When B2B is inspired by e-commerce to optimize the management of transport flows between professionals

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The management of BtoC and BtoB flows, which have long been quite distinct, are evolving. Faced with changing consumption patterns and the growing need for supply chain resilience, the logistics plans of BtoB players are increasingly inspired by the practices developed in BtoC e-commerce. Focus on the contributions made possible by these evolutions.

On the one hand, massive BtoB flows that rely on industrial organizations associated with intermediate platforms around an objective of maximizing stocks and vehicle filling.

On the other hand, e-commerce flows focused on a capillary parcel delivery and the development of the drive where the buyer himself comes to collect his goods.

At the center is a consumer whose demands are evolving, giving rise in the BtoB world to an expectation similar to that experienced in the BtoC world:

  • shortened delivery times,
  • visibility at all levels of the chain,
  • efficient process digitalization.

Then came the Covid-19 health crisis. As a disruption factor, it highlights the fragility of BtoB flows in the face of major hazards such as :

  • platform stops,
  • production delays,
  • or the unavailability of a certain number of actors.

Time for reflection!

How, in times of crisis, can we strengthen the resilience and robustness of the supply chain? How to ensure efficient BtoB flow management?

Among all the possible elements of response is the adoption of a number of practices inherited from e-commerce. In particular, those relating to the organization of transport and delivery methods. Zoom on three of them.

B2B: three e-commerce practices to optimize your transport organization

Diversifying delivery modes through digitization

In an environment shaken by the crisis, cross-dock platforms are closing. The transport offer is shrinking and processes are being disorganized.

Faced with this situation, BtoB players find themselves forced to switch to direct delivery without intermediaries in order to continue to deliver certain sensitive flows.

To do so, they must be able to work with parcel carriers and express delivery companies. This practice, which is not usually used, is facilitated by the use of a digital transport platform such as Join2ship.

The latter, equipped with a module for generating transport labels for several dozen French and international carriers, offers easy access to them through a single solution. It thus makes it possible to generate a flow of multi-carrier labels in addition to more massified flows.

Draw inspiration from the “Drives” to facilitate kidnappings

In BtoC, the advent of the drive and the possibility offered to customers to pick up the goods has undeniably pushed the development of equivalent practices in the BtoB world. A will largely reinforced by the health crisis and the need to set up barrier gestures and to respect social distancing. Thus, new measures are taken by companies around appointment scheduling and human flow management.

To do so, most of them organize their removal process on platforms in conditions of optimal productivity and safety. This organization method is facilitated by the implementation of appointment schedules open to carriers, suppliers and also customers.

For example, the TMS DDS Shipper and the Join2ship collaborative platform give customers easy access to these appointment schedules so that they can organize their pick-up times themselves. This digitalization allows :

  • to provide an additional service to the customer,
  • to minimize its waiting time,
  • while allowing internal teams to better plan their workload.

Develop deliveries by appointment

Still uncommon between manufacturers, more mastered in the world of distribution, the development of deliveries by appointment is taking shape in the world of BtoB. Driven by the digitalization of processes, based on the e-commerce model, this practice makes communication more fluid and digitalized while offering greater traceability.

Through a collaborative transport platform, the recipient can easily declare his available delivery slots while the shipper manages his load in an optimized way and obtains a global vision of the planning of his various deliveries. A secure, fast and flexible solution ensuring an optimized and complete customer service.

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B2B: multiple benefits in transportation management

More flexibility and resilience, improved service quality and increased collaboration, the development of these three levers borrowed from BtoC e-commerce has a positive impact on the organization of BtoB flow transport. These are major differentiation issues for companies, offering them complete visibility at all levels of the chain.

The shipper is thus able to aggregate all the players in its supply chain within a single platform, offering them a global vision, regardless of the mode of transport chosen.

Without replacing existing transport organizations, the use of transport solutions developed by DDS Logistics provides greater agility, mixing delivery modes and increasing the increasingly obvious convergence between BtoB and BtoC.

TMS DDS Shipper solutions and the Join2ship collaborative platform are designed as tools to help companies digitize their transport, helping B2B organizations to meet their customers’ needs, whatever the context, providing them with a level of visibility equivalent to that of B2B.

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