How B2B commerce benefits from AI and predictive analytics – eCommerce Magazin

B2B retailers have long recognized the need for digital solutions for stable, sustainable and transparent supply chains. However, digitization in most companies is not as advanced as the technological possibilities.

Current state shows unused potential

According to a study by the Swiss innovation consultancy IPG Group and the source-to-pay provider Jaggaer 70% of those surveyed have taken their first steps towards digital shopping. But especially when it comes to digitization and automation of the supply chain, they do not fully exploit the potential offered by technological innovations. Only 17% of the respondents carry out simulations. A little 2% use in-depth analyzes and 9% use supply chain mapping – the visualization of the entire supply chain in real time. The study also shows that the respondents often implement the relevant technologies, but cannot fully carry out the roll-out. There is a lack of digital competence for this. In addition, the structures in the company represent an obstacle. These obstacles must be overcome quickly. Because against the background of complex global supply chains and increasing market turbulence, predictions and transparency are essential for an agile and stable supply chain as the basis for sustainable purchasing.

AI-based technologies make transparent supply chains fit for the future

The supply chain of the future is not only digital, but partially autonomous. AI-based technologies are the key to maximum transparency and agility as well as efficient supplier management with considerable time and cost savings. Predictive analytics, also known as predictive analytics, use data mining, machine learning, and algorithms to make predictions about the likelihood of future disruptions. Prescriptive analyzes, or prescriptive analytics in new German, go one step further and optimize risk management. On the basis of simulations, they suggest measures to prevent or mitigate disruptions in the supply chain before they occur. IoT technologies connect employees, machines, goods and processes with one another via sensors or smart devices. This is where 5G networks can increase performance.

The acquisition and transmission of data in real time increases the traceability of products and materials across the entire supply chain. This promotes efficient risk management and optimal condition monitoring during transport. The digital networking of all players along the entire supply chain and the high speed of data transmission guarantee maximum transparency, planning security and efficiency.

Transparent supply chains thanks to supply chain mapping

Jaggaer already offers software for supply chain mapping that maps the supply chain in real time. This is used in a number of global companies. It improves communication throughout the supply chain through a continuous flow of information and analysis results, such as forecasts of future procurement quantities. Using artificial intelligence and based on collected data, it calculates predictive analyzes that occur 95% of the time. Faults can be identified even before they occur. The software suggests risk management strategies itself, which guarantees quick and efficient implementation. For example, in the event of delivery delays, other suitable suppliers from the integrated supplier catalog are recommended.

Innovative solution for direct purchasing: Grohe’s supplier portal

Sanitary service provider Grohe has taken the plunge and is fully exploiting the potential of digitization for its business model. Together with Jaggaer, the company rolled out a global supplier portal for direct purchasing. The module allows suppliers to organize Grohe deliveries themselves based on the current stock level and expected consumption. The status of an order can be viewed at any time in the portal for both contract partners, from receipt of the customer order to production as well as parts list resolution and procurement. This is a building block that contributes to transparent supply chains. In this way, suppliers can react faster and deliver more precisely. Disruptions in the supply chain are responded to immediately with alternatives in procurement. Via the portal, Grohe employees are able, for example, to quickly find another suitable supplier.

An additional module standardizes the tendering process, which is completely and automatically processed via the supplier portal. The time savings are considerable, as users have to make significantly less manual entries. In the supplier portal, Grohe has around 1,600 warehouse combinations and around 15,000 material-plant combinations, which are provided by over 600 suppliers, and thus almost 17,000 items in total. The company processes over 160,000 orders via Jaggaer every year. The example of Grohe shows what is already possible with digital shopping systems. By ensuring more transparency and efficiency, they offer decisive competitive advantages and make the supply chain stable and future-proof in the long term.

Also read: Order volume is increasing – global supply chains have difficulties keeping up.