers. And the best benefit of all? Order and inventory management solutions are built with your customers’ experience in mind.

Explore why ERPs weren’t built to meet today’s B2B customer expectations

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