Analysts have been predicting rapid growth of B2B e-commerce, but many people don't feel much urgency to get their companies started on an e-commerce path. Some are planning to wait and see how everyone else is doing with ecommerce, and some are even waiting until a business partner forces them to move. However, the time to prepare your business for B2B has arrived. E-commerce is no longer a new, untried idea.

How can a floor covering professional determine if their business operation is prepared for the future using B2B? The following list describes 10 daily tasks a flooring dealer or contractor typically practices.

  • Place orders with suppliers/manufacturers daily.
  • I enter supplier invoices into my accounting system daily.
  • Enter purchase orders into the accounting system before ordering the product.
  • I receive inventory daily into my software system.
  • I maintain a correct electronic product catalog.
  • My software helps me verify costs billed on invoices with quoted costs on purchase orders.
  • My software helps confirm quantities received with quantities billed on invoices.
  • Use an automated software system that handles accounting, purchasing and product catalog.
  • I enter my orders and purchase orders into the software prior to placing order.

If your company routinely practices at least 7 out of the 10 items in the list, then your company should step into the future with B2B e-commerce. Your next step is to find the software system that is specifically designed to fully support electronic document exchange capability in compliance with the B2B Standard. This website is designed to help you see what companies are offering the software, so you can find the system that is right for your business.

The software that is right for you may function independently or be embedded within a computer system that automates their back-office operations surrounding accounting, procurement, and product catalog processes. Companies are saving real money and building strong relationships through e-commerce and those companies that are still waiting will soon find themselves struggling to catch up.