Expanding Your B2B Platform

Business is becoming global. Selecting the correct off-shoring or near-shoring approach can bring significant rewards. The ability to expand and scale your B2B platform into new geographies is key to any globalisation strategy and below are 5 areas to consider when establishing a B2B footprint in a new country:

  1. The capabilities of the local infrastructure
    There are areas of the world where almost everything stops when the rainy season arrives. The capabilities of the local IT and utility infrastructures will determine the B2B systems you can operate in that country. Implementing a reliable back-up plan for your data and effective trading partner re-connect after an outage are important elements of your B2B platform.
  2. The requirements of local customs and government agencies
    When dealing with trading partners in a foreign country, it is essential to understand the formats that local governments, border control and customs agencies require for B2B information. As your global trading community grows managing these regulation and compliance issues becomes a more and more challenging part of your B2B operations.
  3. The requirements of local B2B standards
    You must accommodate the different B2B standards that your trading partners prefer. In many countries, EDIFACT and ANSI type EDI documents are still the predominant standard. In other countries, such as China, XML is much more widely used. In addition, different industries and trading communities have developed their own standards. Most organisations can’t impose their B2B standards on their partners but must integrate and support a wide range of standards effectively. This often becomes an ongoing challenge and burden for companies, so many seek an external company with the expertise to manage this on their behalf.
  4. The requirement for local language support
    It is extremely difficult for even the largest organisation to offer 24×7, follow-the-sun multi-lingual support for its B2B systems. Yet, one of the key considerations when entering a new territory is training and supporting new trading partners. It is frequently more effective to select a global B2B supplier that can provide these services for you.
  5. The resources that you require
    The resource required is often the last thing thought about when planning a B2B project. If it is not carefully planned from the beginning, it is difficult to onboard new partners and essential resources may have to be diverted to strategic projects such as ERP implementation. Often, the most effective way to roll out your B2B platform is in partnership with an expert external B2B provider.

GXS is one of the largest global B2B providers and our Trading Grid® platform helps connect thousands of trading partners quickly and securely anywhere in the world. By taking advantage of our B2B infrastructure you can avoid the B2B challenges in globalisation. To find out more, call +44 (0)1932 776047 or click here to contact us.