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"Business Community Management
(BCM) creates a comprehensive
view of your supply chain by integrating the technology, business processes and communication of
the entire business community."
Source : Inovis
Business Community Management
Community Management is also known as :
Community Management Company,
Outsource Community Management,
Online Community Management,
Community Management Component,
Promoting Community Management,
Community Management Plan,
Community Management Research,
Community Management Report,
Community Management Office,
Community Self Management,
Community Management Presentation,
Community Management Communication,
Science Game Community Management,
Community Strategy Management,
Community Management Team,
Community Management Moderation,
Intelligence Community Management,
Critical Community Management,
Community Management Challenges,
Community Management Software,
Community Management Information,
Many companies have realized significant value through automating their supply chain
with B2B processes. B2B has made an impact and added value, yet inherent
problems exist within the traditional model that prevent it from being a sustainable
solution in today's business environment. New business challenges arising from everexpanding
communication standards, and changing customer expectations and the demanddriven
economy have created a need for a new approach that goes beyond B2B.
Business Community Management is a strategic vision that creates a comprehensive view of
the supply chain by integrating the technology, business processes and communication of
the entire business community to facilitate end-to-end supply chain visibility.
This white paper will examine the current state of B2B communication; detail the steps
needed to mitigate the challenges created by B2B; and outline the concepts behind Business
Community Management as a new way to approach your business-to-business
The topics included in this whitepaper are:
- I. The Current State of B2B
- II. Business Community Management: A Comprehensive Approach to Supply Chain
- III. Inovis: Your Partner in Comprehensive Business Community Management
The Current State of B2B
After years of implementations, initiatives and mandates, various levels of supply chain
communication processes are in place in the majority of large companies operating within
the global economy. Companies have realized incredible value from B2B automation.
- A global automotive company and Inovis customer reduced costs by 54% using
Managed Services to automate the majority of its supply chain operations and
- Another national retailer and Inovis customer realized savings of 40% after
automating most of its trading community.
Although B2B has delivered significant value, there are a host of business challenges
inherent to B2B automation. Combined, these problems prevent B2B automation from being
a sustainable solution for moving ahead in today's changing business environment.
Often, B2B initiatives were driven by the need to comply with a certain mandate or meet
specific operational requirements, resulting in a piecemeal chain of systems and leaving
communication gaps within the supply chain. Therefore, many companies are working with
legacy applications and silo solutions that are not interoperable. There is no easy way to
synchronize the data from each system to create a comprehensive view of the supply chain.
Silo tools create barriers to working within multiple formats and standards, resulting in lost
business, missed growth opportunities and further eroding value.
Additionally, B2B technology itself has built-in complexities arising from communication
issues with AS2, AS3 and VAN mailboxes, erroneous data exchange as well as trading
partner connectivity problems. These problems are commonplace and drain resources. In
fact, according to a 2006 GS1 study, most businesses spend between $40 and $80 per error
to resolve problems with item data and invoicing data.
Furthermore, connectivity issues are typically recurrent which creates a reactive
environment, shifting focus from core business operations toward lower impact issues,
wasting time and creating unnecessary productivity costs.
Implementing B2B initiatives places large demands on time and resources. Often,
implementations run into challenges and time delays created by disparate systems and
outdated, inaccurate data. Additionally, each trading partner presents a unique set of
circumstances and technology capabilities, which requires additional time and resources to
solve. These issues place constraints on already tight budgets and timeframes.
Automation demands and limitations
Today there is a clear business mandate for automating 100% of your supply chain.
However, companies face several hurdles in meeting this goal. The first limitation is budget,
as companies are being asked to automate more partners with fewer dollars and cycle initial
realized savings through several rounds of automation. Another limitation comes from the
fact that companies must drill down to the second and tertiary level of suppliers and
partners to achieve complete automation. Partners at these levels often lack the willingness
or the technology sophistication to tie in to an automated supply chain.
Business Community Management: A Comprehensive
Approach to Supply Chain Communication
Considering the challenges that have arisen from B2B processes and the additional business
demands posed by changing customer expectations, volume increases and multiple
communication formats, companies must reevaluate their supply chain communication
processes and adapt. It has become clear that an evolutionary B2B development cannot
solve for these multiple issues; companies must make a revolutionary change to achieve an
optimized communication solution.
A new view on supply chain automation widens the focus to include the business community
of partners and customers that actually make the supply chain operate. Business
Community Management (BCM) integrates the technology, business processes and
communication of the entire trading community to create end-to-end supply chain visibility.
Three key steps help mitigate the challenges created by a traditional B2B methodology:
According to a 2006 AMR study, over 20% of all orders across all industries
are in error. Complete end-to-end visibility into your supply chain is essential to
successfully manage the increasing complexity of today's B2B environment. A fully
optimized business community delivers a comprehensive, real-time view into all B2B
collaboration-across all formats and technologies. This level of visibility equates to
actionable intelligence that businesses can use to minimize delays and costs
associated with errors, stock-outs and chargebacks.
With increased visibility, a business and its partners can move beyond the
transaction level toward a more granular item-level of reporting, which enables them
to quickly recognize errors and make adjustments in real time, instead of after the
fact. A visibility component that allows all members of the community to easily track
and view key performance indicators (KPIs) and scorecards helps transform B2B
information exchange to a new level of integrated collaboration.
Supply chain communication is rife with challenges as companies begin automating
their trading partner communities. Trading partner automation is a critical step for
reducing complexity in B2B communication, yet the difficulties and pitfalls of disparate systems, unique business requirements and overlapping business
methodology make this goal time-consuming and cumbersome to achieve.
Streamlining trading partner automation by using proven processes that account for
business differences and technology variations can considerably reduce ramp-up
For example, a multimedia company we worked with reduced the time it took to
onboard partners from 5 days to 15 minutes. Following a repeatable process ensures
that the planning, implementation and testing stages of an automation initiative are
encompassed in the strategy from the beginning. This eliminates downtime caused
by unforeseen complications and results in smoother, faster deployments.
- Automate Your Trading Community
The Business Community Management platform is designed around a community
where all partners are automated. Complete automation facilitates faster and easier
communication which creates new synergies and opportunities to collaborate earlier
in the lifecycle of a product.
Trading partners come in all shapes and sizes and have varying levels of technology
capabilities. To facilitate strong community enrollment, your partners need flexibility
and options to participate at a level that works within their business framework.
Utilizing a modular set of applications enables partners to leverage the technology
they need and quickly begin realizing the value automation delivers. Flexible access
fosters higher participation and faster adoption of the BCM solution throughout your
The Business Community Management solution provides the foundation for increased
collaboration that deepens trading community partnerships. By removing the complexities
and costs associated with a traditional B2B solution, BCM drives greater product innovation,
increased speed-to-market and greater levels of customer satisfaction and retention.
Inovis: Your Partner in Comprehensive Business
The Business Community Management solution builds a framework around the complexity
that exists in B2B communication to create true end-to-end supply chain visibility. Business
Community Management represents the revolutionary change that companies can embrace
to optimize their supply chain and realize sustainable value. Inovis has created a suite of
modular applications to enable your company to efficiently and cost-effectively leverage
comprehensive Business Community Management across your operations.
Inovis offers three distinct, yet integrated, service areas built on the foundation of secure,
reliable communication backed by a Tier Four Data Center. Together, the service areas of
Communication Networking, Automation and Visibility and Governance deliver all of the
applications to support business community processes and collaboration.
Inovis delivers economies of scale that help your business quickly access new solutions
while driving automation across your entire trading partner community. With Inovis as your
partner, your business can move beyond the challenges of B2B and begin leveraging the
supply chain communication solutions delivered by the BCM solution.
Inovis is a leading provider of on-demand Business Community Management solutions that
empower companies to transact, collaborate and optimize communications with their entire
trading community. By standardizing and automating mission-critical business interactions,
companies can dramatically reduce the complexity and cost of supply chain communication.
This foundation of high-quality, reliable and secure connectivity provides real-time visibility
across the order-to-payment lifecycle. The resulting actionable intelligence enables users to
proactively address supply chain issues before they impact profitability, shortening cycle
times, improving productivity and increasing customer satisfaction.
With more than 20 years of expertise, Inovis delivers its products and services to more than
20,000 companies over a wide range of industries and markets across the globe.
Inovis Global Headquarters
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Main +1 404.467.3000
Toll-free +1 877.446.6847
Fax +1 404.467.3730
Table of Contents
- The Current State of B2B
- Business Community Management: A Comprehensive Approach to Supply Chain Communication
- Inovis: Your Partner in Business Community Management
- About Inovis