Homegrown B2B eCommerce made sense in the 90s and early 2000s. The market offered immature technology, and if you wanted something powerful, you had to build it.
How things have changed!
Now the technology is so mature, you can support complex B2B transactions (with direct SAP integration) in a prebuilt, cloud-native platform.
Hint: That’s what Corevist is all about.
If you’re still supporting a homegrown solution, it’s time to count the cost. Here’s where DIY B2B eCommerce hurts.
Hey customer, don’t ask for pricing and availability
What’s the one thing every customer wants to know—even EDI buyers before they place an order?
They want pricing. Now.
They also want to know if you have the product in stock. If you don’t, they’re going to move on.
So how good is your pricing data in that homegrown B2B eCommerce portal? Can every customer see 100% accurate contract pricing—for every SKU in every quantity?
That’s tough to deliver.
On another note, how old is your availability data? Is it coming from SAP in real time, or is it replicated and synchronized every now and then? Nothing hurts customer relationships like a failed promise.
This is why most homegrown B2B solutions don’t show availability or pricing. It’s just too risky.
Luckily, there’s a better way. It’s called real-time pricing and availability, coming straight from SAP. And it’s built into the Corevist Platform.
Hey customer service rep, here’s another messed-up order
Let me guess. Your homegrown B2B eCommerce portal logs every order in its own database. This database acts as the system of record for B2B eCommerce orders.
Maybe you run batch synchronization jobs to post orders to SAP. Or—gasp—you make your CSRs do it manually by rekeying every line item into SAP.
Either way, what’s your success rate?
How many orders come over with no errors at all?
I’m guessing it’s a rare occurrence.
This is a serious problem. When B2B eCommerce gives a buyer the wrong pricing, that’s a tricky conversation for customer service. It’s even harder when a customer ordered a discontinued SKU—or one they’re not allowed to buy.
Let’s not even talk about configurable products.
If your business lives in SAP, with complex logic governing your transactions, then you shouldn’t have to put up with order errors. That’s why the Corevist Platform posts only 100% error-free orders to SAP. Check it out:
“Where’s my order?” Good luck tracking it in the B2B portal…
If all that wasn’t bad enough, here’s where the homegrown approach really stumbles.
It’s one thing to show real-time order history and status, line-item status, and embedded shipment tracking numbers for B2B eCommerce orders. (Kudos if you can provide this in your homegrown solution.)
But what about orders from all channels?
We live in an omnichannel world. It isn’t enough to show B2B eCommerce orders alone. Customers also need to see their orders from EDI, phone, fax, and email—not to mention the invoice associated with each one (and real-time credit status).
That’s why the Corevist Platform shows full history and status for all orders and invoices, plus credit status. We do it in real time, straight from SAP, and we make all associated documents readily available. Check it out:
The site’s down again. What broke this time?
If your homegrown solution is integrated with SAP, my hat’s off to you. Replicating and synchronizing data across 3 systems (eCommerce, SAP, and your integration solution)—that’s a tall order. It takes dedication to keep that thing running for years.
But how do you debug that beast?
When customers can’t place orders, who do you call? Fred in IT? Oh wait, he’s already drowning in your S/4HANA migration.
Say you get a trojan on the website. Are you prepared for that?
Here’s where a managed, integrated solution beats DIY every time. Believe it or not, you don’t have to suffer anymore. You can engage a trusted partner who owns and manages the entire stack for you—including SAP integration and security.
That’s what we offer here at Corevist. Our managed, prebuilt solution includes 49 SAP integration points, and we cover the technology stack from top to bottom. Here’s a simplified view of our architecture (and everything we handle):
Wish we weren’t carrying this burden ourselves…
Here’s the hard reality. No one is going to help you upgrade that homegrown solution. No one’s going to fix it for you when it breaks.
There’s no ecosystem of subject-matter experts (outside your IT staff) who know how this thing works. All the documentation in the world won’t help you when employees churn. You built this thing, and you have to live with it.
Once again, this is where a managed, integrated platform really shines. You’re not alone. You’ve got a trusted advisor who not only built the platform and implemented your solution, but also supports it every day. You don’t have to worry about upgrades, security, or internal knowledge management. Your partner has your back, which means you can focus on your core business.
That’s what we’re all about here at Corevist.