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B2B initatives boost B2C performance

B2B initatives boost B2C performance

Consumer products companies are increasing revenue as a result of improved B2B initiatives, according to new findings from AMR Research.

The study examined the penetration and use of B2B e-commerce among consumer products companies and their trading partners, found that 90 per cent of average respondents cited that the strength of their B2B programme enabled differentiation from their competitors.

Some 95 per cent of average respondents cited that the flexibility of their B2B programme is important to delivering a customised shopper experience, while 93 percent of average respondents cited that the strength of their B2B programme is an important factor in getting more shelf space and new products on the shelf at key accounts.

The AMR Research survey also found that by improving their B2B programmes, 67 per cent of respondents experienced a reduction in costs; 61 per cent reduced the costs to serve customers; and 59 per cent improved cash-to-cash efficiency.

Other findings addressed the proliferation and growth of B2B outsourcing among consumer products companies and the growing use of electronic B2B with small to mid-sized trading partners.

More than half of the companies surveyed plan to increase spending on B2B outsourcing initiatives by an average of 23 per cent in 2008.

Lora Cecere of AMR Research said that all too often B2B initiatives were relegated to the IT department with a mantra of reducing costs.

She added, “Based on this data, we feel that it is time for Line-of-Business managers to take more ownership of these programmes and take them more seriously in the building of demand networks that serve their key customers."

Overall, the revenue growth and operational efficiencies attained through B2B e-commerce are driving increased levels of internal and external spending.

According to AMR Research, 59 per cent of the survey respondents plan to increase spending on B2B initiatives by an average of 21 per cent in 2008.

In addition, nearly half, 49 percent, of consumer product suppliers are trading electronically with their small
to mid-sized retailers, with that number expected to increase to 53 per cent over the nex 18 months.

The use of B2B e-commerce among consumer products companies is strong in the demand chain as well; 48 per cent are exchanging electronic orders and invoices with direct materials suppliers, with that number expected to increase 5 percentage
points in the next 18 months. 

"Today's consumer products market is changing more rapidly than ever before,” said Steve Keifer, vice president of product and industry marketing at GXS.

“Retailers are demanding that suppliers accommodate their increasingly divergent business processes; consumers are demanding more frequent new product introductions and shareholders are demanding faster international expansion to capitalise on overseas growth markets.

He concluded, "Even the largest consumer products companies are struggling to keep
pace with the velocity of changes being thrust upon them.

“To address these demands, consumer products companies will be making significant investments in B2B spending and B2B outsourcing in 2008, giving them new capabilities, greater geographical reach and faster time to market for their products."

AJR
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