My company serves over 2,000 small businesses and through our software they process data from over 80 suppliers. Electronic invoices and statements are crucial to cutting costs out of the back room of small businesses yet major suppliers refuse to provide data in a form which enables this.
That these big business suppliers get away with such shoddy treatment of small business is appalling. They do get away with it though. Why? because many in small business don’t know any better.
We’re lobbying on behalf of our customers and while there are some wins, too many major suppliers refuse to actively engage with small business on the IT front. It seems they prefer ignorance as a strategy for ensuring small business customers don’t have the data to enable better decisions.
Okay I accept it sounds like a conspiracy theory. But why else would a major supplier stick with an IT strategy which costs each small business customer more than 8 man hours a month when adopting ome simple changes would cut that to less than one man hour a month. The seven man hour saving may not be much but once you multiply that across, say, 2,000 stores you have a saving of at least $250,000 a month.
Big business can help small business cut operational costs by providing better IT links.
I’m not about to name names here – I’ll leave that for one on one lobbying. The companies involved, however, are high profile names in several marketplaces.