B2B Hubs and B2B Spokes B2B Spokes and B2B Hubs

  March 13, 2013       By Ray Atia
B2B Hubs and B2B Spokes, B2B Spokes and B2B Hubs What is the problem with the recent approach to EDI Software incorporation? A new idea is needed. Everyone is longing to represent a "Hub" rather than a "Spoke". For this reason recent EDI incorporation have been at a standstill. What is the answer? We believe the "Spokes" should transition into "Hubs". The idea of a "Hub" is simplistic. These are the businesses who communicate to their trading affiliates and request that those partners trade digitally. The "Spoke", on the other hand, is the business who strongly relies on trading with the "Hub". In this example, the "Hub" is made aware of the advantages; the "Spoke" however is not. How many businesses are recently using EDI? Its a difficult question that is unanswerable. Is it including AS2 or FTP? Is this a North American, U.S or global implementation of EDI? A couple of resources agree that most of the fortune 1000 enterprises are currently utilizing EDI. A professional I recently spoke with confirmed that it is over 160,000 enterprises that use it. My point is that its not yet a globally accepted concept because there are many companies that do not use EDI. Many of the "Spokes" are highly skilled in their knowledge of EDI, yet they have become equally skilled at making room for their "Hub" affiliates. They can not put the entire operation on an eCommerce infrastructure because they have several partners that they will deal with manually. I wish to explain what I am trying to describe with a concrete example. If a wholesale hardware establishment in Quebec is a "Spoke" on a number of "Hubs", the "Hubs" are huge hardware distributors and manufacturing companies. The Quebec wholesaler produces over ten million dollars in sales every year and has more than a dozen employees. Products include nails, tubing,chains, wires, strike tools, garden and lawn assortments and accessories. At the sales end, clients are usually small business owners that come from East Canada. Guess what? The sales are manually done. A final paper catalog is generated which they are satisfied with. Most orders are either faxed or called in and some are even emailed. To transform this business into a "Hub", we need to incorporate a simplistic EDI format. Only required documentation would be, a purchase order, catalog, a shipment document, and a financial settlement document. Its very similar to the "Web EDI" that larger conglomerate businesses use with smaller supply firms. No VAN, just everyone sharing a common network.