Recent research on B2B digital commerce confirms that several barriers exist in most pre- or under-digitized manufacturing and distribution organizations that threaten to jeopardize the outcome of their digital transformation efforts. Awareness of these barriers early in your organization’s eCommerce planning helps you know what you can expect as you invest in and use digital tools and technologies, and drive your digital transformation.
Digital commerce leaders acknowledge that the technology aspect of eCommerce is a barrier they need to overcome as they drive a digital transformation. In a sense that’s obvious. There are a lot of barriers around data and technology, from having your systems ready to having data and information that is clean and can be compiled. Often times there is a certain amount of scale or sophistication that is required. All this has to do with technology.
But some of your digital commerce investments are not going to be just about technology. There are other barriers to be aware of that will require investment.
Some barriers are more organizational in nature and are related more to the organization of people. Having the knowledge and skills to acquire, use and optimize digital tools means your organization has to have the time and resources to understand and use those digital tools. As the senior leadership looks at what it’s going to take to digitally transform, organizational barriers are relevant.
Many B2B organizations just beginning their digital journey tend to look only at the technology aspects of the digital transformation and overlook the resources that will be needed to execute in marketing, operations and product content; the latter being a particularly large hurdle for manufacturers and distributors to get over. All of these dynamics roll into the execution of an eCommerce strategy plan, so having all of these elements as part of your discussion when you’re starting to drive your initiative through the organization is very important.
Additionally, there may be cultural barriers to overcome and some internal disruption. In particular, moving from the way you’ve done business in the past to new ways of creating value for your customers and your suppliers that are enabled and powered by digital tools. So, some of your investments are going to be about moving your organization forward: a panel of appointed advisors, company-wide training, work teams, and any number of ways you can think of to engage your people and move them forward in the journey.
Understand and Resolve Barriers Early
Technology, organizational and cultural barriers exist. You should know what they are going in, and know how to overcome them. B2B eCommerce vendors have witnessed all too often organizations launching a new website and some key role in the organization is either surprised or not prepared for what is transpiring before their eyes. Knowing the barriers beforehand is very important, as well as senior leadership engaging collectively on all areas of the business to make sure that the plan is cohesive and without holes.
Watch the webinar recording, “De-Risking Your Digital Initiatives” to learn more about internal barriers to driving digital transformation and how to be prepared to overcome them.