Brent Kinman, Vice President of Sales for Ariba Pay at SAP Ariba, discussed the implications of running a business-to-business (B2B) network in today’s economy during a Thought Leadership Spotlight Presented by SAP Ariba at the 2015 Chief Financial Officer Leadership Forum in Dallas on Sept. 17. In his presentation, Kinman pointed out that networks are transforming how businesses operate and how consumers interact with companies.
According to Kinman, a lack of collaboration between various departments is problematic for many companies. However, networks promote intra-company collaboration because they provide workers with greater visibility into how each department operates, Kinman said. In addition, he pointed out that today's businesses must ensure their networks connect employees consistently: "We run the largest business-to-business network in the world, connecting your people, your systems and your processes to those that you do business with as well as those inside your company to really simplify business. It doesn’t really matter if you’re in sales and marketing, procurement, AP, treasury, finance — everyone has a role to play in a business network to minimize friction points across the supply chain."
Pushing financial metrics into an operational supply chain can deliver significant value to a company as well, Kinman said. And with networks, Kinman said businesses can bolster the security of their critical information, too: "One of the things that doing payments in a network can do is allow you to place critical information out of your systems and house it somewhere else so that you don’t have to take the liability and you can let some other entity. ... B2B networks take that responsibility of handling, caring for that information and keeping it out of your systems, which it doesn’t need to be in."