Two weeks ago, I promised in my blog that during the fall I would discuss the five most important steps in creating a digital business network. The first step is to think about planning and to create a model of what you want to achieve as a whole.
The first step – Planning and a model of what you want to achieve
If a company wants to create an advanced digital business network, the top management must first decide which business processes it wants to include in its digital program. In this series of blogs, I will focus on digitalizing both purchasing and sales networks. Therefore all processes and benefits will focus on either buying or selling.
Procurement organizations need to start with the supplier process and to focus on both indirect and direct suppliers at the same time. The number of suppliers must also be considered and it is important to understand how purchases are distributed by supplier. From the point of view of the supply network, it is also possible to focus on the logistics process and to recognize how logistics partners could be incorporated into the procurement network as a whole.
On the sales side, different customer groups must be identified, customers’contribution to net sales, consumer customers’share of net sales, and the geographical distribution of customers. The role of the logistics process must also be understood and the transport management partners be identified.
When there is a model for the main processes and their stakeholders, it is also important to understand the added value that the selected processes can bring. When processes are digitalized, the goal is often to gain cost benefits, but digitalization should also improve the accuracy and usefulness of data in decision-making. It must also make data transparent throughout the network. Top-level meters, at the minimum, must be created to measure progress towards the set goals and to be followed as practical measures are implemented.
This blog discussed planning and organizing. In two weeks I will focus on choices related to organization and technology.
The writer has fifteen years of experience in customer-focused business development, particularly electronic supply chain management, electronic invoicing, and integration and data management solutions. At OpusCapita, he is working with B2B integration solutions and for promoting digital business networks among customers and stakeholders.
›› Read the first blog "Successful digital networks in five steps" here