This Tech Dossier outlines the function and importance of business-to-business (B2B) integration in the enterprise, exploring the increasingly global nature of business, the challenges of maintaining an international supply chain, the overt and subtle costs of operating without a B2B integration partner, and how B2B managed services can help organizations thrive in today’s business climate.
No business is an island. Whether a small start-up or a multinational corporation, any one company depends on other companies.
These interdependencies often happen behind the scenes – like the on-time arrival of parts to an automotive production line or the delivery of medications to a pharmacy network – but they are essential. And they occur at every level of business.
That’s why supply chains have become more important than ever. Companies that realize this and optimize their supply chains for maximum efficiency are experiencing competitive advantages.
Look at leading companies from Unilever to Intel and you will find businesses that have streamlined very complex, global supply chains. The ability to do this is how companies of this size are able to stay agile and profitable.
Globalization means companies can have access to the best business partners regardless of where in the world they may be. But to benefit from globalization, companies must be able to transact with their far-flung partners easily and efficiently.
Once a widget has been made in a cost-effective locale, it takes global freight forwarders, specialized customs agents, third-party logistics providers and transportation carriers to get it where it needs to go. And it can take a number of additional partners – distributors, brokers and resellers – to get the product that final mile to the customer.