As a consumer, you are interested in the product you purchased.
You ordered your new smart phone and want that tracking number — now.
When you don’t get the service you paid good money for, it irritates you and makes you think twice about ordering from that company again.
This is a typical consumer to business relationship, also known as Business to Consumer (B2C).
So what is Business-2-Business and how does it apply to you?
What Qualifies a Relationship as Business-2-Business (B2B)?
Business-2-Business is commonly shortened and referred to as B2B.
When this term is mentioned, what’s being referred to is anything that leads up to the steps of the consumer purchasing the product.
Specifically, what it takes to get the product into retail stores and sold to the public.
Often times, multiple businesses and separate corporations are involved and working together just to get one product produced and sold.
When these companies work together and do business, it is referred to as B2B. Two businesses working together and having business relations in order to produce a specific product.
All retail stores minimally work with one supplier. The relationship between the retail store (take Walmart for example) and the supplier of those products (ie. Coleman) is a B2B relationship.
One retail store could have B2B connections with hundreds of different companies.
This network of relationships is the bedrock and foundation that makes it possible for the retail store to get out any products in the first place.
How Does Business-2-Business (B2B) Work?
There isn’t one set pattern that defines B2B.
B2B is a broad subject and category rather than a procedure or operation.
There are multiple ways that businesses operate and work together.
And there are several businesses and services that specifically specialize in B2B relationships to cater to all the intricate and niche products needed so that businesses can operate smoothly with each other.
Let’s take a common example with Amazon.
Amazon consists of thousands and thousands of individual sellers all working to get their products out to the world.
Every seller at Amazon is itself a business.
When an Amazon seller comes up with a product, one of the first steps is to work out where the product is coming from.
There are sites such as Alibaba that provide manufacturers who solely work with on-line sellers such as Amazon businesses.
Alibaba would be classified as a B2B service as they are connecting up two businesses to work together to produce and eventually sell a product.
Once the Amazon seller decides what product he wants to sell, he would then contact a manufacturer from Alibaba and put in a request for those items.
The Amazon seller might be happy with the way the products are in their basic form on the Alibaba site or might want some revisions.
These would all be finalized between the manufacturer and the Amazon seller. Once finalized, these products would be produced.
The Amazon seller would then need to start a new B2B relationship with a shipping service to get these items sent to his country of location.
Depending on how he wants to store his merchandize, he would then need to begin another B2B relationship with a third-party logistics company to store his products. Or he could chose to store the product in an Amazon warehouse which would mean needing to form a B2B relationship with Amazon to sort out the logistics of that.
Each new product the Amazon seller adds to his store could further result in additional B2B connections.
Soon this would be quite a network of relationships that needs to all be managed and tracked.
Don’t Get Lost in Your Own Network
A lot goes into putting a product into the hands of a desired public.
As a consumer, it’s easy to forget that.
As a business owner or executive, it’s difficult not to.
You are faced with the daily challenge of maximizing your bottom line by devising intelligent ways to economize on all the steps that come before.
Many businesses fail before they even get started due to administrative failures in managing their network of relationships.
At MindCloud, we’ve taken this into account in order to maximize your B2B relationships and the way you operate your network.
Find out how we can help raise your business to the next level and set you apart from your competitors.