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Beyond Buzzwords: Exploring Resiliency in B2B Integrations for Supply Chains

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In the world of supply chains, B2B integrations are the glue that holds everything together.

Author: Lucy Smith

Today, we’re diving into the world of resiliency in supply chains, and why it’s such a hot topic in the industry right now.

To understand what people are referring to when they talk about “resiliency” in the supply chain world, a little context might help. You can think of it as the ability of a supply chain to bounce back from unexpected challenges or disruptions. These could be anything from natural disasters to cyber-attacks or even global pandemics (think COVID-19).

The Role of B2B Integrations in Supply Chains

In the world of supply chains, B2B integrations are like the glue that holds everything together. They allow different companies to seamlessly exchange data, whether it’s orders, invoices, inventory levels, shipment load tenders, or delivery status messages. This data exchange is crucial for keeping the supply chain running smoothly.

But here’s the thing: if one part of the B2B integration chain breaks down, it can cause a ripple effect throughout the entire supply chain. Imagine if your computer crashed right in the middle of sending a time-sensitive purchase order or load tender. Frustrating, right? Now, multiply that frustration by a thousand, and you’ll get a sense of what it’s like when B2B integrations fail.

That’s where resiliency comes in. By building robust B2B integrations, companies can better withstand disruptions and keep the supply chain humming along, even when things go haywire.

Six Key Elements to a Resilient Strategy

1. Redundancy

Just like how you might have a backup generator in case of a power outage, it’s important to have backup systems in place for your B2B integrations. This could mean having multiple communication channels or redundant servers to ensure that data can still flow even if one part of the system goes down. If you outsource your data integrations, check with your VAN or partner to understand how they have this covered.

2. Flexibility

In today’s market, things can change in the blink of an eye for you and your partners up and down the supply chain. That’s why it’s important for B2B integrations to be flexible enough to adapt to new circumstances, and to be scalable as your business grows or contracts. Whether it’s accommodating new trading partners or adjusting to changes in data formats, flexibility is key to staying resilient.

3. Security

With cyber-attacks on the rise, security is more important than ever. Ensuring that your B2B integrations are secure from threats like hacking or data breaches is essential for maintaining resiliency when there’s a security event. Make sure that you have measures in place and that every employee in your organization is mindful of cybersecurity. And open a dialogue about security with your integration partners or service providers.

4. Collaboration

By working closely with trading partners and suppliers, companies can identify potential vulnerabilities and develop strategies to address them together. As you work with your VAN or integration partners on the data exchange plan with your various business partners, rely on their years of experience to address the vulnerabilities.

5. Longevity

As critical as the chain of communications is, it’s essential that you ensure that your solution for integration will stand the test of time. Be sure to evaluate your service network’s potential longevity. If you manage these data connections in-house, assess your risks as software changes and employee turnover occurs. If you outsource to a VAN, investigate their history and your confidence in them being there for you when you need them, as the years go by.

6. Contingency Testing

Defining and then practicing a contingency mechanism will not only give you the assurance that it will work when you need it and allow a faster/smoother implementation when time to restore is critical. After a test, evaluate whether there are opportunities for improvement.

Resiliency in supply chains is much more than a buzzword – it’s a crucial aspect of keeping the gears of commerce turning smoothly. Your Kleinschmidt representative would be happy to share how we’ve addressed each of these areas. 

Email us at or call 847-945-1000

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