15 December 2022
As the front line in sourcing innovation, purchasing is reinventing itself. It’s the purchasing department’s responsibility to identify the external resources that will increase the company’s capacity for innovation: the dematerialisation of processes, electronic signatures, contract libraries, electronic catalogues, etc. There are many ways to work towards this goal. However, one trend is emerging: creating a B2B marketplace. Applied to the buyer’s business, the marketplace model allows for the optimisation of processes, offering better management of costs and margins while facilitating financial reconciliation. Let’s take a closer look at the potential of B2B marketplaces for the purchasing function.
Just as in B2C, the trend in B2B is to create ever more fluid and digitalised purchasing environments. New generations of buyers are moving away from traditional procurement and sourcing methods, which they feel lack flexibility. Today, they are looking for accessible environments that allow them to buy quickly and easily from a sufficiently large product catalogue.
But the marketplace concept has other advantages. Traditional sourcing and procurement methods are often time-consuming and are subject to a risk of overflow. For purchasing managers, it seems appropriate to move away from conventional purchasing methods and adopt a more flexible and transparent approach, like the best-known marketplaces, which know how to respond to buyers’ needs.
Marketplaces also create an ecosystem offering services, new functionalities and “neglected” products. This is an opportunity to meet buyers’ needs while generating significant gains (e.g., focusing on non-recurring, non-strategic C-class purchases).
Finally, B2B marketplaces are responding to a significant challenge: environmental sustainability! Thanks to the increasing number of purchase platforms, it is possible to adopt a strategy to reduce or optimise transport, by grouping packages from several suppliers in a single delivery, for example. In addition, the digitisation of purchasing (and catalogues!) is also a way of putting an end to paper catalogues that pile up and order forms by telephone.
New purchasing habits and the need for exchange between customers and suppliers are contributing to the emergence of B2B marketplaces. Saving time, optimising purchasing processes, reducing costs, and simplifying procurement… The B2B marketplace offers real-time transparency of procurement throughout the value chain!
Above all, this B2B purchasing platform allows access to more products/parts/components/services that are accessible, faster and at a more competitive price. Why? Because it centralises all suppliers in one place, making it easier for them to compete while simplifying (or even cancelling) any negotiations. Indeed, e-procurement platforms have a major advantage: they can self-regulate prices because sellers, having visibility of their competitors’ posted prices, tend to align themselves. There are also more offers, encouraging buyers to test new products. As a result, you reduce the costs of managing and controlling purchases while increasing your company’s margins!
On the buyers’ side, the B2B marketplace saves time. No longer need to scour catalogues or consult numerous websites to find THE right product. By accessing a single platform, purchasing managers save considerable time, which they can reallocate to higher value-added tasks.
Furthermore, creating a B2B marketplace as an e-procurement platform facilitates financial reconciliation, thanks to the implementation of dashboards offering precise and automated export of accounting data.
Beforehand, you should have clearly defined your business plan: what will be the purpose of the future business? What will be the economic model of the e-procurement marketplace? What will be the main cost items? Pay particular attention to the critical balance between sellers and buyers, cost control and revenue projections.
As a reminder, here are 4 fundamentals that will constitute your value proposition:
Once you have established your value proposition, you can choose the technology best suited to your project. Indeed, creating a B2B marketplace means moving from the role of “controller” between suppliers and buyers, to that of “facilitator”.
While e-procurement marketplaces offer many advantages, it is essential to review the economic model of the purchasing function by equipping yourself with innovative digital solutions that meet your challenges! Payment methods, services offered, the technology deployed… Various parameters should guide you towards choosing the best payment service provider (PSP).
As a pan-European payment institution, Lemonway offers a payment solution adapted to online sales platforms that combines security, reliability, and modularity in compliance with the laws in force (KYB, anti-fraud, etc.).
More than 1400 marketplaces (B2B, B2C, C2C) have already trusted us throughout Europe. Why shouldn’t you? Are you thinking of creating a B2B marketplace to digitalise your purchases, and are you wondering which payment solution to deploy? Contact one of our experts.
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