Operations and Supply Chain Management for eCommerce B2B Companies

Updated July 3, 2023  |  6 min read
Key Takeaways
  • Operations and Supply Chain Management for eCommerce involves the streamlined coordination of business processes to efficiently produce and deliver goods or services to other businesses via online platforms.
  • It encompasses procurement, production, inventory management, order fulfillment, and logistics.
  • Given that B2B transactions often involve larger volumes and more complex contracts than B2C, there is a need for robust systems such as ERP and CRM.
  • Efficient supply chain management is crucial for reducing costs, improving customer satisfaction, and ensuring timely deliveries.
  • Data analytics and sustainable practices are becoming increasingly significant in optimizing B2B supply chains.

B2B Supply Chain Operations

Supply chain management (SCM) is the handling of all operations that relate to building a product and getting it to the right people. An effective supply chain strategy means that goods are produced and distributed as quickly and efficiently as possible. Supply chain operations include B2B inventory management, designing, planning, manufacturing, storing, fulfillment, and distributing.

Some B2B companies are able to own every stage of their supply chain process, but most supply chains are made up of a collection of companies, suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, etc., that are each responsible for completing certain steps within the supply chain process.

Challenges & Advantages of B2B Supply Chain Management in eCommerce

ECommerce supply chains can be complex, particularly for B2B companies that may not own the entire supply chain. When multiple companies are involved in the operations, everyone needs to be on the same page and have the same information, which can be quite a challenge in itself. Miscommunication or errors at any point in the supply chain process can slow down the entire operation and cause huge disruptions.

B2B and B2C have some of the same issues with eCommerce supply chain management, but some challenges are unique to B2B operations. B2B companies usually have to work under tighter deadlines. While the consumer in B2C may want their product as soon as possible, the business in B2B needs the product by a specific time and day. This is because even one delay in a normally effective supply chain delays other processes. With every part of the supply chain relying on everything running smoothly, this can result in difficulties, loss of revenue, and ruined business relationships.

Person happy with B2B solution

In many ways, however, the internet has made supply chain strategy much easier for B2B eCommerce companies. B2B companies have access to a wider range of suppliers, enabling partnerships that may not have been available previously. The internet also allows B2B companies to compare prices for different members of their eCommerce supply chain, allowing them to reduce operating costs. B2B companies can negotiate on different prices with businesses, and see what competition exists for each part of the supply chain.

If there's enough competition, more negotiation can take place if another vendor offers a better price. An especially effective discount to have is for supply chain inventory management. It can depend on the current economy, but typically, it is helpful to reduce inventory cash flow, so borrowing funds isn't necessary to have inventory on hand.

Another way to reduce costs is to simplify the design and reduce the requirements of effective supply chain management. B2B companies can see what they don't need and cut the costs of those eCommerce supply chain processes. And with enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and ERP integration, eCommerce B2B companies can have quick access to information on all operations.

The Value of ERP Integration and Online SCM Systems

ERP systems are an enterprise-level solution where the processes of companies, subsidiaries, manufacturers, warehouses, and more can all be accessed in one place. By integrating an ERP system with eCommerce software, B2B companies can combat the challenges of effective eCommerce supply chain management and take advantage of the benefits of online SCM systems.

supply chain

Integrating ERP and SCM systems enables up-to-date data, allowing you to make the right decisions. For example, some companies need to deal with weather-related situations. Weather can interfere with transportation and the ability of venues to stay open. If the public pool is closed, the company selling pool cleaning supplies can't deliver. Without beforehand knowledge of this event, the supplier would have bought or manufactured products that they can no longer sell, resulting in increased expense and a loss of revenue. Therefore, ERP integration with eCommerce software, with its AI capabilities, is extremely useful for predicting the weather and the resulting supply and demand requirements.

Another situation in which ERP system integration is advantageous is when technology companies, such as chip manufacturers, must retool their manufacturing line each time they upgrade their chip technology. It is more cost-effective to make as many of one chip as possible, but companies must be careful not to make too much of one type of chip, lest it become outdated and won't sell. Therefore, it is crucial to have up-to-date data that can give the correct timeline of when a product will sell and when to upgrade, while accounting for all the ebbs and flows of the economy.

Supply chain inventory management, shipping, and order tracking are also vastly improved by automated processes of eCommerce and ERP integration. Automation ensures that important details won't be missed, and this information can be shared across the supply chain so that everyone has the same knowledge. This improves communication and enhances the flow of effective supply chain management. Consistent information also helps ensure that schedules are kept so that products are delivered to the customer in a timely manner.

Automating processes can reduce your eCommerce business's operating costs and save time. SCM systems and ERP integration benefit you, the entire supply chain, and your customers.

ERP Integrations are Customizable

Everyone in the supply chain, from those in charge of purchasing to company leaders to those producing the items, etc., uses the same ERP system integrated with the B2B eCommerce software. However, each area has its own role, so the ability to customize the software is important for maintaining the organization. People working in one part of the B2B supply chain have different needs and uses for the software than those working in another part of the supply chain process.

Customization of ERP system integration with eCommerce software allows for robust solutions for authorization, or who has access to what parts of the system. Some information is accessible to everyone, while other information may only be accessible to some people. The ability to tailor the software to the business's individual needs is key to B2B order management and business growth.

The right amount of customization is also important, however. Too much customizability can be overwhelming and cumbersome, so the correct balance is essential for the best functionality of B2B eCommerce operations and supply chain management. This is one reason why an experienced integrator and software developer is necessary to achieve the best results from ERP integration with your eCommerce software.

Learn More About Supply Chain Management

Clarity Ventures specializes in integrating ERP and eCommerce software, so you won't have to worry about limited functionality or losses from poorly integrated software. We can tailor the software to your needs so that you can collect the benefits of enhanced eCommerce business operations and eCommerce supply chain management.

Supply Chain Strategy for B2B Operations and Supply Chain Management Success

Effectively utilizing integrated ERP and eCommerce software is an important step in having the best supply chain strategy. Information is shared using customizable dashboards and business intelligence platforms that display the data in the ERP and SCM system tools. ECommerce business intelligence, ERP, and SCM platforms in eCommerce software can give daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly reports, with both summarized and detailed versions.

Those with access can see the profitability per unit, quality control, time spent on various processes, resources, expenses, overall profit, and more. This micro and macro birds-eye view of eCommerce business operations and supply chain management enables increased B2B intelligence for eCommerce and adjust their workflow and productivity in the right direction.

Automation is part of an effective strategy for successfully managing an effective eCommerce supply chain. Automated supply chain processes with ERP and eCommerce software integration offer many advantages to B2B supply chain management, some of which are discussed above. Additionally, because doing so manually can take a lot of time and effort, it is beneficial to automate the process of putting bids out to vendors with specific qualifications, such as which has the lowest price, the quickest delivery time, or the highest quality rating. Notifications can also be set up to alert the necessary people of low inventory or remind them to reorder a product.

E-Commerce supply chain graph

The other part of a successful supply chain strategy is making sure to monitor the SCM system and keep on top of the information. Though automated processes are normally correct and trustworthy, it is important not to let your guard down just in case the system breaks or makes errors. Nothing is impervious to making mistakes, and though automation makes fewer mistakes than manual processes, the rule is to trust but verify.

Of course, having a properly integrated ERP system will drastically reduce the number of errors and system mishaps. A fully functional, integrated ERP and eCommerce software is a key factor in remaining competitive in the eCommerce marketplace. Automated processes increase data accuracy, streamline supply chain processes, and reduce staffing and overhead costs, thus allowing for a better ratio of money in and money out. This is why expert integration is the best option to get the most out of your eCommerce and ERP-integrated software.


Clarity Can Help

For 15+ years, our team at Clarity has helped clients with supply chain management and ERP software integration. Using our integration platform, Clarity Connect™, our customized integrations have helped our clients save valuable time and resources. To find out more about how Clarity can help your company improve its operations and supply chain management processes, call or click to contact us today!



An eCommerce supply chain is a network of interconnected activities and resources involved in the online selling of products and services. It starts with the procurement of raw materials or products from suppliers and encompasses manufacturing, storage in warehouses, order management, and distribution. This supply chain has a critical digital component—the eCommerce platform, where consumers browse, select, and purchase items.

An eCommerce integrated supply chain combines physical logistics and digital technologies for timely order fulfillment and customer satisfaction. Moreover, a modern and efficient eCommerce supply chain strategy often includes reverse logistics to handle returns and refunds, making them more complex and dynamic. Effective management of the eCommerce supply chain can result in cost reductions, faster delivery times, and an enhanced customer experience.


ECommerce business supply chains differ from traditional supply chains primarily due to their digital nature and customer expectations. In eCommerce, consumers expect a wide variety of products, easy browsing, immediate order confirmation, and fast delivery. To meet these demands, eCommerce supply chains employ advanced technologies for inventory management software, automated warehousing, and data analytics.

On the other hand, traditional supply chains often deal with bulkier shipments and have a slower pace, as they focus on supplying brick-and-mortar stores. In addition, the return process in eCommerce is more intricate due to the ease with which customers can return products. Traditional supply chains have less frequent and more streamlined returns. Lastly, the eCommerce supply chain requires robust cybersecurity measures to protect customer data and transactions, while this aspect is less emphasized in the traditional supply chain.


B2B eCommerce supply chains primarily deal with transactions between businesses and often involve larger order quantities, complex pricing structures, and longer sales cycles compared to B2C. B2B relationships require more negotiations and contracts. The products in B2B are often tailored to business needs (or raw materials may be delivered), while B2C mainly focuses on standardized products for end consumers.

B2B supply chains also need to handle bulk shipments and recurring orders efficiently. In contrast, B2C supply chains are centered around swift order fulfillment from fulfillment centers, wider product variety, and easy return policies, catering to individual consumers' immediate needs and preferences.


For managing B2B eCommerce Supply Chains, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are essential for integrating various business processes. A warehouse management system (WMS) optimizes inventory control and warehouse operations. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools help manage relationships and communications with business clients.

Also, data analytics software is vital for demand forecasting and decision-making. E-procurement platforms streamline the procurement process, and Transportation Management Systems (TMS) optimize logistics and shipping. Lastly, cybersecurity technologies are critical for protecting sensitive business data and ensuring secure transactions in the digital B2B environment.


A B2B eCommerce company can improve its supply chain efficiency by implementing data analytics for accurate demand forecasting and inventory optimization. Automation in warehouses can streamline picking and packing processes. Establishing strong relationships with reliable suppliers ensures consistent product quality and timely procurement.

Regular performance monitoring and adopting lean practices help in identifying and eliminating inefficiencies. Also, integrating customer feedback and utilizing digital tools like ERP and CRM systems can lead to more informed decision-making and enhanced customer satisfaction.


Data analytics is crucial in B2B eCommerce supply chain management as it provides insights for informed decision-making. It helps in demand forecasting, enabling companies to optimize inventory levels and reduce holding costs with a robust inventory management system. Through analyzing supplier performance data, businesses can improve procurement processes and establish better relationships with suppliers.

Logistics data analysis aids in optimizing transportation routes, reducing shipping costs and delivery times. Furthermore, customer data analysis can enhance the customer experience by identifying preferences and tailoring services accordingly. Overall, data analytics contributes to operational efficiency, cost reduction, and improved customer satisfaction in B2B eCommerce supply chains.


Supply chain sustainability in B2B eCommerce can be integrated by adopting eco-friendly practices and ensuring social responsibility. Firstly, source materials from suppliers who adhere to sustainable practices. Utilize energy-efficient technologies in warehouses and offices to reduce the carbon footprint. Opt for green packaging solutions that minimize waste.

Implement transportation management systems to optimize shipping routes and reduce fuel consumption. Engage in fair trade and ensure that labor practices across the supply chain are ethical. Regularly assess and communicate sustainability efforts to stakeholders and customers, and integrate their feedback for continuous improvement.


Logistics plays a pivotal role in B2B eCommerce supply chains by ensuring the efficient movement and delivery of goods from suppliers to businesses. It encompasses transportation management, warehouse operations, and order fulfillment. In B2B transactions, which often involve large volumes, logistics must be capable of handling bulk shipments and managing complex delivery schedules.

Through route optimization and carrier selection, logistics contributes to reducing shipping costs and environmental impact. As timely and accurate deliveries are critical for customer satisfaction in B2B relationships, proficient logistics management is essential for the success of B2B eCommerce operations.

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Autumn Spriggle is a Content Writer at Clarity Ventures who stays up to date on the latest trends in eCommerce, software development, and related topics to provide readers with the latest and greatest. She strives to help people like you realize the full potential for their eCommerce business.