Managing and fulfilling complex, high-volume B2B orders

BrandPost By Jeff Miller
Oct 20, 20234 mins
Digital Transformation

Before an organization can enable omnichannel for B2B transactions, they need to be able to manage, process, and fulfill these complex orders effectively and efficiently.

Warehouse managers working together on laptop
Credit: Wavebreakmedia

B2B commerce has changed tremendously in just the past couple of years. While macro disruptions have played a role — the pandemic, upheaval in the supply chain, multiple global conflicts — customer attitudes are arguably the largest factor. As McKinsey puts it in their 2023 B2B Pulse Report, “After years of wanting a seamless B2B buying experience similar to that of the B2C world — and with B2B companies saying it wasn’t possible due to factors such as complexity, technical requirements, value, and the number of decision makers — our survey found that omnichannel is now table stakes for B2B companies.”

That’s a tall order for B2B organizations, which deal heavily in complex sales. Before an organization can even enable omnichannel for B2B transactions, they need to be able to manage, process, and fulfil these complex orders effectively and efficiently. But for many organizations, that’s not possible, largely because their ERP — the platform of record that acts as the operating system for operations and finance — isn’t up to the task. Not without help, anyway.

But first, let’s break down the challenge a bit further. In distribution and supply, an order may include a wide array of materials, subcontractors, vendors, and complicated delivery requirements. Just price matching and processing a 200-line order can take days using traditional means, and that’s far from the only factor that increases complexity.

Let’s say a large contractor orders all the materials the company needs to build an entire neighborhood. The order will certainly include hundreds of lines and SKUs. More challenging, however, is that subsets of those materials will need to be delivered at different times depending on the stage of construction. And if there’s bad weather or some other unexpected challenge, the delivery schedule could change on a dime, which can have a cascading effect on every delivery that follows. Making all these changes manually takes an enormous amount of time and effort — and also increases the introduction of human error.

Supporting these kinds of orders is equally complex. It can take up to nine months to fully train a customer service rep on an ERP system to help customers when they have problems with these kinds of large, complicated orders. Not only is that training period long and expensive, but if that rep leaves or gets promoted, the training process will have to start all over again with a new recruit. Given the high turnover in customer service, the costs and disruption to customers will rapidly mount.

DataXstream is a global, SAP-focused organization that has built a solution for this very challenge. The company’s approach grew out of its original work helping large organizations deploy and integrate large SAP installations. They saw firsthand the difficulty their clients experienced processing complex orders with SAP, so they built an integrated solution that would become DataXstream’s flagship product.

With DataXstreamOMS+, SAP-based organizations can efficiently manage high volume, high-touch complex sales scenarios. The solution eliminates gaps within silos so that all data is in a single place, and sales and customer service reps can gain a holistic view of all customer activity so they can provide them with an excellent experience. Typical benefits that customers see include:

  • 40% reduction in order inaccuracies
  • 95% reduction in training time, going from months to just days
  • 30% reduction in order processing time
  • 60% reduction in RFQ processing

To learn how DataXstream can help your organization with complex orders, visit our website.