Call Toll Free: 888-623-2374

Request InformationSupport

Give Buyers the Gift of B2B Automation this Holiday Season

PunchOut catalogs and B2B order automation reduce supply-chain delays, streamline the flow of information, and help suppliers stay on top of seasonal demand.

Gift_Small1.pngEvery year, the media treats us to endless articles about seasonality in the retail sector. During the fourth quarter, seasonality becomes the story, whether it is parents hunting for a trending toy or analysts assessing the value of Black Friday sales. What rarely reaches the front page is the impact of seasonality on B2B suppliers.

The manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors who make and supply in-demand products are under as much pressure to deliver as retailers. The holiday season balloons demand throughout the supply chain. The profitability of B2B businesses depends on getting products out of the door in time to meet that demand. Friction in the supply chain and procurement delays are bad news.

In the run-up to and throughout seasonal peaks, B2B buyers work on short timelines. They must be able to place orders and have them fulfilled quickly to meet increased demand.

Slow-Motion Procurement

What causes the delays that prevent parents from buying the trending toy that will make their child’s Christmas? Cynics will say that it’s a marketing ploy, with some justification. But real procurement and supply chain issues cause problems every year. Planning errors and a lack of product availability cause delays, but poor lines of communication, bad information, and inefficient administration are significant contributing factors.

Supply chains are interdependent and delays are cumulative. When wholesalers, manufacturers, and their suppliers experience or cause friction, it adds up to unacceptable delays for the buyer. Efficient seasonal procurement depends on supply chains that can react quickly. And, to react quickly, information such as purchase orders, order statuses, and invoices must be able to flow through the supply chain efficiently, must be accurate, and must be easily accessible.

B2B integration and automation are key to accelerating the transmission of accurate information through supply chains. The use of inappropriate communication channels and manual processing cause many procurement and supply chain delays. Busy employees are slow to process or respond to incoming orders. Requiring buyers to go through salespeople, instead of self-serving, adds even more delays. Not to be forgotten, errors introduced by manual data processing are a ubiquitous source of delays and procurement issues.

Go Faster With B2B Automation

The first step in streamlining information flow is digitization, which means eProcurement on the buy-side and eCommerce on the sell-side. By adopting digital platforms, B2B buyers and sellers improve information flow around their organization and, in the case of eCommerce, open up the possibility of self-serving for some orders.

The next step is integration to improve the flow of information between organizations. ECommerce alone is powerful, but PunchOut catalogs amplify that power significantly. PunchOut catalogs allow procurement professionals to buy from suppliers’ eCommerce stores from within their own eProcurement applications. Requisition orders are then created automatically. 

Once approved, electronic purchase orders can be automatically generated and sent back directly into the supplier’s eCommerce application. Order statuses and invoices can be automated similarly, ensuring that the right information is delivered to the right system at the right time.

Automation reduces supply chain delays and procurement errors. As previously mentioned, delays accumulate. The longer and more complex the chain from retailer to distributor to manufacturer to supplier, the longer the delays. 

Automation eliminates one of the most significant causes of delay. It accelerates the flow of information and products, allowing the supply chain to react more quickly to seasonal surges in demand.

To learn more about how integration and automation can streamline supply chains and accelerate procurement, complete the form below, and we’ll contact you soon.

We're glad you are here. Let us help you integrate!

Request more information about PunchOut2Go and our Solutions.