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Develop a Comprehensive Business-to-Business Integration Strategy

Strong partnerships require seamless integration; don’t let lagging integration capabilities undermine your B2B relationships.

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Companies that aren’t taking advantage of B2B integration are experiencing the following pains:

  • Resource drain: ensuring integration with a partner that uses a different protocols is expensive.
  • Underperformance: key data, such as customer orders, can be lost or mismanaged without proper integration.
  • Conflicting demands: business executives do not consider data standards when entering partnership agreements.
  • Lack of knowledge: enterprise architect is unaware of the B2B integration technologies that can convert file formats to enhance usability and make integration easier.
  • Difficulty managing change: not only are internal data standards changing, but there is a constant need to adapt to the evolving data standards of partners.
  • Limited security: many older interfaces and protocols, such as FTP, were not designed with security in mind.

A formalized B2B integration strategy results in the following benefits:

  • Increased speed of communication: a strategy will allow you to keep up with today’s business demands for quick information exchanges.
  • More accurate data: by having closely integrated, real-time transactions, you can reduce human error and invoice discrepancies.
  • Cost savings: by having a clear strategy in place you can reap the benefits of cost savings through fewer data areas, reducing on-hand inventory, and less expensive transaction costs.
  • Operational efficiency: an effective strategy will grant you end-to-end visibility into your trading partner processes.

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Onsite Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn’t enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our Project Workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a road map in place to complete your project successfully.

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Module 1: Project Rationale and Structure

The Purpose

  • Understanding why the project is important.
  • Alignment of business drivers with issues and pain points.
  • Identification of project goals, scope, risks, participants, and metrics.
  • Identification of stakeholders.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Set the context of a B2B integration strategy within your organization.
  • Gain approval to move ahead with the project.

Activities: Outputs:
1.1 Determine business impact of B2B integration
  • Understanding of business impacts
1.2 Define drivers for improving B2B integration
  • List of improvement drivers
1.3 Identify B2B integration pain points
  • List of pain points
1.4 Define project charter inputs
  • Completion of Project Charter
1.5 Identify stakeholders
  • Identification of stakeholders
1.6 Identify stakeholder communication style
  • Identification of stakeholder communication styles

Module 2: Gather B2B Integration Requirements

The Purpose

  • Understand your partners and how they integrate.
  • Define B2B integration objectives that align with business goals.
  • Identify the characteristics of our target maturity state.
  • Uncover patterns in B2B requirements.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Ability to recognize immediate opportunities for improvement. 

Activities: Outputs:
2.1 Update Trading Partner Inventory Tool
  • List of trading partners, their data types, protocols, and trading standards
2.2 Create partner context diagram
  • List of trading partner requirements
2.3 Tailor interview guide
  • Ready-to-use stakeholder interview guide
2.4 Conduct a mock stakeholder interview
  • List of stakeholder goals
2.5 Map business goals to strategic objectives
  • List of strategic objectives
2.6 Identify desired maturity state
  • Desired maturity state
2.7 Identify immediate integration opportunities
  • Identified integration opportunities

Module 3: Identify B2B Solution Alternatives

The Purpose

  • Identification of your current state and the gaps to fill in order to reach your desired target state.
  • A thorough understanding of all solution options and deployment alternatives available.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Fit-for-purpose strategic roadmap containing prioritized initiatives to reach target maturity state.

Activities: Outputs:
3.1 Identify your current B2B maturity
  • Current B2B maturity
3.2 Conduct a gap analysis
  • Gap analysis
3.3 Facilitate discussion around alternative solutions
  • Recognition of solution alternatives
3.4 Determine total cost of ownership
  • TCO calculation
3.5 Create initiatives
  • Strategic roadmap

Module 4: Make the Business Case

The Purpose

  • Show the business value generated from a B2B integration strategy.
  • Develop a communications plan.
  • Decide how to measure the strategy to determine success.
  • Determine authority and who can make changes to the B2B strategy.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Define best methods and practices for communicating initiatives and changes with stakeholders.
  • Establish metrics.

Activities: Outputs:
4.1 Determine business value of B2B integration
  • Make the business case
4.2 Learn to communicate initiatives
  • Communication plan
4.3 Establish metrics
  • Implementation metrics
4.4 Determine the governance structure of your strategy
  • Governance strategy
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