By Swapnil Mishra - March 24, 2023 6 Mins Read
B2B supply chain management presents numerous challenges for brands that must be addressed to ensure smooth and efficient operations.
That said, a move to online retail, a rise in consumer confidence, unmet demand, and accumulated savings all combine to create a massive opportunity for brands that are digitally native. Businesses that made it through the last year’s volatility probably did so by becoming leaner, selling through inventory, and concentrating on their working capital.
The B2B supply chain crisis has undoubtedly felt cumbersome at times. Global suppliers and manufacturers have essentially been put to the test due to severe stock shortages, a lack of decoupled inventory, lengthy backorders on their most sought-after inventory items, and fulfilment delays.
For the rest of the year, supply chain issues will likely continue (at least in part). In general, these difficulties are brought on by rising consumer spending, a steadfast desire for the convenience of online shopping, and the need to make up for bottlenecks from the previous year.
Nevertheless, despite the vulnerable supply chain network in 2023, B2B businesses are adapting to these changes by tackling inefficiencies and aiming to work smarter, not harder.
The economic uncertainty is still causing new, unexpected obstacles to productivity and profitability in the supply chain ecosystem.
The following issues will be the most significant supply chain challenges for product-based companies worldwide in 2023.
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Most B2B eCommerce businesses must set up complex logic for their product or service. With this in place, companies can provide special discounts on a selection of products. They can also do this based on the product type and the various shipping choices. The technology may offer discounts with a set window of time restrictions. Additionally, it enables the business to give loyal customers extra-special deals.
A B2B eCommerce company might also need to set up a self-service system for its vendors and offer a self-service option for customers. While some customers prefer to set up automatic purchase orders to replenish their inventory, others occasionally experience an emergency that necessitates an overnight delivery.
A vendor may need to modify a delivery date or shipment total through a self-service system. B2B eCommerce businesses should also think about implementing adaptable payment options that permit enterprises to place sizable orders that they pay for later. Flexible payment options boost a business’s ability to compete.
Before choosing a company, B2B buyers conduct an average of 12 searches, according to Google. Buyers consider the benefits, features, and specifications of products before choosing. Additionally, they evaluate pricing plans and consider how a specific product blends with their offerings, stock of goods, or machinery.
Most buyers require multiple quotes to complete their internal approval process before placing an order. Unlike B2C sales, B2B eCommerce transactions frequently take longer to complete because most business decisions require input from multiple decision-makers.
Upgrading to CRM software enables a B2B eCommerce company to track prospective and active accounts in the same system, simplifying the processing of significant transactions.
Contrary to initial predictions, container shipping has become significantly more necessary during the pandemic. Global lockdown measures have led to a surge in online sales, increasing demand for imported raw materials and manufactured consumer goods (a large percentage of which are transported in shipping containers).
This demand exceeded expectations, resulting in an unprecedented shortage of empty or available containers and insufficient shipping capacity. This shortage led to a sharp price rise, as is often the case.
Amid a global pandemic, demand forecasts have raised the bar for supply chain management in many businesses. For countless retailers and consumer goods/service providers, the last few years have essentially shattered their forecasts, leaving them with no clue as to how much inventory to stock or product at any given time.
The difficulty, therefore, stems from trying to improve forecasts of customer demand while in many cases relying on intuition rather than data-driven research. Supply chain managers in this scenario need to set aside bias, seek out new datasets for predictive models, and continually refine their findings for the highest level of accuracy.
The pandemic has also significantly changed consumer attitudes and behavior, lowering the bar on delivery times and raising standards for a satisfied customer experience. The difficulty is that we have a flexible supply chain that can use automation to optimize fulfilment and quickly meet increased demand.
Inventory management software and multi-channel order fulfilment services are great examples of this supply chain flexibility. The pandemic has boosted demand for e-commerce to record levels.
Although the increase in order volume was positive for retailers, our client’s main concern was new infrastructure requirements and supply chain disruption. Managing customer relationships through shared product anticipation, a defensive strategy to avoid bad experiences, and maintaining brand integrity have been one of our biggest strategic goals.
The traditional supply chain needs to be improved upon- using AI, and automation tools which deliver on-demand delivery. Transforming digitally, and using IoT could be a godsend for enterprises looking to grow.
The difficulty lies in implementing these systems/services within a company’s current supply chain operations, even though their long-term goal is to streamline and streamline e-commerce processes. Implementing these technologies requires time and organizational realignment, especially when dealing with multiple warehouses or multi-channel sales.
However, B2B businesses and their supply chains must constantly adapt to stay one step ahead of the competition.
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B2B supply chains are often complex, involving multiple intermediaries and suppliers, making it challenging to ensure the timely delivery of products. To overcome this challenge, brands can implement supply chain visibility solutions to monitor and track their inventory and shipments and improve communication with their suppliers to ensure a smooth flow of goods.
Accurate inventory management is critical for B2B supply chains to operate smoothly. Brands can use inventory management software to track inventory levels, forecast demand, and optimize inventory replenishment to ensure they always have the right amount of stock to meet customer demand
Businesses need to be ready for cost increases related to acquiring raw materials, finished goods, and more as this period of inflation continues. The effects of these rising costs frequently manifest as excess or surplus inventory, rising storage costs, smaller margins, and decreased revenue for a brand that sells products.
In light of this, the challenge is to accept inflation as a fact while trying to reduce its effects. Understanding how inflation impacts business is the first step in combating it, after which companies must plan for survival-oriented actions. B2B supply chains must focus on building solid partnerships with suppliers and customers, investing in technology and data management, and continually monitoring and improving their processes to meet changing customer needs and expectations.
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Swapnil Mishra is a Business News Reporter with over six years of experience in journalism and mass communication. With an impressive track record in the industry, Swapnil has worked with different media outlets and has developed technical expertise in drafting content strategies, executive leadership, business strategy, industry insights, best practices, and thought leadership. Swapnil is a journalism graduate who has a keen eye for editorial detail and a strong sense of language skills. She brings her extensive knowledge of the industry to every article she writes, ensuring that her readers receive the most up-to-date and informative news possible. Swapnil's writing style is clear, concise, and engaging, making her articles accessible to readers of all levels of expertise. Her technical expertise, coupled with her eye for detail, ensures that she produces high-quality content that meets the needs of her readers. She calls herself a plant mom and wants to have her own jungle someday.
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