David Kuehner, President & CEOIn the manufacturing world, most processes are heavily reliant on communication. This can happen on many different levels: interaction between workers on the plant floor, between departments or, with outside vendors. If any information in the manufacturing sequence is not properly relayed, the end result can be tremendously expensive product delays. Quality software integration provides assistance in streamlining the communication process, and can alleviate the challenges procurement departments face when there is a lack of communication and follow through.
B2B Connex helps build a user-friendly process designed to alleviate the most common communication challenges a purchasing department faces. David Kuehner, CEO and President of B2B Connex explains that by focusing on the importance of two-way collaboration between purchasing departments and their suppliers, manufacturers mitigate many of the problems inherent with one-way collaboration where purchasing requests are made but information is not properly conveyed back to the buyer. “We're all about sending out purchase orders, but we're just as interested in getting information back from suppliers in a controlled fashion. This would include information such as price changes, delivery date changes, new data, new MSDS sheets, and more. We manage the communication of all kinds of information back and forth,” says Kuehner.
Often, Kuehner explains, when a purchasing request is made, the information is faxed or emailed, after which communication breaks down. If there are supplier-initiated changes, they often don't make it back to the client’s ERP system. “We get rid of that by ensuring up front that the suppliers have the means to request changes and then B2B Connex will make sure those changes get back to the ERP system.”
In fact, B2B Connex is constantly moving forward by keeping the needs of their clients, and their clients suppliers, in mind. Even onboarding a new client is a simple, quick process. With a new client, the first step is building appropriate integration into the back-end system.
We're all about sending out purchase orders, but we're just as interested in getting information back from suppliers in a controlled fashion
Next is the implementation process, which usually takes only 1 to 2 weeks.
The majority of their clients are initially interested in the PO module, but there are many other modules available, such as RFQ bid collection, forecast distribution, corrective action, in which action requests can be to suppliers when problems arise, and others. “We also have a module that allows clients to send out new specifications. If they have a new drawing for a part, they can use our system to send it out to the supplier.”
Their flexibility has made a significant difference with clients. For example, they worked with one company who has moved away from invoices almost completely by ensuring that price changes are approved prior to shipment. This eliminates invoice match issues, which occur when a supplier makes a change such as a price update, but the update doesn't make it back to the purchasing system. By automating their ordering system, “they found that they were saving two hours per day per buyer,” Kuehner explains.
With the variety of B2B Connex modules, the entire communication process between procurement departments and their suppliers is greatly enhanced. “Now the buyers don't need to review an open order list,” he explains. “The life-cycle management processes in B2B Connex watch and report on any exceptions to the standard work flow. Buyers can just sit back and say, ‘Okay B2B Connex is taking care of that.’”