Archiwum kategorii: B2B

Accelerate the delivery time with the dropshipping solution

When selling online, it is often the case that companies do not want to freeze their income to store products from suppliers. This situation is often the result of a slower process of goods flow. Companies also face the problem of a long time that needs to be taken to fulfil the orders, caused by waiting for the delivery of products from the supplier. The dropshipping logistic model is the solution to this problem.

In this model, the order is sent to the customer directly from the supplier’s warehouse. The online store’s task, on the other hand, is to accept the order and redirect it to the supplier in order to deliver it directly to the customer. Sales profit in this model is achieved by imposing a margin on the wholesale price.


The first step in creating a dropshipping logistic model is to collect information about the product offer from the supplier. Later, these products are imported into the admin panel of the online store. As the supplier’s product offer changes, it is a repetitive process. The next step is more complex because you have to map the structure from the supplier’s website into the structures in the e-commerce system. This takes several stages – mapping of producers, categories, VAT rate, profile fields and imposing margins for individual categories.

In order for business partner’s products to be properly displayed in the online store, a series of mappings should be defined first. One of them is mapping external producers from the dropshipping partner system into producers defined in the e-commerce system. The most important mapping, however, is category mapping. It allows you to associate the categories defined in the dropshipping system with the categories in the store. Categories are understood as product types, e.g. shoes – high heels, jackets – down jackets. During the category mapping process, margins are set as well. Taking into account the price in which the product was bought from the dropshipping partner, a margin expressed as a percentage may be imposed. This value is used to calculate the suggested sales price of the product in the admin panel. Assigning the margin is a guarantee of making profits on the partner’s products in a given category, without the need to manually set and later monitor sales prices.

A minimum margin is also set, in case the price from the producer has risen above the defined price in the store. The warning about this situation will then be displayed in the administration panel. Then, the partner’s VAT rates and profile fields are mapped to correspond to those in the online store. This is a very important operation because it allows you to display product parameters later in the store. Profile fields contain information, such as a colour or material from which the product is made. In the admin panel, in the mapping settings tab, the product import can be blocked, when the mapping data does not coincide in 100% with the supplier’s offer.

When all the products from supplier’s offer are mapped into the admin panel of the e-commerce system, they can be displayed in the online store, where they can be viewed by a potential customer. The publication is very simple, it only takes one button. Then, the previously mentioned variants, profiles and product photos are set. Later, the time comes to synchronize prices and stocks in the store, which will be periodically refreshed using the shared API. After setting the margin, the products are ready to be displayed. The online store administrator can also manually manage discounts on the supplier’s products using the e-commerce system functionality.

When adding the product to the basket, the system automatically checks its availability at the dropshipping partner’s warehouse. If the product is not available, a message is displayed that it cannot be added to the cart. Hence, payment for an order that a dropshipping partner cannot fulfil at a given time will not be accepted. In the cart, a visual division of products into dropshipping partners is displayed, along with a information explaining why the order is divided. The user of the online store is also informed that the selected product will be sent in a separate package if it belongs to the offer of a business partner. Despite the division, the whole order can be paid in one transaction, regardless of whether there are the products of the actual store or its external suppliers.


The logistic model – dropshipping – brings a lot of benefits both to the company that owns an online store and for the customer. One among others is a possibility to expand the product offer, without the need to invest in reserves, as the payment for the products can be made after finishing the transaction by the customer. Limited assortment onsite means lower warehousing costs, which normally include for instance rent, more employees and security costs. The costs of shipping packages to customers are also lower because some of them are taken over by dropshipping partners. The customer ultimately receives the order earlier, because it is delivered to him directly from the source. Dropshipping is a solution both for the B2B and B2C sales models, that supports the company’s logistic processes.

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Order completion module – quick and correct order fulfillment

The quick execution of orders is one of many factors determining the success of online sales. However, preparing the purchased products for the shipment in a rush may result in the incorrect completion of the order. Plus, wondering if you packed the correct product in a correct number and going back to the shelf just to be sure. In the end, the correct content of the package is one of the main determiners of customer’s satisfaction. The i-systems company has built the order completion module which makes collecting purchased items quicker and error-free. It is the last, but at the same time crucial stage in the whole online sales process, that can be automated by integration with e-commerce system.


A tab with customers orders is available in the store admin panel. The listing includes the order number, customer name, price, date of placing the order, name of the warehouse employee and order status. Taking the last component into the consideration – there are three statuses – Completion has not begun, Finished – with the date of completion, and Not completed. After clicking the button Complete the order, the tab with product list is displayed. This is where the completion takes place. The list can be downloaded and printed which makes it easier to search for products in the warehouse. In practice it looks like this – the employee responsible for preparing packages has a barcode scanner, connected to the computer (i.e. by USB). After scanning the code of the product or entering EAN code to the system manually, products automatically change their backlight colour, corresponding to their number. If the number of products is correct, the backlight is green, too small – yellow, too big – blue. In case of mistake, the products can be rescanned. There is also an option to enter the number of items and scan the product only once.


The order doesn’t have to be completed at once. When given products are currently not available or there is a problem to find them, the employee can simply click the button The product is not available in the warehouse. This button triggers change of order status to Not completed. On the other hand, if all products are packed, the Forward parcel button appears. Next, the status on the list of orders changes to Dispatched for shipping and information about the date of its completion is displayed. Then, it is possible to print the logistic label and the package is ready to send. However, to search for the orders easier, there are filters, which allow selecting the orders, among others by the completion status.


Having an order completion module brings real benefits, both to business owners, their employees and target customers. This tool significantly optimizes the packing time by automating the order completion process. By scanning products, the employee will always be sure that the package prepared by him is compatible with the order. The risk of potential mistake is therefore reduced. All of this contributes to the reduction of money loss incurred by the company as a result of incorrect order completion.

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New era of B2B solutions

Business is changing, both this oriented on the retail client and on the business partner. New technologies makes the customers’ demands evolve quickly, affecting the rules of running business in a significant way. In order to grow a business, it is important to respond dynamically to the current market needs, because as Darwin’s theory says, only those most responsive to change will survive.

Large business has to be simple

Modern entrepreneurs, using the latest technology, want to run a business in a convenient, simple and useful way. When buying online, they expect to find a specific assortment, a personalized offer, an intuitive navigation, and, above all, the ability to get information in real time.

B2C companies for a long time understood the needs of today’s customers, actively introducing newer and newer e-commerce solutions. However, the wholesale companies must also match the sales to the needs of the modern market. The new B2B era means decline of the wholesale systems, which are discouraging by the look and allow only to check the offer and place an order. Modern B2B platforms comprehensively address business needs, provide advanced analytics, full integration with external systems, and tools to support the daily work of sales team. This is a combination of functionalities, which are mandatory for building long-term collaboration between businesses, with solutions previously reserved exclusively for B2C.

Integration with ERP, meaning the consistency of data

For companies operating in the B2B model, merging the sales system with other external systems is especially important. Business partners have individual prices, terms of payment, or merchant payment limits. In addition, the B2B sales system is not just a tool for the company’s employees – it is primarily a solution for contractors who expect to be able to check their current prices, payment status or order status. Entering all data manually, on a regular basis, would be extremely time-consuming and it could generate errors.

The success of a business depends on long-term relationships

In business to business sales, tools to build customer loyalty are much more important than in the case of retail sales. This kind of sales is based on solid business partners, not individual orders, made by occasional users. It is therefore worth to implement such solutions as: the offline product catalog, the function to create individual wholesale prices, or call centers, which makes it easy to organize telephone campaigns of a sales or information nature.

In modern B2B platforms, it is common to provide knowledge bases or forums for the customers. With this tools, the system administrator passes to the contractor the necessary knowledge of the product offer, such as detailed descriptions, photos, or information about promotional campaigns. The solution also allows to focus the work of sales department on sales activities by minimizing phone or email inquiries about basic product details.

The line between the online stores and wholesale platforms is blurred. Not only retail customers, but also business partners are looking forward to make good purchases with an intuitive navigation system. Dedicated e-commerce solutions, that meet business needs of the particular entrepreneurship and ensure the good UX of the system, are the evidence of a modern approach to the business and give the opportunity to grow one.

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i-systems among Polish LIRs

i-systems is the first producer of e-commerce software in Poland, being LIR at the same time. After receiving a positive decision, the company can support the security and development of its customers, while improving service quality.

What is LIR and RIR?

Starting from the abbreviation RIR, which stands for “Regional Internet Registry” one can find out that it is an organization, which deals with allocation and registration of IP addresses in the particular regions of the world. The custody is exercised by IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority), which aim is to keep order in IP addresses and domains.

However LIR (Local Internet Registry) is an organization, to which a pool of IP addresses has been assigned by RIR. Those addresses are further assigned to LIR’s customers. LIRs are mostly internet service providers, entrepreneurships and academic institutions.

What are IP addresses for?

IP addresses are used to identify servers, and their number is limited. Therefore, their price on the market is constantly growing. This is why an alternative standard, called IPv6 was developed, in which the number of IP addresses is enormous. Unfortunately currently most of the operators do not support this standard. But yet, there are IPv4, which availability is constantly decreasing. However, being among LIRs we have a pool of addresses at our’s disposal.

Theoretically, you can run any number of sites on a single IP address, however it is not advantageous taking the positioning into the consideration. Moreover, you cannot successfully run SSL, which is to provide data confidentiality and authentication of server, on such address. Until recently, it also assumed that one IP address is assigned to a single domain. Currently, standards allow to run multiple domains on a single IP address, however once again, this solution is not supported by all devices. What is more, many services evaluates the so-called “reputation of the IP address”. Let’s take, for example, spam servers, which have a low reputation, and that means that e-mails from these addresses are rejected.

Swimming in the pool of IP addresses

Previously i-systems rented the so called pools of IP addresses, and their number was limited. When the company wanted to have bigger pool of addresses, the older one had be returned. This, however, involved a time-consuming configuration of domains and security.

Currently, being LIR, the company received a pool of thousand unique IP addresses. It is strictly connected with security, as in case of leased IP addresses, the operator can ask to return them at any time, which would result in unavailable i-systems sites. Being a partner of the main provider of IP addresses, no one can request their return.

Another benefit is the fact, that when having its own IP addresses, i-systems can direct them to any server room. In case of leasing addresses from the server room, while moving, they stay with particular server room. Hence, it is another element of security, and moving between server rooms is no longer a problem.

A pool of IP addresses, i-systems received while becoming a LIR, is a pool of brand-new addresses, which were never used before. The customer can therefore be sure, that for instance a month earlier under this address there wasn’t any  domain used for a spamming purposes or containing illegal contents. Receiving IP address from the server room is pretty like buying in secondhand, you never know who wore the clothes before and what happened during wearing them. Such address can be listed on blacklists and be blocked, and this can cause problems with, for example, receiving e-mails with orders.

Being among LIRs, i-systems company strives to improve the safety of services, being independent from server rooms and assuring unique IP addresses, which couldn’t be blocked in any way before. Having such addresses also affects better positioning. The company meets, at the same time, all the most stringent SSL standards, because one domain has a single IP address.

The new image of BeanBrothers e-commerce system

The new e-commerce system for BeanBrothers has been created for the lovers of aromatic teas and coffees from all around the world. The new online store is a combination of an elegant graphic design, referring to the colors of the earth, and modern functionalities supporting online sales. All of the solutions were implemented within single idea – to create a place, where the customer can easily and comfortably purchase both favourite coffee and specialized equipment, needed wherever short black is brewed.

– Our online store has a lot of advanced functionalities, which facilitate making purchases for individual customers and business partners. We especially appreciate the integration with the accounting system, thanks to which we can execute orders much quicker – says Filip Sura, BeanBrothers

Solutions for efficient and flawless execution of orders

E-commerce system prepared for BeanBrothers offers high-quality tea and coffee, as well as grinders, coffee machines, and special accessories, such as filtering systems or dispensers. As the offer is directed either to B2C and B2B sector, it generates considerable traffic on the website. In order to ensure efficient execution of many orders, company’s representatives made a decision to integrate e-commerce system with Subiekt GT accounting system. Thanks to the implemented solution the situation when the customer orders unavailable product can be avoided.

The company also sells its products through Allegro auction portal. Wide range of products means a necessity to create multiple auctions with different parameters. Generating auctions “manually” can be burdensome and can cause many errors. Thanks to the automatized creation of auctions, only products which are available in BeanBrothers warehouse, are the subject of an auction.

Repair Management System

Repair Management System

Automatization of the Repair Management system

Except for products, BeanBrothers offers repairs of different kinds of coffee equipment. Every year, the brand gains new customers, so traditional completing of documents, related to possible equipment failure, would be time-consuming. Therefore, automatization of the Repair Management System was for company’s representatives of great importance.

A dedicated Repair Management System has been implemented in the new e-commerce system for BeanBrothers. Every coffee machine owner can now easily report failure directly through online store and order service. What the customer needs to do is simply fill a short form. On the basis of this information, accurate costs and repair time are given.

Information on stationary stores and discounts in exchange for signing up for the newsletter

Information on stationary stores and discounts in exchange for signing up for the newsletter

Modules aimed at improving customer service quality

An interesting solution which supports customer service quality is Abandoned Carts module. There are several reasons why customers do not finish their purchase transactions. They want to check the price of the competition or they just simply forgot about the order. Thanks to this solution, the administrator of the online store can set automatic e-mail reminder to people who did not finish their purchases during a specific amount of time. This module is a perfect remarketing tool, allowing low-cost reminder of the offer.

The customers who signed up for the newsletter were also well taken care of because of the additional discounts. Customers are reluctant to share their private e-mail addresses, however everyone likes to get bonuses. Module called “coupons for signing up for the newsletter” allows to create customers database at low cost. Customers, on the other hand, get additional percentage or amount discount for BeanBrothers online store.
Brand-new e-commerce system for BeanBrothers can be found here:

Advantages and disadvantages of open source

eCommerce market is a rapidly growing area. For companies which understand the potential of online sales it has become an important source of income. Fitting the needs of modern, more and more mobile customer, who wants to buy online efficiently and comfortably, is a basic feature of an efficiently functioning online store.

Choosing the right software for your business, either dedicated or open source, is a foundation while creating an online store. While following the internet portals, it is hard to resist the feeling that there is a bit of disinformation concerning advantages and disadvantages of an open source software.

Undoubtedly, it has a huge contribution to the popularization and development of eCommerce. However, being aware of the benefits and drawbacks of this kind of software, one can adjust the online sales system to the specifics of business, and most of all – demands of current and future customers.

Open source software in Poland and over the world

Among 10,000 biggest online stores worldwide, the most popular open source engine is Magento. According to Built With, Magento engine drives over 14% of all online stores, and next 8% are driven by Magento Enterprise engine.

Created by i-systems on the basis of: Global eCommerce Technology Distribution The shopping cart technologies used by online stores globally. Last updated Jan 20th 2016.

Created by i-systems on the basis of: Global eCommerce Technology Distribution The shopping cart technologies used by online stores globally. Last updated Jan 20th 2016.

Taking Poland into the consideration, Magento considerably losses in the market in favor of other solutions. This software supports only 4% of the Polish online stores. The leader at this level is PrestaShop, which is selected by 25% of the market. A common software is also WooCommerce, which occupies 19% of the market.

Created by i-systems, on the basis of: Top in Ecommerce usage in Poland · Week beginning Jan 25th 2016

Created by i-systems, on the basis of: Top in Ecommerce usage in Poland. Week beginning Jan 25th 2016.

Open source – the cost of implementation and development

The word ”open” doesn’t mean that the software is free of charge – it determines the open source code. Therefore, persons with appropriate development skills and the time can freely modify the store’s engine for their own needs. It is possible to create online store on this basis, however one should not expect that it would be totally for free. If you don’t have programming skills or time, or if you rather focus on actions to increase sales – you have to pay for such services.

Due to high demand, prices of the Magento specialists are one of the highest among the eCommerce programmers. The open source license such as basic Magento Community is free. However, if you want to have technical support and marketing modules, you have to buy Magento Enterprise with an annual license fee in the amount of more than 22,000 $.

Safety when choosing open source software

The open code is a solution that has its strengths and weaknesses. On the one hand it can mean better detection of errors and fixing them faster, and on the other hand increased risk of attack. Checking code by a large community is also fuzzy responsibility for errors. The example can be OpenSSL and gap “hearbleed”. For more than two years the gap was in browsers and web servers. No one noticed it, thinking that this was already checked.

Problems with updates and compatibility with following versions of open source

Open source is rarely compatible with the following versions. The problems associated with updates are often the subject on the forums. When there is a new version of Magento and online stores try to migrate, it is very often that integrations and dedicated extensions of the store stop working properly. Sometimes even official modules refuse to work. Then the store has to be built practically from scratch. Update complications caused that significant percentage of online stores is still working on the Magento version 1.7 engines.

Open source and the change of the company implementing online store

Open source allows to change the agency which creates eCommerce system. However, you should remember that the agency, being aware of the temporary agreement with the customer, not always fully engage in the tasks. It happens that stores generated on open source are written in a hurry, without consistent rules, attention to comments, specification and code culture. It means that the new agency in the initial phase has a huge problem, because they need to understand what the programmer had in mind. As a result, though trial and error, changes are being introduced, or some parts of the store are written from scratch. Then arises the so called “effect of technical debt”, which means biggest costs of modifications and software development in the future.

Commercialization of open source

Every software is finally replaced by the new solutions. The example can be OsCommerce software, which for a long time has been the most popular system for online stores. However currently, it is gradually displaced from the market in favor of other systems.

Popularity of open source software, created by i-systems on the basis of:

Popularity of open source software, created by i-systems on the basis of:

Currently, the driving force behind Magento 2, the premiere of which was announced more than three years ago, is ebay. During the works on the project, CEO and software creator – Varien – has left the company. He admitted off the record that he had different definition of “open source” than ebay. Development direction of this software can be seen by comparing Community and Enterprise version. The commercialization of open source software is standard practice. List of free modules, the number of users and products is gradually reduced, so as to companies wishing to develop their online activities, chosen paid model.

The cost of maintaining the open source software

The highest fixed costs of maintaining online store are hosting and the time of programmers. Open source is often an overextended system. For this reason it requires several times bigger resources than dedicated system of the same size. Optimization is troublesome, and the increase in traffic means the necessity to add computing power.

Open source created by self-educated community

Open source high popularity owes to the self-educated community. It is directly affected by growing number of new agencies implementing stores basing on the open source software. Open source software will always be more popular, because it clearly shortens the way of each interactive agency to the possibility of creating online stores. However, this type of stores has a low level of security – they are often a victim of attacks and data theft. It is also the most commonly used solution for creating fictitious shops.

Open source and new solutions

Today’s sales systems have moved beyond standard collection and handling of orders a long time ago. The current eCommerce market is changing very rapidly. Open source is always a few steps behind solutions that are developed by commercial companies in closed teams. That was in case of Responsive Web Design and OmniChannel. Waiting for a moment when a module will be ready may result in loss of customers of an online store, as they will be interested in shopping according to applicable standards at this time.

Open source software, such as Magento, WooCommerce and Presta is a very good complement of eCommerce market. It responds to the needs of small and medium-sized companies that have the experience and resources to independently develop a standard store. However, when a company wants to focus efforts on increasing sales, and it prefers to pay an external company to take care of the support, hosting and technical matters, dedicated software is worth considering. The costs of implementation and further development may be much lower than in the case of open source. Implementation of dedicated solutions is especially worth considering when the store’s functionalities are beyond standard ones, and they require constant monitoring and quick response to errors.

Herbamedicus expands the group of its customers through eCommerce

Herbamedicus Poland was established in 2010. With the Swiss preparations the owner met two years earlier. However, at this time he worked for a different international corporation, so he made a decision to carry out market analysis. After extensive research, it turned out that Polish consumers want to use natural healthy products.
Herbamedicus Poland offers Swiss preparations of natural medicine. All products contain extracts of herbs and medicinal plants, creating a fully natural products. The brand can be found in pharmacies, herbal shops, as well as in drug stores and retail chains, located throughout the country.

Reaching wider group of customers

The company carries out activities aimed at increasing the range of its customers. In April, they started cooperation with the Polish champion in bodybuilding – Michał Sawicki. Thanks of the campaign, Herbamedicus products are more and more often selected by active people.

– Not so long ago, our offer was addressed to the customer who was over 45 years old. However, we decided to expand our business and reach younger customer. Products for athletes, dermocosmetics, and coconut oils, addressed to all people who want to live a dynamic and healthy live were made. To reach younger customer, besides offline sales, we have created a mobile and technologically advanced eCommerce system – says Adam Jakobiuk, Chairman of the Board at Herbamedicus

Awards for modern eCommerce system

The company has recently been recognized with many awards. They received “Skrzydła Biznesu” [Business Wings] – an award granted to the companies searching for the new solutions for development, silver medal in “Konsumencki Lider Jakości 2016” [Consumer Quality Leader 2016], and title “Dobra Marka 2016” [Good Brand 2016]. Due to an implementation of the modern eCommerce system, Herbamedicus received title of “e-gazela biznesu” [Business e-gazelle]. Herbamedicus online store has a lot of B2B solutions and functionalities to support the automation of payments and order fulfillment. The management board particularly appreciate the dedicated Call Center module. Thanks to the implementation of this solution, the company effectively increases phone sales.


– Our eCommerce system is an innovative project. On the one hand it is easy-to-use and intuitive, on the other – it has several developed functionalities to increase the quality of customer service. We hired external companies to run phone sales. The decision to create proprietary Call Center module was a good choice – states Iwona Urbaniak, Office Manager at Herbamedicus.

Development of the new brands

The Swiss Herbamedicus company is not the only brand offered by a Polish company. In their offer they also have their own brands, such as Vitamedicus – herbal preparations, and Herba Pure – dietary supplements.
Despite many successes the company is not slowing down its development. They recently purchased land for the new office and warehouse. Currently they are waiting for an appropriate permissions and finalizing the construction project. The new warehouse is to be environment friendly and consistent with the overall idea of ​​the company. Completion of construction works is planned at the end of next year.

eCommerce solutions in B2B – receivable management

Receivable management is a process aimed mainly at the prevention of outstanding receivables from appearing. Effective receivable management combines activities which include prevention, monitoring and debt recovery. These are precisely the tasks of the ARMS module, which has proved itself useful not only in B2B systems. It improves the company’s financial liquidity and reduces the costs related to handling receivables. The work of the whole team responsible for company finance is streamlined as well.

Work and architecture

ARMS means Account Receivable Management System. It is an original module which monitors receivables and allows for quick reactions. The ARMS solution offers defining tasks at the user’s will. Every task has its own condition (e.g. the number of days past the payment deadline) and operation (e.g. sending a notification by e-mail). In the above example, if a contractor delays in payment by one week, an e-mail message with a reminder will automatically be sent to it. The number of days, notification form, message content and other variables may be freely edited.


The simplified diagram shows the ARMS module work process. The module starts working every day at a specified time. Then, it verifies the payment in relation to the customer’s reliability status. If the payment fulfills task conditions (e.g. no payment within one week of the invoice issue date), the module undertakes the next (previously defined) operations. All activities are recorded in the form of a log register. The main panel of the ARMS module shows a detailed history of operations and their results. Sample tasks in the ARMS module include:
– sending the customer an e-mail message with thanks on the day of issuing the document (invoice or order),
– adding a task for an employee to the calendar making him/her contact the customer three days past the payment deadline,
– automatic blockade of the contactor’s possibility of placing orders after missing specified deadlines,
– sending the customer an e-mail reminder two days before the payment deadline.

Customer segmentation according to the reliability status

Task defining can also be combined with the reliability status ascribed to a given customer. System settings offer three contractor reliability statuses: green, yellow and red, and any number of tasks can be defined for each of them. A sample list of tasks for the most reliable (green) customer may be limited just to an e-mail reminder of an unpaid invoice two days past the payment deadline. Yellow customers (those with a medium reliability status) may be additionally informed by phone one day before the payment deadline. The customer reliability status is not ascribed permanently: upon seeing that a yellow customer submits payments reliably and on time, we can transfer it to the green group.

The receivable management ARMS module proves itself useful in every sale type because its functions are not limited to debt recovery: it also places emphasis on preventive monitoring of payments. The possibility of combining it with other modules and solutions makes it a guarantee of maintaining the financial liquidity in the entire company.

B2B benefits in eCommerce you do not know about

B2B solutions in eCommerce are characterized by the fact that their results are not conspicuous right away. New code lines, invoices, statistics, analyses, reports and prognoses are not solutions giving us a thrill of positive emotions. They come (especially for people dealing with finance and its optimization) when we realise the likely benefits of B2B system in e-commerce. The solutions described were implemented by i-systems in Higma Service, a company supplying products, hygienic systems and professional chemical agents for companies, institutions and HoReCa sector.

Easy access to data

Even today you can find some archaic solutions, frequently adopted in companies. The nightmare of each tradesman – one main computer with access to all data which can be used for entering the order in the system. The tradesman is forced to ask the computer owner (usually Sales Manager) to provide the hardware to her/him even for a couple of minutes.
It would be hard to find a better example of wasting resources and losing time for the team. Open web access to the IT system for all company employees enables the tradesman, having her/his own account, to come and enter the order in the system from any computer connected to the Internet. The introduction of such a solution (along with other) help Higma Service sales representatives to meet with as much as 12 customers during a single day and to prepare a customised offer for each of them, including a full presentation. Such a solution offers also a comprehensive control of each ordering stage. It is enough to have a look at the system to learn what happened to a specific order, when and why.

Optimisation of overhead costs and expense prognosis

Each document in the form of a sheet of paper can be lost, get wet, be taken by the wind and is a cost in itself. Higma Service generates over 23 thousand invoices a year and several times more Goods Dispatched (WZ) Invoices. This is an immense amount of paper which was replaced by electronic documents. They are generated automatically and attached to the order performance stage preferred by the customer. What is more, the electronic documents are grouped in sets to analyse and obtain Business Intelligence information more easily, of key importance for the strategic decisions. Such an analysis of data can be created any time in a month, not only after the end of any settlement period.

Improving the work qualify of sales representatives

B2C or B2B solutions can actually be reduced to H2H, that is Human 2 Human, relations. Here, personal likings and dislikes (partially subconscious) of our sales representatives towards some companies come to play. How to encourage the sale representative, beside her/his personal animosities, to contact and visit all the companies? The IT system can also be helpful here. The solution implemented suggests the employee should make an appointment for the meeting and if s/he keeps ignoring the message, s/he will lose the opportunity to make other appointments before vising all customers suggested by the system.

Logistics handling

Warehousing costs constitute a large part of sales companies’ expenses. The logistic solution adopted analyses sales of products and prognoses warehouse shortages. Thanks to that, the warehousing space is optimized and does not generate unnecessary costs. Such a policy can reduce warehousing costs by 45%. Additionally, each manufacturer connected with the company can generate the sales reports for their products themselves as this offers information to both companies for improved cooperation.
Business activity cost optimisation is the most important challenge for companies in almost any sector. As you see, B2B systems are able to optimize costs in many areas of the company operation: from sales, through employees’ time management, debt recovery, offering, expense control, to the logistics. It is worth considering implementation of B2B solutions in e-commerce as some money can still be obtained from the designated subsidy from the EU funds.

B2B eCommerce: how to reduce costs and increase profits?

eCommerce activities in B2C are very easy to identify and define: a store offers a product, the customer buys it. We can also speak of marketing, offer comparison, customer service and, eventually, the transaction. When we ask about eCommerce in B2B, the most frequent answer is the sales of the same products but in wholesale amounts and preferably on pallets. eCommerce area in B2B looks, however, different. What is more: it can change entirely the company strategy and its efficiency.

eCommerce in B2B is the abundance of opportunities

There is a multitude of studies, analyses and reports describing the sales potential of the Internet B2B channel. According to the most cautious estimates, the level of 150 billion PLN is within easy reach (unless it has already been exceeded). This is close to six times more than B2C market, but only about 5% of all B2B transactions. Observing the development of the Polish eCommerce sector, we frequently look at the U.S. The said share in that country reaches 30%. The potential is, thus, present but where is it exactly? The products most frequently bought in the Internet business to business sales include: office products, raw materials, manufacturing materials and products related to using the company assets. Also Higma Service sells such products. The case of competitive advantage building by this company through technology will be described below.

Optimising the costs of acquiring and retaining the customer

Strong competition between distributors makes it difficult to compete by means of the price, which is more and more similar for all distributors. If it is more difficult to compete by means of the price, you can offer more to the Customer for the same price. What can this added value be in B2B eCommerce transactions? It can be comprehensive control of the expenses, minimizing the likelihood of mistaken order performance and consequent reduction of error handling costs, complete automation of document flow, improved efficiency of employees’ work or the ability to report and verify sales plans in real time. If we are able to provide such a benefits’ package to the business customer, they loyalty will grow. What is more, the exit barrier will be much higher and we will reduce customer rotation, still offering the same product for the same price.

Business analysis a key to success in B2B eCommerce

All large B2B and IT projects should be started from a cross-sectional analysis. Implementing the project for Higma Service, key eCommerce challenges were identified, that is: more efficient service of customers in the entire territory of Poland, creation of a settlement mechanism for contract customers having many outlets, higher automation of the sales process, elimination of errors caused by a growing base of compatible products, improved efficiency of meeting scheduling or improved warehouse management. Each of those aspects contributes to significant improvement of the financial efficiency of the company.

Solutions adopted

Abraham Lincoln used to say that every work can be done if it is divided into small tasks. The same is true for IT solutions. In the said case, all works were divided into three major stages. The first consisted in creating new infrastructure and taking the load off the resources possessed by simplifying and automating repeatable processes; the second one was devoted to improving the entire sales process and creating new tools increasing the operating capacities of the sales department employees; the third one assumed that all the regular customers will be covered by the panel facilitating the process of sales, service and debt recovery.

Big data – collection and effective use of business data

Public institutions, mechanical and food industry, medical sector, education, administration, catering and hotel sector (HoReCa) as well as private companies have different needs and expectations. The collection and analysis of data have become an important aspect of business. According to the studies by InsightExpress, 80% of Polish IT managers believe that big data will be the grounds of their corporate strategies in the five years to come. The demand for such specialists grows by about 30% a year. Another basis for operation in eCommerce is data analysis. For such operations, a unique tool enabling to optimize business processes between the company and its vendors in everyday work.

Business results obtained

The introduction of innovative solutions changes the nature of work performed. After the said system was implemented, the time and labour intensity required for the handling and performance of orders were reduced by 50%. Human and equipment resources were liberated and they can be shifted to perform other tasks. In Harvard Business Review Poland published in January, in the article devoted to the Internet of things we could read the statement by Jeff Immelt who claims that each industrial company will be the software producer. This vision can be expanded also to services and it can be added that each company will have to invest in cost optimizing software in the years to come. The said software will open up new opportunities for optimization and the B2B eCommerce case described is a perfect example of that.