As I reflect back on some of the opportunities I had in 2013 to engage with IBM customers one observation I share is how best-in-class companies use B2B integration as a competitive differentiator. They recognize that operating a high performance trading partner network and enabling a responsive value chain is critical to their success and key to both is their underlying B2B integration capabilities.
So how does the cow fit in? I’m reminded of a story I heard in the early 90’s when I was developing supply chain applications for a Fortune 500 company. That story which still holds true today is an automotive industry example where a customer walks into the dealership and places an order for a new car with the optional leather seats and the moment the order is placed the cow who is supplying the leather starts to sweat. Now that’s a responsive value chain. And if you think about that same example in 2014 you are now ordering online and the cycle time to produce a comparable vehicle would be reduced dramatically I’m sure. It’s a great example to use to reflect on how responsive your own value chain is when it comes to fulfilling your customer’s orders.
The other observation I share is that the Line of Business is now responding to their customer’s demands for a more responsive value chain and turning to IT to shorten on-boarding times, provide always on trading partner communications, give visibility to partners and customers on the operational status of various supply chain processes while continuing to automate and optimize those multi-enterprise processes to take costs out of their business.
But none of these initiatives will be successful if you don’t have the underlying B2B architecture and capabilities to enable them. So think about how responsive your own company’s value chain is? Is it as responsive as the automotive one I shared? Is the cow at the end of your supply chain starting to sweat when an order gets placed? If not maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your B2B integration capabilities.
Watch this webinar to find out B2B integration enables you to connect your internal business processes with those of your diverse business partner community in order to synchronize your value chain.