For direct-to-consumer (D2C) companies, any sticking point that inhibits the buying journey could be the difference between closing and losing the sale. As a result, e-commerce for consumers has evolved by leaps and bounds in recent months, with the buying process often being as easy as clicking the ‘buy now’ button – and PYMNTS data shows that these buttons can cut shopping time in half, down to minus 90 seconds.
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However, on the B2B side, the evolution of the business journey has been much slower. In fact, many suppliers along the food supply chain are just starting to move their payment systems from pen and paper to digital systems.
âThere is a lot of movement going online. I think if I were to do a rough breakdown, less than 10% of our retailers or sellers would be interested in paying this way [in the past]Daniel Doll, CEO of D2C Bushwick Kitchen sauces and packaged foods brand, told PYMNTS in an interview. [and] check as they normally would if they were a consumer buying productsâ¦ I think there is a lot more willingness to set it up that way than a few years ago.
Doll noted that the rise of Amazon has made it nearly impossible to compete between companies without providing an easy and frictionless shopping experience. For B2B transactions, however, no such industry-wide change has required the same kind of evolution.
Bushwick Kitchen started in 2014 with a $ 5,000 personal loan selling hot sauces, launched within 30 days. It has since grown to offer additional sauces and condiments, as well as gift sets and pancake and waffle mixes. Doll joined the company in 2018.
Let’s go digital
While this move to online payments is an important first step, the process remains largely inconsistent, leaving room for solution providers who could integrate the disparate parts.
âThere are a lot of fragmented payment systems out there where if you have 100 vendors or 100 retailers they can use 10 different systems,â explained Doll. “But I think someone who can understand the unification of these systems has a really big market opportunity.”
And it’s not just the D2C food brands that are feeling this pressure. Throughout the food supply chain, the process is a bit complicated – companies that supply restaurants, for example, often have to deal with paper documents. This can be costly from a labor perspective at a time when there is a pressing shortage of workers.
“The problem on the distributor side is that their order desk is offline – they get orders by email, text, phone, fax, carrier pigeons.” Jordan huck, CEO of restaurant supply chain technology companyNotch, told PYMNTS in an interview in June. “So they have to have two or three people a week just manually entering orders into their systems.”
Read more: Notch CEO talks about removing fax machines from restaurant supply chain
All in one
According to Doll, payments aren’t the only system that requires a single, unified solution. He noted that across business processes, disparate technology programs that cannot communicate with each other prevent systems from functioning properly, and integrating these systems is a long and laborious process.
âThe integration part is a bit of a challenge for us: getting all of our systems to communicate with each other,â Doll said. âAnd it’s not necessarily a manual process, but it’s a process that requires close monitoring by the team and can get bogged down in systems at times. “
He noted that coordinating business tools with accounting tools can be time consuming, requiring work outside of working hours, and the company’s existing solutions have failed to meet Bushwick’s needs. Kitchen.
Keep the faith
At every step of the food supply chain, shortages cripple the ability of businesses to operate at full capacity. These shortages require food brands to find solutions that allow them to be smarter in their purchases, by being more deliberate in obtaining ingredients and packaging materials.
As IGA President and CEO John Ross told PYMNTS in a recent interview: âThere is a very deep supply restriction, ranging from raw materials like aluminum, capacity printing and labels to things like imported products. “
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One factor that has enabled Bushwick Kitchen to overcome these supply chain constraints is its’ excellent and open communication with [its] partners, âDoll said. As a result of these strong relationships, suppliers are more likely to âstick their headsâ for the business, allowing Bushwick Kitchen to buy ahead with the confidence that the business will do well.
In addition, to meet these challenges, Bushwick Kitchen is increasingly demanding about how it purchases the food and supplies it needs. “[Weâre] trying to get smart by looking at past performance as an indicator of future performance, âDoll said. âSo I think open communication and creativity in creating layoffs in the supply chain would be the best [factors]. “