Complexities hindering B2B process efficiencies

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Global supply chains across the retail, automotive, financial services, manufacturing and high-tech markets are dogged with process and cost inefficiencies, according to a survey of 400 organisations across the UK, France, Germany and the US.

The survey, commissioned by GXS and conducted independently by analyst group, Quocirca, cited that increasing complexities and costs of trading electronically with multiple trading partners, using a myriad of technologies and standards have hindered many organisations’ B2B process efficiencies.

With more than 40% of respondents having more than 1,000 active suppliers and 40% having more than 5,000 active business customers, the survey revealed that the majority of organisations found it incredibly difficult to use automated technologies to optimise trading activity due to widely varying characteristics and capabilities across their global trading bases.

The continual evolution of standards and the international trading environment, complicated by language barriers, customs policies and currencies, are all contributing to the complexities facing the B2B value chain. While more than 80 percent of respondents have an electronic data interchange (EDI) or Internet-based system at their disposal for facilitating automated transactions, the combination of the identified complexities has limited their actual use. As a result, approximately 95% of organisations rely on manual communication via e-mail, telephone, fax and post. This causes the value chain to be littered with cost inefficiencies and errors and the lack of traceability raises serious questions about the integrity of information with respect to governance and audit compliance.

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