B2B E-commerce In 2021: Accelerating Digital India

While B2C e-commerce will ensure accessibility to the last person standing, B2B e-commerce will enable manufacturers to ensure availability and affordability of goods by optimizing the supply chain

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With the emergence of COVID-19 vaccines, the global economy is regaining its hunger for growth, and Indian manufacturers cannot afford to lose the opportunity to build back better. Time is precious and Indian manufacturers, both OEMs and MSMEs, have to seize the opportunity with speed and agility. Our manufacturing enterprises will have to focus on 3As to accelerate economic growth: affordability, accessibility, and availability. While B2C e-commerce will ensure accessibility to the last person standing, B2B e-commerce will enable manufacturers to ensure availability and affordability of goods by optimizing the supply chain.

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Digital twinning of the manufacturing supply chain

Indian manufacturers will have to prioritize solving the legacy problems that surfaced through the COVID-19 experience. Major issues include reducing logistics costs and reducing the turnaround time of programmable tasks. B2B e-commerce firms can enable Indian OEMs and MSMEs to solve these problems through the digital twinning of the supply chain. Manufacturers can replicate the entire manufacturing supply chain ecosystem in a virtual environment and ensure higher pandemic-proofing levels by making several supply chain processes conducive to work-from-home and remote working models.

B2B e-commerce: A demand engine for Indian MSMEs

As recovery accelerates in 2021, restoring the demand generation for MSMEs to pre-COVID-19 levels will be crucial. This year B2B e-commerce models will enable Indian MSMEs to gain higher visibility before OEMs searching for industrial goods. B2B e-commerce firms map large scale OEM orders against supplier production capacities, TAT, ETA, cost, insurance, and freight charges using data analytics. They will be integral to connecting MSMEs to new local business opportunities.

B2B e-commerce will make all stages of brand distribution more agile

In 2021 Indian manufacturing enterprises will have to rebuild their supply chain distribution processes from the ground up with a focus on agility. They will need to compress the cycle time across different supply chain stages of make-to-order, plant-to-port, and market-to-cash. B2B e-commerce firms will enable Indian manufacturers to reduce each of these supply chain stages' turnaround time by providing robotic process automation solutions that standardize processes, repeat cyclical tasks for each order, and reduce manual efforts. 

B2B e-commerce will enable manufacturers to scale up faster

Traditionally Indian manufacturing enterprises have faced the challenge of cost inefficiencies that have impacted demand. In 2021, B2B e-commerce models will enable Indian manufacturers to reduce cost efficiencies through cloud computing solutions. Cloud-hosted SaaS models work on subscription pricing and metered billing practices. B2B e-commerce firms use such cloud-hosted SaaS models that are scalable. It means that once a digital workflow for a task is created, supply chain stakeholders like OEMs, MSMEs, logistics service providers, suppliers, and supply chain financiers can repeat the task several times at zero marginal costs. Such cloud-SaaS models' scalability will allow B2B e-commerce firms to drive economies of scale and positively impact the unit economics of industrial procurement, sales and distribution, supplier relationship management, and direct procurement contracting.

B2B e-commerce firms will enable enterprises to optimize logistics costs

One of the most significant value drivers in the manufacturing supply chain is the sharing of logistics costs among truckers, manufacturers, distributors, and end consumers. All stakeholders need to collaborate in real-time and search for the least-cost and the least-TAT logistics route options as per demand. Misalignment at any of level can lead to clogging of the goods flow across the chain, inventory pile-up at warehouses, and congestion at ports and terminals, and plants. B2B e-commerce firms can enable each of these stakeholders to get real-time visibility into their respective logistics capacities and plan ahead to stay cost-competitive. Their use of artificial intelligence and machine learning will be instrumental in optimizing logistics costs in 2021.

B2B e-commerce will reduce expansion costs for Indian manufacturers

One of the greatest barriers to Indian manufacturers' entry into new geographies has been the high costs of creating distribution channels, mid-mile costs of multimodal logistics from plant to port, and building on-ground assets beyond ports and terminals. B2B e-commerce firms will enable Indian manufacturers to plug into digital supply chain networks, connect to new markets for global trade and indirectly connect Indian people to new local work opportunities, all with a click of the mouse.

B2B e-commerce is integral to pandemic-proofing the rebound from 2021 and onwards

A return to the old ways of doing business will leave organizations exposed to the weaknesses that surfaced through the adversities of the pandemic in 2020. In 2021 enterprises will have to look at their supply chain and commerce processes through the lens of anti-fragility and embrace the technology integration that B2B e-commerce can provide them. In B2B e-commerce India has one of the safest and surest ways to keep the supply chain moving so that 1.3 billion people continue to get the goods they want and earn their livelihoods through the next pandemic.