B2B and B2C Distribution
B2B and B2C customer profiles, purchasing decisions and buyer behavior drastically differ their business models.
The difference between B2B and B2C business
In business-to-consumer (B2C) commerce, you are selling directly to the consumer. In business-to-business (B2B) commerce, you are selling to other companies. Customer profiles, purchasing decisions and buyer behavior differ drastically between the two.
The specific picking process used by a B2B warehouse depends on the size of your warehouse and the nature of your orders.
- Discrete Picking: Products are picked one order at a time. This method is generally reserved for smaller warehouses or warehouses with a limited number of SKUs (Stock Keeping Unit).
- Batch Picking: Items are picked into small batches all at once.
- Zone selection: The manager divides the warehouse into zones and assigns workers to each zone. Workers only take items from their zone. If an order requires goods from multiple zones, the “package” moves through the different zones.
- Wave Picking: Both batch picking and zone picking are combined.
Packaging in B2B environments is relatively straightforward as precision is more important than aesthetics. Additionally, shipping is simplified as warehouses are distributing a large volume of goods to other warehouses rather than a large volume of individual orders to individual households.
However, shipping is still a huge cost, and having a shipping management system integrated into your fulfillment system helps you choose optimal shipping routes and reduce costs . In addition, the high number of shipments to the same business addresses gives warehouses negotiating power with their shippers.
In an omnichannel world, a B2C warehouse can take orders from anywhere.
A retailer can place an order for a customer from its point-of-sale system to be delivered to the customer’s home. A customer can buy from a brand’s website. They can also place an order from their mobile device. As a result, it is essential for a B2C warehouse to have a system that can:
- Process orders received from various order processing systems (e.g. e-commerce channels)
- Update inventory management system in real time to avoid stockouts
Furthermore, the picking process is complicated considering the high volume of individual orders. In that case, batch or consolidated picking is the best approach for B2C business. The right system can increase the efficiency of a B2C warehouse by telling workers in what order to pick products.
The addition of mobile scanners can further enhance the picking capabilities of a B2C warehouse. By integrating these tools into a company’s warehouse or enterprise management system, B2C warehouses can reduce picking errors and reduce time spent locating items by easily viewing bin and shelf locations through their device. portable.
The packaging process presents another differentiating factor between B2B and B2C businesses. In a B2C environment, the warehouse is the last entity to touch the product before it’s delivered to consumers — other than the shipper who shouldn’t be doing anything to change the product’s contents. Typically, a packing slip is almost mandatory in a B2C order. Package type selection algorithms are used to find the right box to optimize shipping cost.
As a result, B2C companies rely on the brand experience in the warehouse. With the importance of unboxing experiences growing, warehouses can’t do an unfinished job packing consumer goods, adding another step to a warehouse’s workflow.
Finally, B2C warehouses manage considerable transportation hassles. Whereas a B2B warehouse routinely ships bulk goods to a manageable number of business addresses, a B2C company ships individual deliveries to a large number of frequently changing home addresses.
In this case, sophisticated planning tools are needed to:
- Facilitate effective inventory management to meet fluctuating demand without generating excess inventory and increasing transportation costs;
- Determine fast and efficient ways to consolidate goods into outbound trucks;
- Determine the optimal route to follow for delivering goods.
No matter your business model, B2B or B2C, your warehouse deserves solutions that can keep your operations running smoothly. Visit the Águia Sistemas website and learn about our portfolio.