Manufacturers Struggle with B2B Integration

July 2, 2021

Cleo released a new Industry Report on critical integration trends affecting the U.S. manufacturing sector.

The report, “Outsmarting Market Volatility,” reveals an industry in crisis because so many companies are struggling to achieve the degree of supply chain agility and visibility needed to effectively manage today’s eCommerce-driven market disruption. Cleo’s research finds B2B integration is so broken it has become a million-dollar issue for one in five manufacturing firms.

Key findings from the survey include:

99% of manufacturers had supply chain issues over the last year and a half

89% continue to struggle with integration issues

42% lost over $500,000 in 2020

18% lost more than $1 million in revenue in 2020

As a result, 61% of organizations are updating their integration solutions

What are business leaders doing about it? Literally all -- 100% -- of manufacturing companies surveyed say they have committed to a digital transformation strategy; 99% believe digitalization can help ensure business continuity, and 70% have at least ten important integration initiatives going on.

“Challenges with onboarding new partners, insufficient business process visibility, and revenue losses due to poor integration technology are all hampering manufacturing companies today,” said Tushar Patel, chief marketing officer with Cleo. “Our latest survey of more than 200 C-level and integration experts shows that B2B integration is broken across the manufacturing supply chain, prompting companies to reevaluate their digital transformation strategy and adopt a more modern integration approach as they adjust to today’s volatile market conditions.”

Given the tough lessons of 2020, and the eCommerce-driven ripple effects the pandemic has wrought on manufacturing supply chains, it’s not surprising that market reception and adoption of ecosystem integration technology is accelerating rapidly.

Ecosystem integration is a modern approach to connect and integrate the core revenue producing business processes between a manufacturing company and its ecosystem entities, such as partners, customers, carriers, marketplaces, and applications.

According to the report, a high percentage of manufacturing leaders see clear benefits from an ecosystem integration approach:

56% -- Faster order processing

51% -- Happier customers

46% -- Greater process automation

45% -- Cost savings

40% -- E-commerce enablement

“Ecosystem integration has emerged as both a business discipline and a new software category because it helps companies quickly build automated processes that can respond dynamically and intelligently to business disruptions caused by market volatility,” said Ryan Turner, an EDI Problem Solver with DCS, an integration services firm who has helped over 500 organizations transform their B2B processes.

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