Finding the Hidden Value Props in B2B Marketplaces

Financial professionals from the head of the Fed on down can’t myopically focus on one goal. In the case of chief financial officers (CFOs) evaluating B2B eCommerce platforms, there’s a dual mandate, according to Boris Lokschin, CEO of the B2B digital commerce platform Spryker.

From the CFO point of view, one of the benefits of the project will be digitizing transactions on both sides of B2B eCommerce, but that’s only one part of the equation.

Automating the Paper

Replacing paper invoices and checks is one of the most attractive benefits of digital transformation from the CFO’s point of view. Doing so reduces hard and soft costs, as well as speeding up the velocity of money on the accounts receivable side. Phase 2 of such projects involves automating interactions with the vendors in customer supply chains, eliminating accounts payables paperwork.

All of this involves system integrations with third party platforms such as TreviPay, and moving AP and AR from the business software to the eCommerce platform.

Revenue Enhancement

However, the appeal of automation isn’t limited to the efficiency, effectiveness and savings which accrue from digital transformation. Just as important, if not more so, is the potential value add on the revenue side of the income statement.

“As companies are going through digital transformation, one thing that is changing is that from having been a purely or primarily cost reduction-related conversation, CFOs nowadays recognize that digital transformation for them is mostly about value creation,“ Lokschin said.

Value creation can be about unlocking new opportunities, new markets, and new audiences; increasing and making the pie bigger; and further, deeper monetization of the same customer base by giving them more efficient tools. It can be about decreasing customers’ costs, winning revenue share or just building new digital products and services and creating competitive advantage, he said.

Start With the Org Chart

Lokschin says digitization transcends technology to embrace the entire organization chart.

“They might have to rethink the setup going forward. They might need to bring in more digital and data. They might need to look at the platform as a product, basically as an asset which might determine whether they have a competitive edge or not. It might be learning a new way of working — faster, more agile, more modern.”

Smart Pipes

He used as an example one of Spyker’s clients, Wilo, a pump maker encompassing over 80 production and distribution companies across extensive decision-making journeys. Spryker specializes in such complex B2B digitization projects.

According to Lokschin, “Pipes wouldn’t be the first product you would think about when talking about digital. But there’s a lot of innovation going on, not just how they are sold in the future and how services are sold around them, but also how you can make them smart, contribute to climate, reduce water spend, and all the transactional use cases behind it.”

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