Industrial & Plumbing Supply Chain Management | EDI | Automation |B2BE

Industrial and Plumbing Supply Chain Management

Fixing the holes in your supply chain

B2BE products and solutions are built to uniquely support the industrial and plumbing industries multi-site ordering and complex supply chain models. While aiding in unlocking savings within your procurement, supply chain and accounts departments through B2BE’s diverse range of integrated e-commerce solutions.

Diversity of product

Industrial and plumbing products are physically diverse. They range from small screws to large plant and machinery to piping and bulk materials. Movement storage and distribution is therefore harder as certain goods, depending on their nature, are not always stocked and will instead often be shipped to the end-customer directly from the supplier. Similarly bulk materials may generate multiple shipments which means a single purchase order may generate multiple subsidiary documents such as invoices which entail more documents to handle between both buyer and supplier.

Complexity of product

Many of the products within the industrial and plumbing industry are complex and there's a range of regulations around their use and installation. Sizes of products also create large product ranges. PVC piping, for example has many types and sizes and associated fittings to create an enormous range. Steel piping and fittings are similar. The industry also still works in imperial and metric which means different markets may use one or the other, or both. All of this means the product ranges offered by suppliers and purchased by buyers is extensive, difficult to maintain and can be prone to interpretation and error.

Order and delivery lead times

Many products are manufactured to order or for specific jobs, sites, or uses so the delivery times of goods can range from short to very long. Typically, this means that the industrial and plumbing industry will run a back-ordering system that require management and more effort to control. A purchase order for example may not be fulfilled totally for weeks, sometimes months.

Goods receipt, tracking and backorders

As many goods aren't handled by the buyer physically as they're shipped directly to site this adds complexity. Booking goods that you haven't seen isn't possible and you need to be able to invoice your clients and pay suppliers. If the goods don't get booked-in, in this scenario, it means the paper trail becomes more difficult and has increased visibility issues. It also means it will effect cash flow and similarly harden trading relations with suppliers when payments are delayed.

Solutions for the industrial and plumbing industry


B2BE’s EDI network allows industrial and plumbing buyers and sellers to trade electronically simply with one another and easily handles the subtleties of the industry’s buying and selling approach. B2BE’s cloud-based EDI also means your organisation doesn’t need to worry about trading partners’ document formats or transmission protocols, B2BE handles this for you.

Using EDI, not only automates supply chains by shifting from paper to digital documents, but also optimises them by reducing costs and removing manual data processing. Efficiency is similarly improved by streamlining workflow and eliminating manual processes. The utilisation of real-time information improves responsiveness while avoiding physical documents will also reduce your organisation’s carbon footprint.


B2BE’s Web Trader (Web EDI) solution allows wholesalers and retailers in the industrial and plumbing market to trade electronically with their suppliers when the supplier can’t support a fully integrated EDI solution.

B2BE’s Web Trader solution enables organisations to be more adaptable with suppliers. The solution is highly modular, allowing your organisation to run different process models with different transaction sets for suppliers within your supply network. It also enables configurable process models for different functional requirements and rules to allow suppliers to return required documents. For example, the wholesaler or retailer’s purchase order is used to create a purchase order response or invoice, or both.

Accounts Payable

With B2BE’s accounts payable automation solutions,are designed to improve productivity, efficiency, and accuracy in your accounts payable environment. B2BE’s three-way matching solution will allow industrial and plumbing companies to utilise a fully outsourced invoice matching system designed to improve and increase first-time match rates, automate processes, and increase invoice throughput.

B2BE’s expense invoices workflow is designed to manage expense invoices, no purchase order or goods receipt, through their approval and coding stages, ensuring invoice are approved, not lost and suppliers are paid the correct amount at the correct time.


Using B2BE’s e-invoicing solution organisations in the industrial and plumbing markets can improve their processes, increase throughput, allowing accounts payable and accounts receivable teams to focus on adding value. An e-invoicing solution means no more manual invoices, whether supplier invoices or your customer invoices, 100% automation. B2BE’s e-invoicing solutions is also designed to plug and play with B2BE accounts payable and accounts receivable solutions.

Document Distribution

While e-invoicing will automate all your invoices the industrial and plumbing industry still generates many other documents within the supply chain as part of their Purchase to Pay and Order to Cash environments. B2BE’s document distribution solution means, no matter how your supplier or customer wishes to receive a document it is always electronic from your organisations perspective and is on-sent as an; EDI, Web EDI, email, fax or via B2BE’s print management solution. Making your organisation 100% electronic.

Helping your industrial and plumbing supply chain thrive


Realtime and real automated trading

Being able to trade electronically means simplification. B2BE's managed supplier or customer on-boarding solutions also means you can grow your electronic trading network more easily with less effort. Incorporating much of B2BE's industry based knowledge also means electronic trading can be better managed as exceptions can be managed based on rules and ultimately exceptions that need to be manually reviewed can be handled by workflows so your organisation, whether your a buyer or seller, can still remain electronic. Ultimately the utilisation of real time information, data and documents improves responsiveness while avoiding physical documents will also reduce your organisation’s costs, complexity and carbon footprint, which has become a sensitive issue across the world.


Workflow and document management

The range of workflow tools has also been designed to help industrial and plumbing buyers and suppliers interact with one another more easily ensuring any data or document issues can be identified and rectified quickly. As a buyer the query workflow allows you to offer this to customers to query invoices or similarly you can query invoices from suppliers. Approval workflow also means you can, as a buyer and seller, approve electronic documents before they automatically update your systems and Document Correction is specifically idea for receipt of electronic documents to validate against preceding documents or product master files. Each workflow is configurable and tailored to your organisation to help streamline electronic trading.


Automation and experience

In simple terms, B2BE's solutions are all designed to help automate the industrial and plumbing supply chains. Offering solutions that mean buyers and suppliers can deal with one another easily and electronically. B2BE's EDI network solution or ancillary solutions will get you trading electronically backed with our industry experience we're your trusted partner when taking your first steps or helping you grow on your electronic journey.


Visibility and control

As the industry runs a complex supply chain with multiple shipments, backorders buyers and suppliers need visibility to be efficient and to ensure that all your organisation's electronic documents and workflows are visible to the right people. Whether it's internal staff such as head office, branches or stores or eternal third parties such as customers and suppliers. B2BE's visibility tools helps with all this so you can offer self service support which in turn reduces time and effort for staff and third parties to manage.

Industrial and Plumbing supply chain connections

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