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A successful B2B sale involves multiple steps, including the complex and time-consuming quoting process. Because quoting is vital to winning new business, it’s a step that needs to be done accurately – mistakes mean missed opportunities.
Incorrect quotes can cause serious consequences for the business, including lost revenue and damaged relationships due to perceived under or overcharging. When quotes are handled manually, it can be challenging for managers to track the quotes salespeople create, leading to pricing that is not advantageous to the business. On top of this, a manual quote takes a long time to put together and deliver to the buyer, who must then approve it and return it to the supplier—all of which can cause significant delays that affect business continuity. The complex process that used to be a headache is now streamlined thanks to eQuotes or EDI 843.
What are eQuotes (EDI 843)?
This complicated and often lengthy process can be modernized and streamlined with the use of eQuotes, also known as EDI 843. By integrating into existing eProcurement systems, eQuotes:
- Automate and streamline quote building and delivery
- Improve the buyer experience
- Reduce errors
The eQuote Process. In the B2B sales process, eQuotes are also called draft carts, which describes how they work. Via a quote management system, quotes are entered into an interface that may be a standalone platform or integrated into the supplier’s eCommerce store.
In a modern eProcurement environment:
- A supplier prices an order in a draft cart, which may be created by the buyer or by the supplier in response to an RFQ (request for quote).
- The quote management platform then informs the buyer that a quote is ready by email, and they are able to log in to view it.
- The buyer can also easily transfer the quote to their eProcurement system for approval at the click of a button.
eQuote/EDI 843 Integration. eQuotes rely on integration between the buyer’s eProcurement system and the supplier’s eCommerce store – a technological pairing that can create extra expenses, delay, and headaches if not mapped properly. That’s where TradeCentric comes in.
The TradeCentric Integration Platform as a Service pairs seamlessly with any eCommerce store and any eProcurement system, facilitating data exchanges between otherwise incompatible platforms.
A scalable, sustainable process. eQuotes simplify the quote creation process for both buyers and suppliers. Without a properly integrated system, buyers submit an RFQ, often by email. The supplier must then consult their catalog and create a quote document. When the buyer receives it, the details are manually entered into their eProcurement system and, once approved, are then manually re-entered into the supplier’s eCommerce store.
This is a lengthy process with many opportunities to introduce errors.
In contrast, eQuotes are:
- Fast: Quotes are entered into a standardized quote builder interface, and the integration software takes care of data transfers between platforms.
- Error-free: Once the initial quote is created, there is no need to rekey order details manually.
- Transparent: Quote data is readily available and transparent to managers at the selling business and to everyone authorized to access quotes and orders in the buyer’s eProcurement platform.
With the addition of purchase order automation, the order can also be transferred back to the eCommerce system once approved. Other automation features such as electronic invoicing (eInvoicing) create a seamless procure-to-pay system.
Exploring the B2B Quote Management Experience with TradeCentric
As the eProcurement space becomes more robust, an increasing number of B2B buyers are asking for eQuotes. They recognize the benefits and expect suppliers to provide the necessary platform integration to their eProcurement and enterprise resource planning software.
As part of TradeCentric’s solutions, buyers and suppliers have multiple options for their specific business needs, including:
- A standalone eQuotes solution that provides an interface for users to request quotes and view completed quotes.
- eQuotes with PunchOut catalogs. In addition to the features of the standalone platform, buyers can PunchOut to the supplier’s eCommerce store to create an order.
- eQuotes with PunchOut catalogs and purchase order automation. In addition to PunchOut catalogs, this option delivers a purchase order to the supplier’s eCommerce store or ERP once the quote is approved.
- A complete sales order automation solution that adds eInvoicing for integrated end-to-end digital procurement that starts with a quote and ends with invoicing.
Whether you’re a buyer or supplier exploring how you can improve your quoting process with the use of eQuotes, TradeCentric can bring the advantages of eQuote/EDI 843 functionality regardless of which eCommerce system or eProcurement solution they use.