Customer-Centric Control Towers – The B2B Perspective

By Vancheeswar Balakrishnan , December 9, 2021

When anyone mentions E-commerce, it evokes the likes of Amazon and a B2C model. There is enough literature on E-commerce in a B2C context. B2B, the poor cousin of the glamorous B2C, has a lot of catching up with, and rightly so.

B2B order management in many cases is still traditionally driven with order taking manual—going through a complicated process of quotes which in many cases are driven manually, essentially elongating the ordering timelines to months in some cases. The pandemic has further thrown a spanner into the works, and many B2B consumers have changed suppliers.

The digitally-enabled have leapfrogged

Suppliers with a high degree of digital enablement have been able to take advantage of the situation and have enabled and grown their business in these testing times. Considering the constraints that the pandemic has caused in terms of resource availability, and thus translating to uncertainty in fulfillment, B2B buyers have resorted to suppliers with closer to real-time information.

Reasons for switching suppliers

What would make your B2B purchasing job easier?

Biggest pain points when purchasing online for your business?

What technology should manufacturers and suppliers use more of to enhance your B2B experience?

What comes out emphatically from B2B buyers is that they are rewarding enterprises that provide good and real-time visibility on channels that have moved away from a traditional website (online portal). Enterprises that have integrated their supply chains internally and externally with their suppliers are the ones who can provide this information. Uncertain times throw decision-making off kilter, and even during “normal” times it is a great differentiator.

Supply Chain Control Towers – The optimal solution

Supply Chain Control Towers are the optimal solution in alleviating this need. Integrated with cross-functional visibility and customer-centricity, they draw the response from the demand all the way upstream to procurement.

Control Towers are technology hubs that are event-driven to manage exceptions and remain agile in changing circumstances. They bring together complete visibility and dynamic action plans for internal and external stakeholders to monitor and track. Today, they have shifted from a straight forward integration into cognitive applications built with advanced analytical capabilities.

I am curious to hear your experiences in this case and how any of you have managed and handled these circumstances and any initiatives on digital enablement and optimization of your supply chain.

Digital Supply Chain Management Products

Bahwan CyberTek has been revolutionising the supply chain industry with its CueTrans and FuelTrans digital suite of products.

FuelTrans acts as a Secondary Supply Chain Control Tower for oil marketing and fuel retail companies. FuelTrans offers a full suite of solutions that enable end-to-end automation of fuel stations for real-time visibility and complete control over operations. It covers every major component of a fuel station—from dispensers, tanks, ATG probes, price polls to wet stock management—and delivers optimum value proposition through wireless forecourt automation, centralized monitory system and cashless/cardless AVI system integrated with handheld device to cater to fleet customers.

Vancheeswar Balakrishnan

Vancheeswar Balakrishnan (aka Vanchy) is a Chartered Accountant and Project Management Professional (PMP) with 23+ years of experience in Digital Transformation, Change Management, Product Development & Design, and Consulting. He aspires to create solutions that rival Google in its ability to disrupt technology and the way it is viewed. When he is not dreaming he is the Digital Transformation Lead for the Digital Supply Chain Management Practice . He is driven to building IoT and analytics driven applications in Logistics and Supply Chain and enabling enterprises to leverage technology to improve. He also bores everyone with his attempts at deductive reasoning and no prizes for guessing if you do say Sherlock Holmes is his idol.

From the man himself: "I’m partial to sporting and musical metaphors—considering that on a personal level these are my two passions. To add to that, I’m a qualified football coach working with grassroots community football and I’m driven by using football as a vehicle of social ascent, especially for the underprivileged children. I flatter myself on my guitar playing, composing and singing skills (Disclaimer: People who have had heard me do all these may beg to differ and in some cases, vehemently)."