Next-Generation B2B Integration Enables a Digital-First, Resilient Supply Chain

February 2, 2023

IDC Opinion / Executive Summary

The past three years have been tough on supply chains. Disruptions of difering scale, duration, and complexity have exposed numerous “cracks” across the breadth of operational processes and revealed a disturbing lack of resiliency in many key areas of the supply chain. While digital tools and capabilities are not the sole remedy for a lack of resiliency, there is mounting evidence that companies that are more progressed in their digital journey outperform less-progressed competitors in both revenue and proft performance.

Over the last couple of years, IDC has heard a familiar refrain from manufacturers and retailers: “We were working on the right digital capabilities in the supply chain; we just weren’t doing it quickly enough.” Further, in the IDC’s Worldwide Supply Chain Survey, 2022, when asked about the current gaps that will prove to be the most problematic in the future if not addressed, companies most frequently cited a lack of visibility and resiliency to see changes in time to react efectively. Yet, as this paper will argue, the maturity of the supply chain toward a digital-frst, resilient supply chain remains incomplete, the journey unfnished, with a sizable percentage of companies far less progressed than we might have anticipated by now. According to IDC’s Supply Chain Resiliency MaturityScape Benchmark Survey, 2022, less than a quarter of supply chains are in the two most mature stages.

It has been the view of IDC for some time now that business-to-business (B2B) integration represents the backbone of the supply chain. As this paper will explore, the automation of various B2B processes and the documents that underpin those processes are both ubiquitous and signifcant drivers of overall supply chain performance. In the survey completed specifcally for this report, 80% of respondent companies said, on average, that the digitization of B2B documents like advanced shipment notices, invoices, and customs documents has improved their supply chain. In a supply chain world increasingly intolerant of latency, where speed and visibility are paramount, manual processes and paper-based document exchanges simply are not adequate anymore…

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International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets.


B2B Integration, Digital Transformation, Digital-First, supply chain