When you build an innovative tool, people come up with creative uses for it.
It is no different with Bezlio. It's unique ability to rapidly connect your internal data sources with the outside world, without compromising security, has opened an amazing array of possibilities.
One of the most intriguing areas is B2B customer and supplier portals.
A typical customer or supplier portal allows your clients and vendors to perform self-service for all sorts of information that they would otherwise have to call or email you to get. We are talking about things like retrieving an order status, viewing open invoices, or looking up customer-specific inventory.
One of our Epicor ERP clients was looking for an inexpensive supplier portal. They wanted to allow their purchasing agent to submit purchase orders and then have the vendor acknowledge receipt of the purchase order and confirm through one central portal. Currently, they do all of this manually, through a mix of phone calls and emails, making it difficult to track.
So, they have two options.
Option 1: Custom Develop a Customer or Supplier Portal
We could develop a custom supplier portal that is installed and hosted in their environment which would access the Epicor framework. We've done a lot of these, and they cost, well, a lot. Developing the communication backbone to the server, the user authentication, rights management, overall site design, etc. adds up quickly.
And that is where 95% of companies "pump the brakes" and decide to just deal with the issues they currently have because that cost exceeds the value.
Option 2: Use Bezlio as a Customer or Supplier Portal
Let's take a step back. Essentially they have internal ERP data they need to share with someone outside of their organization. Securely sharing enterprise data with the world is why we developed Bezlio.
So, we explained to our client that we could use Bezlio to create a screen where their purchasing agent would quickly create an Epicor purchase order and submit. The PO would go right into Epicor, following all of the Epicor business logic and would appear on that vendor's Bezlio account screen. The supplier could log into their Bezlio account, confirm and acknowledge the purchase order, which would update the PO in Epicor and alert the purchasing agent within their Bezlio portal that the PO has been accepted and acknowledged. Bezlio becomes an elegant solution to a tedious and messy manual process.
Option 1: Typically a custom web portal project like this, linked to Epicor or any ERP would run between $25,000 and $50,000 USD for the upfront development costs, plus annual maintenance. It can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months to go from specification to deployment.
Option 2: A web app integrated with Epicor or any ERP, utilizing Bezlio, costs $35/month/user, and you can be up and running within a few days.
More importantly, instead of waiting half a year or holding off entirely and dealing with the inconveniences of their manual system, they can now make improvements to their process that legitimately improves their efficiency. An investment that pays off multiple times over.
Have you been on the search for an inexpensive customer or supplier portal for your ERP? Contact us for more information on how you can take advantage of Bezlio to create a cost-efficient customer or supplier portal in less than a week!