System and Method for Efficient Handling of B2B Transaction Exceptions
Original Publication Date: 2005-Jun-16
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jun-16
The system and method for efficient handling of B2B transaction exceptions using a closed loop process is summarized using a specific type of B2B transaction - an inbound Order that may default to an exception state due to a number of reasons and need manual intervention. Typical handling of such exceptions is through open-loop email-based communication of business to business electronic commerce orders. The disclosed process provides a closed-loop process to allow for the capture, indexing and routing of all digital order documents to facilitate automatic fulfillment workflow, reporting and order management.
System and Method for Efficient Handling of B 2B Transaction Exceptions
Business-to-business electronic commerce (B2B eCommerce) systems are systems for automating the trade between businesses. The purpose of the system is to reduce the transactional cost of trading goods between business' trading partners. Early systems based on Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) methods that required businesses to develop a specific vocabulary for interacting with one another in order to process transactions efficiently and without manual intervention. Newer systems, based on service oriented architectures, web technology, and standard vocabularies such as cXML, are more flexible and easier to implement. These advances have significantly reduced the cost of implementing such systems and have, thus, significantly increased the pervasiveness of the technology and the volume of orders processed using eCommerce systems.
The goal of B2B eCommerce systems systems is to complete the transactions a fully automated fashion - i.e. for an incoming Order to be correctly resolved and sent to the fulfillment channel automatically without human intervention. However, the notion of "exceptions" is common and unavoidable with any automated system. Exceptions can occur due to a variety of reasons - incorrect customer order format, a missing field, an unexpected format in the value of a field, missing part number, etc. An exception typically results in defaulting to a manual handling of the transaction, introducing delays, inefficiencies and quantifiable revenue impact as well as qualitative impact such as Customer Relationship Management etc. A common process for handling these errors is to have the order emailed to a customer service representative. The customer service representative can then handle processing the order manually. Much of the structure and context of the order is lost in the email format. Furthermore, having an email system as an end point for orders and thus acting as a order repository limits the visibility and auditability of the orders. A closed-loop process is needed that can allow for reporting, tracking of the orders, and execution of routing rules to enable workflow processing an access control. This disclosure proposes a closed loop process for efficient handling of B2B transaction exceptions.
This solution provides business controls to a high revenue area
- Immediate notification of incoming electronic orders - separation of orders by customer account teams and brands Provides ability to accept and fulfill electronic orders for all of IBM's brands Eventually will give all authorized users the abiltity to see any aspect of a customer's electronic order. This would provide better quality control and quickier order entry. It will provide the linkage from a customer's electronic procurement to various backend fulfillment systems.
The closed-loop process for exception handling has the following components and states: