Study: B2B Procurers Want Seamless Order Handling in E-Commerce Transactions

As the importance and popularity of B2B e-commerce grows across Europe, B2B procurers have made it clear that seamless and transparent order handling in real time was a major priority for them in working with online suppliers.

In a study by the Zug, Switzerland e-commerce software developer Hybris, a majority of the 224 European procurement heads interviewed agreed that transparency of transactions and tracking order status are probably the most critical components that buyers require in a B2B procurement scenario. B2B suppliers have traditionally used back-office systems for tracking inventory and orders, and these processes must change before they become customer-facing. In addition to offering customers a variety of shipping and return options, first-rate e-commerce technology should be entirely transparent and should streamline the organization’s entire fulfillment process, procurers said. This information must be available to buyers at any time and just as importantly, in real-time—providing on-demand visibility to information that is essential to the buyer’s operations.

Procurement solutions for e-commerce have been extremely limited in the past, as Mercator Advisory Group analyst Michael Misasi notes in a recent report. They have functioned primarily to help buyers identify new suppliers and manage procurement contracts. In contrast to invoice automation and payment management tools, they can achieve critical mass rather quickly if they work within the complexities of a particular sector like healthcare, education, or hospitality and food service. Catering to a narrow vertical allows vendors to quickly connect the biggest players and leverage those relationships to bring smaller companies into the network. Some vendors supplement procurement solutions with invoice‐automation tools, but very few go so far as to facilitate the electronic payment once an invoice has been approved. Clearly, procurers in Europe are demanding a great deal more. They would like to have order management and payments handled by the same system.

B2B transactions are complex. They tend to involve multiple relationships within each corporation—relationships involving a series of complicated processes. On the buyer’s side, the procure-to‐pay (P2P) process includes, among other steps, discovery, procurement, contract management, electronic purchase order generation, invoice receipt, document matching, discount management, and finally, payment.

Similarly, the supplier equivalent set of order‐to‐cash (O2C) processes includes catalog generation, order management, fulfillment, e‐invoice generation, discount management, and payment reconciliation. Adding to the complexity of B2B e‐commerce, each process may be subject to complex business rules on each side of the transaction, and both parties need to produce documents that incorporate merchandise promotions, discounts, and unique business relationships.

All of this should suggest that businesses are well served in looking to reliable partners who can provide B2B e-commerce transactions in real-time, 24/7, and that can handle data attachments to provide complete transparency at any point. From the ground up, Traxpay was specifically designed for B2B transactions. With Traxpay, buyers and sellers are able to conduct business directly, instantly, anywhere, anytime, and with rich data attachments in any size or format.

By combining payment and related data together, Traxpay reduces the number of payment exceptions and allows for faster reconciliation and dispute resolution. Traxpay also integrates into existing ERP and other corporate IT systems, and is a SAP-certified solution. Traxpay provides the ultimate in trusted trade with its built-in escrow-like features, its secure bank-grade private data center, and assurance that all funds are more highly safeguarded than at any bank. Traxpay can help. Contact us at info@traxpay.com for additional information.

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