There is a shift in the way we interact with businesses. You can bypass the cash register and scan your own groceries. Buying clothes online is more common than visiting a physical store. And when was the last time you called your hairdresser to book an appointment? We're moving more towards self-service options. However, in B2B commerce a lot of customer- and supplier interaction is still done through ineffective communication methods like mail or over the phone. Don't fall behind, get an competitive advantage by offering self-service portals with RamBase Cloud ERP.
Help your customers to help themselves
The headline sums up nicely what a self-service portal is all about: Helping your customers to help themselves. With a self-service portal you use information directly from your ERP-system to interact with people outside your organization, engaging them to do specific tasks or just retrieve information.
The benefits of a self-service portal for your B2B business are plenty:
- Reduce your support cost. Real interaction with your customers is important, but let your service employees use their time wisely. Self-service portals reduces time spent on simple tickets and mundane phone-calls. Time that can be better spent to tackle the more complex customer or supplier issues.
- No waiting for information. Your basically offering a 24-hour support function. By letting your customers get real-time information extracted from your ERP-system, they can find the information they're looking for at their own pace.
- Satisfied customers. Offering a self-service portal is not perceived at shuffling the workload over to your customers. On the contrary, a self-service portal is seen as a positive solution that increases customer satisfaction.
- Improve your reputation. It's never a bad thing to show that your on board with new technology trends. There is a shift in the way customers communicate with businesses and self-service options is on the rise. Show that your willing to invest in this service for your customers.
Let's build a portal
So, where to start? RamBase is an ERP system with features that covers the complete quote-to-cash process. All these features are pointless to offer in a portal, so you have to pick and choose what your customer is really interested in checking out. And this is where companies and industries vary in needs, and the concept of "build your own portal" comes into play.
Together with your RamBase Partner you'll identify the key processes that will save you time to offer in a self-service portal. What RamBase brings to the table is development tools that lets your ERP-partner customize and adapt a portal to fit your business needs right away. Or maybe you have an employee with above average IT-knowledge? The great thing about RamBase for our partners (and customers), is that we welcome you to build with RamBase. You don't have to be the next Bill Gates to understand our platform. Start by taking a study-tour in our own self-service options and see the possibilities with RamBase:
- RamBase Development Guidelines. Everything developers and designers need to know about creating and maintaining RamBase applications and components. https://developer.rambase.net
- RamBase API Catalog. All the information you need to get started with using the RamBase API, from authentication to advanced filtering and sorting. https://api.rambase.net
A sleek customer portal
Let's show one example where a logistic customer have embraced the benefits of offering a self-service portal for their customers. While the business primarily provide international and national freight forwarding, they also offer storage solution for their customers. To save both time and money, they chose the following self-service applications for their customers:
- Search function for items in storage
- Place order for shipment of inventory
- See shipment order history
A clean portal view for customers to perform three time-saving task.
The self-service portal works sort of like a webshop, where customers can search the items in storage, identify what they would like to ship and add them to a pick list. The portal is connected directly to the RamBase ERP system. A sales order is then generated automatically when the customer clicks "send" in the portal. The logistics personnel can then start to pick and ship items to the customer without the back and forth email correspondence they had before.
The portal gives customers the ability to initiate orders and view order history.
Efficient supplier interaction
Another RamBase customer, an electronic manufacturing company, have multiple suppliers that they do daily business with. The back and forth process of confirming sales orders needed to be more efficient for both parties. The solution was a self-service portal directly connected to the ERP-system. The portal was customized to let the suppliers do the following tasks:
- Check order details and confirm orders
- View order confirmation details, shipping and delivery details.
A portal with two easy-to-use features, and option to add more task in the future
If your working in the B2B industry and you need to work more efficient with your customers, suppliers or any other stakeholder, then offering a self-serving portal is a smart solution.
When considering a portal option, the alternative could be to go for an external web platform. Let's convince you why an integrated RamBase portal is the better solution.
- No external hosting. Integrated portals have the same secure RamBase hosting.
- Zero maintenance. Portals follow RamBase free updates 24/7.
- Quick start. Portals are built with the RamBase ERP framework. Meaning you're not building from scratch, the applications are already in your system to start working on.
- Same high security standards. The portals will have the same secure RamBase user management as your ERP system.
- Fast finish. Easy-to use tools and available graphical elements allow you to get to your goal quickly and build feature-rich applications.
Just to make it clear, a self-service platform is not the same as a fully commercial webshop. If that is what you need, then you should find a web-shop solution and integrate that system to talk directly with RamBase.