The German language has a notable capability to convey strong meaning in a single word, which is not always easy to transpose to English without losing part of the connotations the word carries in German. My favorite online translation service gives words as consistent, coherent and uniform. I trust that helps to get the idea for non-German readers. 

To be clear, "einheitlich" for sure does not mean "one size fits all". We do need to find a common approach, a model how to deal with the realities of the world around us, without losing the essential differences posed by everyone's role in the model. At Quyntess we see our most successful customers converge on the idea of a single web based approach towards their business partners. There are several layers to this approach which I would like to explore in this blog, before coming back how this translates to the success stories of our customers.

More important than you might think from a pure value-add point of view is the outer layer, which we may summarize by the term User Experience. It is not for nothing that SAP has initiated a separate UX program. This is also much more than aligning web applications with corporate web sites in terms of look and feel, however important that may be. It is also about consistency and predictability in navigation patterns, behavior across browsers and devices, use of terminology etc. Technology is posing its constraints here and the more you can align on the technology used, the easier it will be to come with a truly united approach.

A much deeper layer is how web solutions and their components interact with each other and fit to a common understanding of the community's business model. Has anyone with helicopter view been involved in architecting the solutions or are we looking at a patchwork of modules over which the same color scheme has been draped but which lack coherence and interoperability? To reach any degree of success, one or several strong visionary thinkers should be involved, able to reconcile today's business needs with the technological directions of the present era.

Another layer is how the web application interacts with its environment, for example by means of EDI connections. This would be subject of a separate blog later on.

Now coming back to the success stories of our customers with this approach, here are a few examples. Imagine a full blown procure-to-pay process between an aerospace manufacturer and its supplier community. In addition, connect the logistics service providers to the solution, so that everyone is on the same page as to the whereabouts of the purchased materials. On top of that, provide the suppliers with the sophisticated, sometimes highly secured process documentation required to produce the purchase materials. All that in the same solution, a single stop shop for those involved in the community.

Imagine a worldwide community of utility vehicle assemblers, with provision of all data related to the vehicles to be produced via the web solution. Delivery of materials being tracked across the globe for all shipping modes. Reporting damages via the same web solution, obtaining deliveries against those. Building as-built data via barcode scanning. Document management on top of that. Imagine rail cargo transportation throughout Europe, the customers and service providers all connected to the same platform on which their business is fully handled from order entry up till delivery at the final destination.

How do you conduct your business with your business partners? Contact us at Quyntess and we will be happy to engage the conversation with you.