How Technology Can Support Strategic B2B in 2014

Recently IDC released its annual end-of-year predictions for manufacturing in 2014. The research firm predicts a convergence of operational, information and consumer technologies will push organizations to “reshape approaches to information management.”

This shift will require modernizing the underlying B2B commerce backbone, and IDC predicts 2014 will be the year IT makes these investments a major priority.

Here’s why B2B leaders may want to update B2B technologies, including integration and automation tools, to support these emerging trends:

CFOs will collaborate more with supply chain leaders to create a more strategic B2B organization. CFOs love hard numbers, particularly when it comes to monetary-related metrics such as time-to-pay, order turnaround and how well a supplier performs. While supply chain leaders may monitor some of these KPIs, CFOs will expect data to be precise and comprehensive.

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B2B Key to success for Healthcare ePedigree

Healthcare supply chains are more worried about regulatory compliance, cost management and product security than their industry peers, a recent study shows.

In a survey of 441 healthcare executives commissioned by logistics provider UPS, regulatory compliance topped the list of pain points for healthcare suppliers.

“Sixty percent cite cost management as a top supply chain concern, a higher percentage than their peers around the world,” explains HIT Consultant Fred Pennic. “Regulatory compliance is also a top concern for logistics executives in North America, and is the top barrier to global expansion for North American healthcare executives.”

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Learn about Real-World Supply Chain Successes at Innovation World 2013

Wouldn’t it be great to learn the simple methodologies Coca-Cola Enterprises used to achieve new levels of visibility? Or perhaps you’d rather know how Baker Hughes improved procure-to-pay and order-to-cash processes then reduced day sales outstanding?

Or perhaps you’d like to learn how GE is leveraging machine data to assess costly components and figure out when a piece will fail?

Here at, we write about the technologies that automate B2B processes, support visibility and enable real-time supply chain management. But while supply chain leaders strive for visibility into their own B2B processes, they’re seldom interested in sharing, particularly when B2B operations are a strategic differentiator in the industry.

That makes real-world supply chain case studies difficult to find, particularly if you want the fine details of the technology.

If you’d like to hear first-hand how global companies used technology to solve their B2B challenges,  consider a trip to San Francisco Oct. 8-10 for Innovation World 2013.

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B2B Integration, Data Are Key Enablers to Supply Chain Maturity

Integration is among the key enablers for reducing supply chain risks, according to a recent study of 209 companies.

PwC and the MIT Forum for Supply Chain Innovation analyzed the survey of the 209 companies — all with global footprints. They then used the results to propose a framework companies can use to better manage risk and prepare for future business opportunities.

By now, the basic findings of the study are well publicized: Most companies rated poorly on supply chain disruption preparedness. In fact, over half received the bottom two rankings, with 17 percent raking as a Level 1 and 42 percent ranking as a level 2 on supply chain and risk management maturity.

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