Would you like to know how much your peers in the industry are planning to spend on B2B integration programs in 2013? Or, what percentage of their business partners do they have electronic connections with?
We are frequently asked these questions at GXS. Now, we can answer with newly available metrics for B2B integration trends. We think this benchmarking data is important for businesses to help you compare your B2B program against those of your peers and help you to make informed decisions about your future B2B investments and plans.
Stanford University’s Stanford Global Supply Chain Management Forum just completed an independent survey on the use of B2B integration by large enterprises. It includes many interesting metrics and trends about businesses’ current levels of adoption for B2B integration, their current and future budgets and staffing levels, the key drivers for selecting a managed services approach and the benefits of a managed services approach as compared to in-house.
One example of an interesting metric unearthed in this research is that the most important business drivers affecting companies’ original decision to use B2B managed services were, in order of importance: 1) to improve their customers’ experience 2) improve business process efficiency 3) reduce IT costs. I think that most people would be surprised to learn that cost is NOT in the #1 spot. It’s still up there in importance, but, it’s not the top priority.
This actually makes perfect sense to me. Every business wants to continually increase customer satisfaction and loyalty because that’s essential to increase sales and enhance the profitability of each sale. Responding to your customers’ requests to integrate with their systems in order to improve their productivity and increase everyone’s visibility is an important way for an organization to become more responsive, easier to do business with and differentiate from the competition. But, integration is very complex and can take a long time. It’s impossible to standardize the customer-facing side of your business because each customer has different requirements. Each customer dictates the document standard, network protocol, messages, security and data rules, and additional special processes that may be required. As a result, IT organizations struggle with accommodating customer requests and many have a backlog of customer implementations that lasts months. This can significantly affect your time to revenue. So, it’s natural for these companies to turn to a managed services provider who can deal with all the complexities of B2B implementation with customers on your behalf and in the timeframe required by your customers.
If you find this metric interesting, download the full report, B2B Managed Services, Business Value and Adoption Trends for lots more great statistics in Stanford University’s new report.