How to improve negotiations with your suppliers

For any business it’s critical knowing if they are getting the best prices and conditions from their Suppliers. To address this goal basically you will need to search for new suppliers, evaluate them, negotiate and trade with them in a more collaborative and effective way.

E-TenderWith our app for E-Procurement & SCM you will be able to; find, evaluate, collaborate, negotiate and trade with your suppliers in a completely new way that will finally dramatically improve all your supply costs. We will setup for you a Supplier Community Portal where you will be able to tightly collaborate with your suppliers in order to address your mutual goals. Suppliers will be able to address many of the tasks they have to do with your company through self service options. You also will be able to find and record into your systems new suppliers through new channels like B2B Marketplaces or Social Networks.

We will also provide you with powerful tools to negotiate, collaborate and trade with your Suppliers like the ones you can see below:

  • E-Tenders will allow you to manage sophisticated negotiation scenarios, like Reverse Auctions, that will make your suppliers compete between each other in order to improve your buy prices.
  • Chatter Groups will allow you to share discussions with your Suppliers.
  • Catalogs will allow you to select the items of your suppliers that you are more interested in buying and establish a price for each of them.
  • Contract Management will allow you to record all the data, files and conversations related with your contracts.
  • Discount Rules will allow you to setup sophisticated discounts that takes into consideration multiple variables like; volume, delivery times or dates, packaging, transport capacity,…etc.
  • SCM Rules will allow you to setup specific actions when specific events happens on your supply chain. An example of this is the actions that should be taken when there is a delay on a Estimated Date of Departure (ETD).
  • Shipment Planification will allow you to plan your deliveries taking into account demand requirements and transport costs.
  • Track & Trace will give you a full vision of the global supply chain events related with your orders.
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Collaboration and Enterprise Software Evolution

E-business-&-SCM-positioningWe could say enterprise software evolution has always been driven by the need of collaboration inside a company and outside the company, with all their supply chain stakeholders (customers, distributors, agents,suppliers, logistics operators and others). Enterprise software has also always taken advantage of the opportunities offered by the latest technology. So, collaboration inside the company becomes widely available with the arrival of PCs, LANs and Desktop Productivity Apps and the adoption of the Client-Server Architecture. Collaboration outside the company starts with e-mail and websites and it becomes really powerful with the adoption of web services and the Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) or Cloud Computing.

The evolution and potential of enterprise software has also defined the evolution of companies structure, so that companies have been outsourcing diferent processes as collaboration becomes more feasible. Thus, we have reached the current state, where companies are very focused on their core competencies and for everything else they look for a tight and efficient collaboration.

This new business scenario, is very different from the situation in the 80 and 90. In those years systems like ERPs (Enterprise Resource Planning) try to take advantage of common denominators of the different functional areas of a business (finance, manufacturing, purchasing, human resources, etc …) to develop their solutions. Now, systems should look for common denominators in the different inter-company relations (E-Business & SCM). The big problem is that this variation is much greater. So in this new scenario, the essential part of the systems are the development platforms in the cloud, allowing us to quickly adapt a general scheme of operation to each unique business collaboration.

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Global Sourcing with Alibaba and the Salesforce Platform

Alibaba and Salesforce

Take advantage of Alibaba’s leading B2B marketplace for Global Sourcing and Salesforce’s leading cloud Platform to radically improve your Global Supply Chain.

 Demo On-Line

See below the principal steps of our easy and friendly combined process for: sourcing, import-export and freight forwarding:

  • Supplier Relationship Management (SRM): Easy access to all your suppliers information from a single point (company information, contact details, product categories and items supplied, requests, quotes, orders, ERP data integration, email integration, document integration, suppliers risk data integration, LinkedIn integration, etc …).
  • Suppliers Portal for registration and Product Items Management: Powerful Suppliers Portal to allow them self-registration of all their data and product items they can supply.
  • Tender Planning: Define your target prices based on Alibaba products published prices and be sure you stay always on market.
  • Streamline your Request for Quote (RFQ) process by sending requests directly from Alibaba: Any Supply Project in our app has a unique URL so that you can copy and paste it into any third system (specifically B2B Marketplaces, Social Networks, Emails,..) in order to request a quote from a Supplier that isn’t already registered in your system.
  • Get your Supplier Quotes directly into your system: All Supplier Quotes will be filled directly by your Suppliers and recorded into your system.
  • Transport & Freights rates management and Import-Export pricing quotation. This will allow you to add all your Import-Export costs to your Suppliers Quotes.
  • Customs Brokerage: The app is already integrated with customs for more than 90 countries so that you can calculate fast and easy customs duties for all your Supplier Quotes.
  • Comparison Tool: This tool allow you to compare Supplier Quotes from different geographical areas.
  • Shipments: Consolidate Suppliers Orders in order to optimize your Transport Capacity, taking into account items weight, volume and packaging specifications.
  • Track & Trace with alarm management: Take timely action when deviations occur on program. The app is already integrated with 60 Ocean Carriers for Container Events.
  • Business Intelligence to provide managers with a summary of the most relevant aspects of the business.
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Ocean Track & Trace powered by the Salesforce Platform

Track_trace_powered _by_the_Salesforce_Platform

We would like to invite you to test, with your own containers/bookings, how to improve your customer service with our Track & Trace feature already integrated with 60 Ocean Carriersfor containers events and any vessel for AIS position. Please see on the link below, how you can dramatically change the way you manage your Import-Export business:

Demo On-Line

Key points of our Import-Export & SCM App powered by the Salesforce Platform are the next:

  • Easy access to all customer information from a single point (contact details, commercial activity, opportunities, quotes, orders, ERP data integration, email integration, document integration, LinkedIn integration, etc …). This allows your sales rep to plan and execute their commercial activities more effectively.
  • Trade more efficiently with your customers and suppliers, thanks to our E-Business & SCM tools that will allow you and your partners (customers, distributors, suppliers,…) to place orders with Decision Support Systems (DSS) that takes into consideration commercial agreements, historical demand and transport capacities.
  • Transport & Freights rates management and Import-Export pricing quotation. This will allow your sales rep to quote faster and free of errors.
  • Customs Brokerage: our App is already integrated with customs for more than 90 countries.
  • Track & Trace with alarm management, via Chatter for timely action when deviations occur on the program. This feature is of tremendous value to improve service and build customer loyalty as well as being a very powerful sales argument to attract new customers.
  • Business Intelligence to provide managers with a summary of the most relevant aspects of the business.
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Get loyalty from your customers through Social E-Business

E-Business involves many different companies with different roles (customers, suppliers, shippers, freight forwarders, transporters, customs clearance, shipping lines, etc.). All the participants involved in the business process need to be informed as soon as the relevant information becomes available.

It’s very important for customer loyalty that you differentiate your company from the competition through information services that give your customers more productivity, faster response times and optimum track & trace of all their commercial and supply chain activities with your company.

Social E-Business for Shipping

Salesforce Community Portal for Freight Forwarding

 

 

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Time savings for Pricing/Quotation and Shipments

Save up to 50% of staff hours with features that make you work more efficiently. Key points to highlight are a well designed pricing/quotation process and effective consolidation of multiple order records into one shipment.

Salesforce Freight Pricing-Quotation

 

Shipment Consolidation

 

 

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Global Trade, SCM and Logistics Key Questions

Cloud Computing for Global Trade and SCM

If your company is involved in Global Trade as a manufacturer, distributor or logistic operator I give you some key questions you should ask yourself to be successful with your information systems.

1. Does your systems integrate easily with databases (D & B), social networks (LinkedIn), news sites (Google News) and B2B marketplaces (Alibaba, Global Source,… etc) in order to get a better prospecting, sourcing and qualification of your customers and suppliers contacts ?

Salesforce, Linkedin and Google News

2. Does your systems give you tools to collaborate online with your customers and suppliers so you can keep track of all your activity with them (requests, quotes, orders, shipments … etc) ?

Shipments with Salesforce

3. Does your systems easily integrate emails, tasks and events for all involved users (sales people, buyers, operations, etc…) and information from your actual financial or operational systems to have a complete view of all activity related to your customers and suppliers ?

CRM Freight Forwarders

4. Does your systems give yo productivity to generate all your commercial and operational documents?

PDF Documents with Salesforce

5. Does your systems have the ability to use any application from the Appexchange marketplace that is the undisputed leader for enterprise applications and utilities?

Forecasting with Adaptive Planing

6. Does your systems give you the ability to develop in the cloud the data structure and functionality that really requires your company, in a way 10 times faster than with the technologies currently in use, and with more security and availability?

Force.com Platform

7. Does you systems have powerful tools to generate views, reports, dashboards, business rules, workflows, … etc, in order to achieve orderly planning and execution of all marketing activities, procurement and logistics ?

Business Intelligence with Force

We invite you to have a discussion about what you think are your key issues for your CRM & SCM systems in Global Trade and Logistics. Please feel free to ad any comment into this post and we will response you with our best knowledge.

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Cloud Computing for Freight Forwarding and International Trade

Try for 30 days Ebusiness CRM

 “Offering in the subscription license price, all the adaptations a company needs during its life to take its commercial and operations management in an effective way, is the real challenge ”

Gone are the days when companies had to make do with standard ERP or CRM applications to manage their business. Standard applications are only valid for those processes that are common to businesses, and if we are realistic they are very few: accounting, treasury, payroll, warehouse management and little else. For everything else each company has its own process and way of seeing things.

The real challenge is to provide custom applications for each company to those areas that really make their management culture and makes them differentiate from their competition. These areas are principally commercial, production, logistics and procurement. If we take two companies that manufacture the same product and compete in the same market, we will certainly find differences between them in the organization of their commercial area, production operations, logistics and procurement.

Our company has managed to address this challenge with great success thanks to the following:

1) A development cloud computing platform like Force.com. This platform allows us to develop with a quality and speed without precedent in the software industry. Our E-Business CRM applications are embedded on Force.com platform of Salesforce.com, so any application developed by us can evolve and adapt with the power that offers Force.com.

2) An application of E-Business CRM with a very complete repository of objects and functions, which allows us a very quickly adaptation to the specific needs of each client.

cloud computing for freight forwarders and traders.jpg

3) A deep knowledge of applications and components that can be useful to our customers in the marketplace AppExchange.

4) A methodology teamwork with our clients, based on intensive webconference systems to develop their applications using fast cycle specification – implementation – feedback.

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Cloud computing para las PYMES a medida

“Ofrecer en el precio de la licencia de suscripción todas las adaptaciones de por vida que necesita una PYME para llevar su gestión comercial y de operaciones de una forma eficaz es el verdadero reto”

Se acabaron los tiempos en que las PYMES se tenían que conformar con aplicaciones estándar de CRM o ERP para la gestión de su empresa. Las aplicaciones estándar solamente valen para aquellos procesos que son comunes a cualquier empresa y si somos realistas éstos son muy pocos; la contabilidad, la tesorería, las nóminas, la gestión del almacén y poco más. Para todo lo demás cada empresa tiene su propio proceso y su forma de ver las cosas.

El verdadero reto consiste en ofrecer aplicaciones a la medida de cada PYME para aquellas áreas que realmente marcan su cultura de gestión y hace que se diferencien de su competencia. Estas áreas son principalmente la gestión comercial, de operaciones y aprovisionamiento de la empresa. Si cogemos dos empresas que fabrican el mismo tipo de producto y compiten en el mismo mercado seguro que existen diferencias entre ellas en la forma de organizar su área comercial y sus operaciones de producción, logística y aprovisionamiento.

Nuestra empresa ha conseguido abordar este reto con gran éxito gracias a lo siguiente:

1) Una plataforma de desarrollo en cloud computing como Force.com. Esta plataforma permite desarrollar con una calidad y rápidez sin precedentes en la industria del software. Nuestras aplicaciones de E-Business CRM llevan embebida la plataforma Force.com de Salesforce.com, por lo que cualquier aplicación desarrollada por nosotros puede evolucionar y adaptarse con el poder que ofrece Force.com.

2) Una aplicación de E-Business CRM con un repositorio muy completo de objetos y funcionalidades, que nos permite adapatarla muy rápidamente a las necesidades concretas de cada cliente.

3) Un conocimiento muy profundo de las aplicaciones y componentes que pueden ser útiles para nuestros clientes en el marketplace Appexchange.

4) Una metodología de trabajo en equipo con nuestros clientes, que se basa en el uso intensivo de sistemas de webconference para el desarrollo de sus aplicaciones mediante ciclos muy rápidos de especificaciones – implementación – feedback.

Te invitamos a que pongas un comentario sobre este post. La discusión es abierta.

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Qué es cloud computing?

“El cloud computing se está imponiendo claramente para la gestión comercial y de operaciones de las empresas y en algunas categorías como por ejemplo el CRM, el proveedor líder en cloud computing (Salesforce.com) prácticamente lidera la categoría tanto para soluciones en cloud como cliente-servidor.”

Debido al éxito comercial del término “cloud computing” (computación en la nube) actualmente se está haciendo un uso de esta etiqueta en muchos casos inadecuado, por lo que me parece muy importante aclarar bien qué significa que una aplicación empresarial tipo CRM o ERP sea en cloud computing.

El primer concepto inseparable del término “cloud computing” es el de la “arquitectura SOA (Service Oriented Architecture)”. Con este tipo de arquitecturas las aplicaciones en la nube se conectan unas a otras mediante los servicios web, creando de esta manera aplicaciones que desde el punto de vista del usuario son una sola pero que sin embargo están consumiendo servicios web de distintos fabricantes de software. Es muy importante entender este concepto y asegurarse que cuando estamos apostando por una plataforma en cloud computing esta tiene una API de web services bien definida y documentada que nos permite que las aplicaciones que desarrollemos en esa plataforma se puedan integrar a su vez con otras aplicaciones o servicios web que tengan igualmente bien definida su API de web services.

El otro concepto imprescindible que va ligado al cloud computing es el de “multitenant” y que quiere decir que el fabricante se encarga de mantener y actualizar un solo código de aplicación o plataforma desde la que corren todas las instancias de sus clientes. De esta manera cuando el fabricante hace un up-grade de su aplicación o plataforma todos sus clientes quedan automáticamente actualizados.

¿Cómo podemos comprobar fácilmente que la solución que nos están ofreciendo cumple los dos conceptos anteriores (SOA y multitenant)?

Hay dos “pruebas del algodón” que le podemos hacer a una plataforma o aplicación en cloud computing para saber si realmente se trata de “cloud computing” o es simplemente un hosting de una aplicación con arquitectura “cliente-servidor”.

La primera pregunta que le deberíamos hacer a cualquier fabricante de software que nos ofrezca una solución en “cloud computing” es si existe la posibilidad de que esa aplicación pueda correr desde un servidor de nuestra empresa o en modo hosting desde un servidor en un CPD externo. Si su respuesta es afirmativa entonces ya podemos estar absolutamente seguros que lo que nos está ofreciendo no es cloud computing ya que el concepto “multitenant” solamente es viable si las instancias de todos los clientes de la aplicación o plataforma corren desde los propios data centers del fabricante de la solución en cloud computing.

Lo segundo que debemos observar de cualquier aplicación o plataforma de desarrollo en “cloud computing” que nos ofrezcan es si existen desarrolladores independientes que se han interesado por ella y han extendido la funcionalidad original del fabricante de la solución para integrarla con otros servicios web de terceros (p. ej Facebook) o servicios web desarrollados por ellos mismos (p ej un servicio de e-mail marketing). La mejor forma de medir qué plataforma o aplicación ha tenido más exito extendiendo su funcionalidad a través de desarrollos de terceros es ver si existe un marketplace de aplicaciones de terceros en torno a esa plataforma o aplicación e investigar cuantas aplicaciones realmente útiles y de éxito se ofrecen en ese marketplace.

Si tu empresa es proveedora de soluciones en cloud computing o usuaria, siéntete libre de poner los comentarios que estimes oportunos sobre este artículo. La discusión es abierta.

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