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    Subject: Grow your business using B2B emarketplace Part III Wednesday 15.10.2003
    Increase Company Productivity

    Increase Company ProductivityAfter years of hard work, finally your business started to pick up. You are selling more products then ever! You have lined up a good number of suppliers and buyers. Things have never been better than now. Except one thing! With rising sales your overhead and supply chain expenses are also sky-rocketing. Your profit margin is no longer the same as it used to be! You feel that you are in a limbo! How to increase productivity? How to cut costs without giving up sales? Sounds familiar to you? Well, your company is not alone! According to IDC, a research firm, while interviewed, overwhelming majority of the company executives claimed that their biggest concern is declining profit margins.

    Companies, in order to stay competitive, must find solutions to increase efficiency in business operations and control costs. Is there a solution to this ubiquitous problem?

    Remember Dorothy from the children classic Wizard of the Oz? She had to go through numerous obstacles in her quest to find a way to get back to Kansas, her home. Only to find out that the silver shoes that she was wearing from the very first day since the cyclone brought her to the Land of Oz could have taken her back home, all she had to do was to knock the heels together three times and command the shoes to carry her wherever she wished to go.

    Similar to this story, solutions to these corporate problems are widely available right under your nose, only you as a company executive have to overcome the fear of new technologies and adopt them to your own good.

    B2B exchanges or emarketplaces are capable of solving many key problems that corporations are facing today. Emarketplaces can provide immense opportunities to automate supply chain process, increase operational efficiency, reduce overhead costs and expand market at a minimal cost.

    Using emarketplace effectively

    Two primary factors of company productivity are Revenue Increase and Cost Cutting. Both are achievable if a company seriously decides to incorporate emarketplace features in all aspects of business operations. That means if as a company you want to reap all the benefits of emarketplaces, you have to commit yourself seriously.

    Become a member

    Once you find an emarketplace that suits your requirement, the first thing what you have to do is to register and become a member. Most emarketplaces have different membership packages. Although, to check out the emarketplace whether it is viable for your business or not you might start with the free membership package, but once you are satisfied with your selection, to use the emarketplace to your advantage you should choose the package with most features and functions.

    Integrate your products to e-catalog

    If you are a supplier, this is a very important step to take. Unless you have thousands of products to sell, this should not be a difficult task. All emarketplaces use either a form or wizard-based, not-so-complex and user-friendly product adding tool. Since e-catalogs that emarketplaces use are industry standard, once you aggregated you products, same information you will be able to use in other e-catalogs, emarketplaces and even in your own website. Apart from your own buyers other prospective customers from the emarketplace community are able to view your products in the e-catalog, which in turn will bring you new contacts and sales.

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    Create products for sale offers

    You should create sales offer of your primary products that you carry most of the time and post them on the emarketplace. Many emarketplaces have options to sell products with different procedures. You can make offer to sell access inventories through dynamic market, also called auction, you can make hot offers with time limit, etc.
    This is an extra sales channel in the beginning, which might grow into your primary one!

    Involve your buyers and sellers

    If you would like to use an emarketplace most effectively, you have to get your suppliers and buyers on board too. Supply chain management solution that usually comes with an emarketplace allows you to reduce operational costs significantly.

    Encourage your buyers to send request for quote for a product through the inbuilt system of the emarketplace.
    Make strict rules within your company to send all quotes exclusively through emarketplace.
    Ask your buyers to send Purchase Orders to your company via emarketplace.
    Bill all your clients using invoicing system of the emarketplace.
    Manage shipping and handling though emarketplaces.
    Convince your suppliers to use the same emarketplace so that even as a buyer you can get the benefits of a B2B exchange.

    Complete adoption of an emarketplace will help a company gain numerous benefits. The following figures taken from various research notes emphasize the importance of e-marketplace in todays business world. Thanks to emarketplace, companies can reduce purchase order processing cost from US $75 to less than US $10.

    By automating sales and customer support processes companies can lower overhead costs up to 25 30% easily.
    Companies also can reduce more than five percent of their maintenance, repair and operation by incorporating e-business solutions, which are integral parts of any emarketplace.
    Business process automation using B2B emarketplace helps companies decreasing of document errors from 20 percent to less than one percent.
    B2B Emarketplace solutions are great opportunities

    The famous inventor Thomas Edison once told, Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. Company executives are by no means afraid of hard work, but unfortunately many of them have colossal fear of high technology and because of this reluctant to explore new Internet-based technologies to their advantage. If you are one of them, be assured that knowledge required to adopt emarketplace to your business and manage it properly is easy to learn and implement.

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