6 minute read

How to Achieve B2B Process Automation Success

Implementing B2B process automation can seem like a daunting task, but it’s one that – when done correctly – can bring significant rewards in terms of efficiency, cost savings, and enhanced scalability. In this article we’ll explore the key steps you can take to ensure your B2B process automation project is successful, from the initial idea stage right up until project completion.

Define your B2B process automation goals

The first and most important step in any complex business project is to define your goals. Even if your goals seem obvious, detailing exactly what you would like to achieve will help you to develop a roadmap, identify ways of measuring success, and prioritise resources effectively. 

Sometimes, too, defining your specific goals will help to clarify to your team WHY you want to get to where you’re headed. Whether you’re looking to implement an e-invoicing solution or streamline communication with existing partners, agreeing on your exact goals will ensure everyone is on the same page and understands the plan and motivations.

Assess current capacity and internal resources

Once you’ve clarified your goals, the next step is to identify how able you are to achieve them with your current setup. This involves assessing both your technical capacity and the capability of your current personnel.

Technical capacity

When assessing technical capacity before a B2B process automation project, be sure to ask the following questions:

  • Is our IT infrastructure able to support increased automation (e.g. via RPA, blockchain, API, EDI, etc.)?
  • How well can our current systems integrate with electronic data interchange (EDI) and e-invoicing solutions?
  • Would it be useful for different teams to have direct access to EDI/e-invoicing data so IT doesn’t become a bottleneck?
  • Do we need redundant infrastructure?
  • Are we likely to need the ability to convert messages to/from different EDI standards in the future?
  • Are we likely to need the ability to send messages via different EDI protocols in the future?
  • Will we need Peppol connectivity?
  • Would a Web EDI solution be helpful to help automate exchanges with smaller suppliers?
  • Would end-to-end visibility of EDI and e-invoicing data be helpful?


When assessing the capacity of your existing team before starting your B2B process automation project, make sure to ask the following questions:

  • Do we have sufficient technical expertise in-house?
  • Would training be sufficient to upskill existing employees?
  • Would our ability to operate be significantly disrupted by the absence or departure of certain individuals?
  • How much time would team members be able to devote to new processes and tasks?
  • Would team members be willing to adapt their roles and responsibilities if needed?
  • How would pressure on internal resources be affected if B2B process automation requirements were to increase in the future?
  • How will we keep track of new country-specific e-invoicing requirements?

After asking these questions you should have a clear picture of what level of automation is possible with your current system and which areas will need strengthening.

Consider outsourcing

For those businesses with limited internal resources, outsourcing is the obvious answer – particularly given the extent to which cloud computing has simplified external management of B2B process automation in recent years. 

However, even those businesses with substantial internal resources may also benefit from outsourcing certain processes such as EDI or e-invoicing to specialised providers. Not only are such providers experts in these fields, and therefore able to implement processes and technical changes faster, they also typically offer added benefits such as redundant infrastructure, direct integration into your current ERP system, and simple scalability.

And perhaps most important of all, employing an external provider to manage B2B process automation enables your team to focus on what they do best!

Establish clear roles and responsibilities

For automation to succeed, everyone in your organisation needs to know their role in the process. Clear delineation of responsibilities ensures smooth implementation and ongoing management of B2B process automation efforts.

Make sure when assigning responsibilities not to forget potential future tasks though… as this can result in a decline in efficiency and enthusiasm. 

For a detailed breakdown of the key roles in a typical EDI project, please see our dedicated blog article on this topic.

Prioritise data visibility and accessibility

Having automated processes is all well and good, but unless you have good visibility, efficiency can still suffer. No system is 100% error-free, and being able to identify an issue quickly and easily when one does arise can help ensure your system remains effective. 

For example, the best EDI and e-invoicing solutions will enable users to search across all documents using any relevant identifier, and may even allow you to view the status of sent documents in real time.

Think long term!

When it comes to B2B process automation, change is the only constant. Technologies evolve, and so will your electronic data interchange (EDI) and e-invoicing needs. 

Prioritising adaptability, scalability and sustainability is not just wise; it’s essential if you’re to be successful in the long term. Even if your EDI requirements are stable, your partner landscape is static and your internal team is committed right now, this will not always be the case. Unless your processes have been built with flexibility in mind, their efficiency will soon decline.

Don’t try to do too much too fast

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a robust B2B automation system. Start small, prioritise critical processes, and gradually expand your automation efforts to avoid errors and oversights.

For example, when onboarding EDI partners, rather than attempting to onboard all simultaneously, a more efficient approach would be to break your partners down into relevant groups (e.g. by country or value), and work through these groups one after the other.

Don’t be afraid to make big changes

Innovation often requires bold moves. While caution is wise, don’t shy away from making significant changes if they promise to improve B2B process automation. 

As EDI and e-invoicing are so central to the everyday operations of modern day businesses, many people are scared to adapt running systems for fear of disrupting them. As a result, many businesses persevere with outdated technology for far too long. But of course, the longer you put off such a project, the less efficient your current solution will become!

While implementing a major B2B process automation project can be daunting, particularly for those who haven’t done so before, the benefits can be remarkable. Plus, thanks to the emergence of fully managed B2B process automation solution providers, there’s now no longer any need to stress about disruption to existing systems or insufficient internal resources!


In conclusion, achieving success in B2B process automation requires a strategic approach. By establishing clear roles, prioritising data accessibility, and adopting a measured approach to implementation, your business can harness the full potential of EDI, e-invoicing, and other B2B automation avenues to streamline operations, reduce costs, and enhance efficiency.

If you’re interested in learning more about how B2B process automation could transform your business, contact us to learn more about ecosio’s unique EDI solution.

most read

Keep on reading

8 minute read

What Makes a Good EDI Dashboard?

A good EDI dashboard is central to successful B2B interactions. In this article we explore the key qualities of an effective solution.

10 minute read

EDI vs API: A Battle of Brothers

In recent years many have suggested that API may eliminate the need for EDI. But is this really true? And are they really rivals?

6 minute read

Expert Perspective — Christoph Ebm: EDI Post-Covid

In this insightful interview, ecosio CEO Christoph Ebm shares his thoughts on supply chain resilience and what the future holds for EDI.

7 minute read

Choosing an EDI Platform - A Breakdown

Looking for advice and information on EDI platforms and what what to look for when deciding between the various options? Look no further!

7 minute read

A Guide to Efficient EDI Systems

In this article we break down what an EDI system is, what different types of system offer, and things to remember when selecting a solution.

9 minute read

EDI Integration: What is It and How Can It Help Your Business?

Efficient EDI integration can have a transformative effect on your business. Read our article to find out how it can benefit you.

2 minute read

ecosio Becomes a Partner of GS1 UK

ecosio is proud to be a partner of GS1 UK and helping to help shape the future of GS1 standards and support industry-wide development.

4 minute read

The Most Common ANSI ASC X12 Party Identifiers and How to Use Them

ANSI X12 party identifiers are a common source of errors. In this article we explore how to avoid issues and what the most common X12 party identifiers are.

9 minute read

Using EDIFACT Parties Correctly - A Breakdown

Errors involving EDIFACT party codes (or EDIFACT parties) are a key cause of master data issues. Find out why.

8 minute read

What is Master Data Synchronisation and Why is it Needed?

Find out how conducting a master data synchronisation can make everyday EDI exchanges and partner onboarding easier and more efficient.

10 minute read

A Brief Introduction to Modern EDI Systems

Are you aware of what modern EDI systems can offer? In this article we explore the recent trend towards fully managed solutions.

5 minute read

The Three Most Common EDI Pitfalls

While EDI can offer substantial benefits, achieving the perfect solution isn't always easy. Read our article to find out where many go wrong.

We use cookies to provide an optimal website experience. You decide which one you want to allow. Depending on the setting, however, not all functionalities may be available to you. Data protection & imprint.