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ERP systems for B2B trading – what buying experience do your customers get?

For many B2B manufacturing companies, the sales cycle can be relatively long, and a lot of time and resources are often spent getting customers in and their first contracts signed. But once the  customers are in, how much work is done to optimize their buying experience?

Improving relationships with both existing and new customers is critical to the success of any business, but is often overlooked in favour of pursuing new opportunities in the market. Here’s how we can help your business improve your customers’ experience simply, and create fast and noticeable results.  

It costs less to retain existing customers than to find new ones

Many companies understandably put a strong focus on bringing in new customers, but the fact is that it costs significantly less to retain and develop existing customers than to find new ones. Depending on the industry, it can be 5-25 times more expensive to find and bring in a new customer compared to retaining an existing one. If it takes a long time for you to get your customers, it could be very costly if they then disappear during the next procurement cycle. It is, therefore, important that you give your customers the best buying experience possible.

A great buying experience begins with your business systems

The B2B trade is developing rapidly and as society and industries become increasingly digitalized,  customers' demands for the shopping experience increase. Any B2B customer who places an order with another manufacturing company expects their order to be correct and the buying process to be both reliable and smooth. These legitimate expectations increase the demands on your business systems.

To remain competitive and deliver to your customers the experience they expect, you need business systems that are:

Robust and scalable

To be able to meet any challenges or changes in daily operations, upticks in seasonal demand, and unexpected production interruptions.


In the event of strategic changes, the business system needs to be able to adapt to new requirements for sales, inventory, and processes for order fulfillment. If the business system cannot be adapted to changes, it will have a direct and almost certainly negative impact on the customer experience.


The ability to generate a clear view for both you and the customer of the prices, orders, stock status, and deliveries increases the transparency between you – something that your customers will appreciate as it assists them with their own operations, and engenders deeper trust and a more meaningful business relationship.


B2B companies need systems that can handle different business rules and tailored solutions for specific customers. For example, an advanced system could handle unique pricing for a particular customer or the prioritization of certain orders for another. B2B companies often have many different channels for both sales and order fulfillment, and a good business system must be able to capture events in several different systems and gather them in one place to expedite and facilitate processing and delivery.

You can read more about customers' increasing demands on the buying experience and how AI can help improve the process in the article Why AI is a game changer for your order processing.

Explore what is possible in your existing systems

If your existing business system does not currently have all these features, does that mean you have to abandon your systems and start over? No, not necessarily. Advanced order management does not have to cost the earth and it is not always necessary to overhaul your entire IT infrastructure. There are often major efficiency gains to be made within your existing systems – by utilizing all the functions that already exist (but may not be used) and by connecting more functions with integrations.

Do you still think that a new order system is what you need? Then you should read the article 7 tips when choosing a new order system.

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