For B2B manufacturers and distributors looking to offer a B2C-like eCommerce experience to customers, it is important to leverage technologies that can help build solutions quickly to meet their goals. Platform-as-a-Service solutions are becoming an extremely popular option for B2B brands, allowing them to build solutions that set the foundation for better customer experience. From increased product availability to varied shipping offers, improved order status to shipping integration, and more – PaaS platforms are perfect to meet the ever-changing, complex needs of B2B customers.
Here are 5 reasons why PaaS is essential to achieve the strategic goals for manufacturers and distributors in 2020:
Reason 1: To enable easy customization
PaaS platforms are built with robust APIs. They are quick-to-deploy. API-first platforms support extreme levels of customization – supporting modern technologies and allowing developers to create solutions to meet the complex needs of modern-day customers. Being highly customizable, they allow B2B companies to introduce new features and update functionality – as and when needed.
Using PaaS, manufacturers can customize user interfaces to suit different pricing contracts, product selections, and purchasing processes as well as to suit different customer types and industries. They can also tailor merchandising and promotions, allowing brands to add a personal touch and pave the way for the most relevant user experience.
Reason 2: To drive seamless integration
PaaS platforms are also a great way to enable enterprise-wide integration. Modern B2B manufacturers need to connect data from every aspect of their business landscape to fuel a fulfilling customer experience. PaaS solutions provide the level of integration needed. By connecting data across order, inventory, item, customer, and shipping, companies can improve inventory and pricing information while allowing them to scale operations, enable cost savings, and operate more efficiently as a business.
Using PaaS, brands can integrate quickly with multiple software applications – including ERP systems, content management systems, and more. Such integration allows them to better align with customer needs while offering them a rich selection of products as well as payment and delivery options.
Reason 3: To optimize costs
For B2B manufacturers already dealing with several cost pressures, a PaaS deployment is a great way to optimize costs. Since PaaS readily provides the underlying software infrastructure on which cutting-edge eCommerce platforms can be built, manufacturers can greatly bring down the cost of maintaining traditional application development and deployment environments.
Since the underlying infrastructure is provided by vendors, manufacturers can also save on storage and server overheads along with network bandwidth and software maintenance costs. In addition, all development tools are provided by the PaaS vendor, allowing manufacturers to achieve substantial cost savings while ensuring the solution is up-to-date and secure – through continuous automation and testing.
Reason 4: To enable flexibility
PaaS platforms also provide B2B manufacturers and distributors the flexibility to leverage infrastructure, middleware, and services that they find most appropriate for their specific business needs. They allow manufacturers to sidestep the tedious (and time-consuming) process of configuring complex IT infrastructure. They can simply deploy new-age applications and have them running instantly.
PaaS platforms enable manufacturers to be agile and tweak needs as they see fit. Since PaaS vendors provide developers with tools to scale and update the application over time, it makes it easier for manufacturers to make frequent iterations and changes to meet specific user requirements – without affecting the development process – while ensuring the solution is fully aligned with business goals.
Reason 5: To accelerate time-to-market
The B2B landscape is extremely competitive, requiring manufacturers to offer products to customers faster. Given the application development process comprises many complex and repetitive steps, PaaS allows developers to focus on strategic work, rather than spending time on performing mundane tasks. Leveraging a highly adaptable framework that is ready for applications to be built on, removes the need to build from scratch. Developers can simply use the infrastructure and hardware to develop and deploy new-age applications.
Since PaaS, by design, enables automation, it empowers manufacturers to offer products to B2B customers in a quick and efficient manner. Developers can automate tedious maintenance tasks across infrastructure provisioning, drastically bringing down application development time while accelerating time-to-market.
A cost- and time-effective way of building applications
Today, PaaS is the best way for manufacturers to manage and maintain complex relationships with suppliers, distributors, vendors, and customers. As the B2B landscape gets increasingly complex and competitive, PaaS offers a cost and time-effective way for manufacturers to build unique applications to meet the needs of customers. By allowing developers to focus on value-added tasks – as opposed to menial tasks such as provisioning infrastructure or managing security patches – PaaS platforms offer the right balance between customization, integration, flexibility, costs, and time-to-market.