In the past, end-to-end collaboration between trading partners was feasible only for the world's largest enterprises who had enough clout to run their own trading platforms, or could afford expensive electronic data interchange (EDI) technology.  

Today, the GM-X application suite makes it possible for businesses of all sizes to engage in collaborative, end-to-end sales and procurement processes.

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The need for collaborative, end-to-end processes

In the traditional ERP world, each of the parties in a trading relationship has its own systems and processes for managing the opposite sides of a transaction:

On the buyer's side, these include systems and processes for issuing requests for proposals (RFPs) and requests for quotes (RFQs), purchase requisitions and purchase orders; and for tracking advance shipment notices (ASNs), inbound receipts and vendor invoices.The systems and processes on the seller's side are utilized to prepare quotes, acknowledge and fulfill sales orders, issue customer invoices, issue ASNs and track outbound shipments.

While it is clear that a great deal of interaction is required between trading partners, their systems and processes are rarely integrated due to prohibitive costs, or the absence of a unified and trusted trading platform. As a result, for all but the highest-volume business-to-consumer (B2C) and repetitive indirect business-to-business (B2B) procurement scenarios, trading partners have continued to rely on the exchange of traditional hardcopy documents. The fact that these documents are often transmitted electronically today via less-than-secure email, instead of traditional mail or courier services, does not mean that their business processes are truly integrated nor does it tackle numerous challenges:

  • Each party has to re-enter the same information into their own systems — which takes time, and introduces human error
  • Information often needs to be transcribed from one frame of reference to the other — commonly, because the buyer and seller identify the same product or service differently — which introduces more human error
  • Visibility of vital information — such as stock availability, pricing and engineering specifications — is limited because neither party is allowed to access the other party's systems for security reasons
  • No controls are in place to assure swift execution of transactions in compliance with trading agreements, legal requirements, risk mitigation policies or best business practices 

The GM-X application suite makes it possible for businesses of all sizes to tackle these challenges quickly and cost-effectively.

Integrated enterprise and cross-channel Web content management

  • Provides a cross-channel, multi-media Web content repository for front-end e-commerce Web sites (B2C or B2B)
  • Provides an enterprise content management repository and entity-based workflow capabilities for engineering and technical drawings, specifications, product documents (deliverables, change orders, status reports, acceptance documents) contracts, purchase orders, acknowledgments and invoices

Orchestration of collaborative order-to-bill processes 

  • Automatically captures requests for information (RFI), RFPs, RFQs and sales orders from customers
  • Real time customer query of sales order status through the GM-X Customer Portal
  • Sends quotations, order acknowledgments, status changes, ASNs and invoices to customers
  • Automatically captures customer inquiries

Orchestration of collaborative inventory management processes 

  • Manages consignment/trunk stock on hand at customer and supplier locations
  • Provides real-time inventory visibility to customers and suppliers

Orchestration of collaborative procure-to-order processes 

  • Automatically issues stock replenishment orders to suppliers
  • Provides visibility of consolidated material requirements to suppliers
  • Issues RFIs, RFPs and RFQs to suppliers online
  • Automatically captures quotations from suppliers
  • Issues approved purchase orders to suppliers in real time
  • Captures time and expenses incurred by suppliers

Orchestration of collaborative project execution processes 

  • Shares project plans, issues and current status between customers and suppliers
  • Captures project time and expenses incurred by personnel and contractors

Orchestration of collaborative shipping and receiving

  • Provides ASNs to and from customers and suppliers
  • Provides visibility of shipments, packages and their contsnts to shippers and recipients in real time
  • Automatically notifies recipients of dispatch events in real time
  • Automatically notifies shippers of receiving events in real time
  • Tracks third-party logistics provider (3PL) shipments