Tag Archives: B2B

Everything Is In The Cloud – Except For B2B Transactions

The cloud and its advantages are everywhere, right? Every mobile device and every consumer web service is based on cloud technologies. Every day startups take to the cloud, building new applications, hosting data and services in publicly available storage sites and moving data between local storage in the office and inexpensive hosting. But even with all this activity and concentration on the benefits of cloud based environments a frighteningly small percentage of B2B transactions move electronically.

In fact, when we talk about B2B transactions being processed electronically we don’t even mean ‘through cloud-based systems.’ We mean electronically as in EDI or any kind of digital process. How is that even possible after the tremendous efforts dedicated to EDI implementations, staffing for electronic transfers, and all the work done to get orders processed quickly and efficiently?

Automotive Calls For High Class EDI

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Automotive suppliers are EDI veterans and have been into EDI for a long time. But it used to be relatively uncomplicated because of the industry’s business model: just ship a lot of a few assigned parts, on time, without defects. The OEM ran huge assembly plants and put the whole vehicle together. But things have changed. Many first-tier suppliers are now responsible for “systems” (really sub-assemblies) and rely on lower-tier suppliers. As their role changes, so does the complexity. Let’s look at a typical supplier who used to manufacture just rear-view mirrors.

Thank you for sticking with me and Loren Data through the biggest crises our industry has ever seen.

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See a great message from Todd Gould at Loren Data

Since I entered in the EDI industry in 1996, I have not seen a more promising time to be in this market. The GXS era was an unfortunate disruption to the natural growth of a networked market; however, under the new management of OpenText opportunity is back.

Now that we avoided the apocalypse, it is time for us, the leaders of the industry, to deliver the next generation of B2B automation.

In the coming months Loren Data will begin rolling out the next evolution of the EDI VAN, one that is more user and developer friendly, more extensible and a better fit for the third decade of Internet possibilities. Stay tuned for many announcements…you will be amazed.

Alternative to SCM Control Towers

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Is a Supply Chain Management Control Tower the only way to go? What issues are not yet solved with our current thoughts on SCM Control Towers? Are we looking at some type of a “Commercial Network” instead; or are looking at “SCM Control Tower 2?” In any event, there is a requirement for further automation of the process.
What are some of the drawbacks with our current implementation strategy?

  1. The “network” that is required for visibility sometimes requires lower-tier suppliers, public warehouses, wholesalers, etc. to “log in” to several different networks (one for each “important” SCM Control Tower they deal with. We need a simple, reusable network approach to bring everyone into the tower. The solution lies in B2B Networks (VAN2). Extremely time critical communications could be accomplished by “texting” selected members of the Control Tower community, then following up with an EDI message.
  2. Is there too much dependence on humans making decisions? Cannot some of the decisions being made be better automated? Can’t we use “decision support” technology to build automated responses at the back end of system?

Read more: http://www.ec-bp.com/index.php/advisors/ec-bps-bloggers/10393-alternative-to-scm-control-tower#ixzz2uKNv6Rkg

 

Automotive Supply Chain Connections

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In designing Supply Chain Control Towers, we have been heavily concerned with visibility into outsourced and/or offshore finished products suppliers. But the Manufacturing function itself depends on it’s own critical parts suppliers. We have to realize that success is more than just assuming Manufacturing’s ERP/MRP will handle everything for us. Let’s take a look at the automotive industry and what it takes to create an integrated manufacturing process.

What do we mean by integration? It starts with complete visibility both up and down the manufacturing path. This path must be solid as a rock, high speed and able to support CAD/CAM as well as EDI.

All About B2B Data (and Big Data)

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What is all this additional data that is being collected and transmitted? What is this new term “Big Data” mean? What is HADOOP? How do we move Big Data and process it? How else can we help you?

Let’s Start With What  Big Data Is

  • Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data — so much that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone.
  • Gartner defines Big Data as high volume, velocity and variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing for enhanced insight and decision making.
  • According to IBM, 80% of data captured today is unstructured, from sensors used to gather climate information, posts to social media sites, digital pictures and videos, purchase transaction records, and cell phone GPS signals, to name a few. All of this unstructured data is Big Data.

What Do We Do With Big Data?We are discovering that we can make sophisticated predictions  by sorting and analyzing Big Data. But, if 80% is unstructured, we first must format it before analysis. The way to structure it is HADOOP.

Read more: http://www.ec-bp.com/index.php/articles/industry-updates/10174-all-about-b2b-data-and-big-data#ixzz2p3UrTojf

An Iteration of the Hub – SuperHUB

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The most noticeable difference between VAN1 (the “traditional” VAN from the 1980’s) and VAN2 (today’s technology) is the fact that a company can operate their own network instead of being a customer on somebody else’s. Control the network according to your needs, Embed EDI Network functions within your code, and start creating completely unique EDI management functions that will overturn 20+ years of non-optimized EDI integration nightmares!

ECGrid is an example of VAN2. It supports AS2 and FTP and API, combined with superior account control, all at a fraction of the cost of running your own communications racks. It includes:

  • Intersystem interconnections via API calls and world class net ops.
  • Next generation routing architecture connecting to a world of global commerce networks.
  • VAN2 empowers cloud ventures to penetrate the SME sector – the next EDI frontier – with an estimated $30B of untapped IT revenue waiting to be captured.
  • These new B2B cloud services are the place to participate in supply chain and horizontal commerce operations. It allows you to run a “virtual VAN”.

Proactive Notification

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Proactive Notification in Supply Chain Management gives us important and instant information on “breaks” in the supply chain. It could be the EDI system unable to process documents, it could be a parts shortage, or it could be a missed transportation appointment. It is more than a simple notification, it allows us to be proactive by fixing the problem or communicating with other “first responders”.

Let’s define what we are talking about with Proactive Notification. Let’s start by looking at Forrester’s definition: “Proactive customer communications reduce costs for incoming calls by sending outbound messages of interest to customers to the device of their choice. Unlike automated robot messages that intrude rather than inform, proactive notification messages identify areas of importance or interest to customers, such as account changes, alerts, or time-sensitive offers. Customers receive voice messages, text/SMS, or email messages and can respond to companies over the same device if needed.

B2B data and analyzing  (The Challenge)

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B2BMarketing.com states that companies have lots of data but no data destination in mind. B2B firms are now collecting more data than ever before: from social media, marketing resource management, customer resource management. But they need to have a strategy.
Business intelligence (BI) consists of software applications which analyze an organization’s raw data. The BI routine includes data mining, online analytical processing, querying and reporting. The result improves decision making, cut costs and identifies new business opportunities. BI goes beyond both corporate reporting and being a data warehouse. It is user-run rather than depending on the IT department to run. Implementation hurdles include technical (using the software) and culture shock to the users; but the biggest challenge is making sure you have clean and consistent data that users trust.