Build Your B2B eCommerce Program and Portal

Congratulations! Your business is now ready to sell B2B via the web. Internal discovery of the B2B eCommerce program and portal is underway and internal sentiment suggests a replica of the B2C site. The ordering process needs to be brought online and if the development team can do a quick reboot of the B2C site on a subdomain the wholesale team can begin selling there in no time.

Not so fast.

Building the B2B site is conceptually and functionally different from the B2C site and needs separate treatment.

Repeat – it’s not carbon copy.

Orders will neither be passed through the system similarly nor fulfilled similarly. The user experiences (yes the ‘s’ is intentional, more below) will completely different. It will hit the general ledger differently. Payment and shipping terms will (likely) differ. There will also be wholesalers that want to order via phone or fax. Continue reading Build Your B2B eCommerce Program and Portal

Define Your Business Rules, Define Your Business Systems

You are in a requirements gathering session. Trying to nail down business rules to help define infrastructure…and getting responses that do not offer definition. Frustration begins to set in as the responses go from bad to worse.

“Let’s just do what’s best practice”

“We don’t want to reinvent the wheel”

“It’s OK to replicate what Company X is doing”

Yikes. Continue reading Define Your Business Rules, Define Your Business Systems

Eight Things to Think About When Building Your Item Master

A key component of your ERP, and thus technical side of your business, is the item master. Think of it as the key-chain that will let data link throughout your business systems. Each item in inventory has information – dims, weights, names, etc. – all of that information will be in the item master.

There are few digital elements that have as great an impact on external collections as an item master.

Depending on your organizational maturity, you may already have an item master naming convention defined. If not, here are eight things to consider when building your item master. Continue reading Eight Things to Think About When Building Your Item Master