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Large Enterprise Procurement

A large customer often has specific requirements in how it does purchasing, and such a customer has the purchasing power to ask its supplier to customize its site to match the customer's internal processes. For example, say the seller allows regular business customers to have two kinds of roles, buyer and submitter, where the buyer creates orders, and only the submitter is allowed to submit the orders. Most customers might be willing to live with this setup and adjust their procurement practices so that their purchases with this seller are governed by these two roles.

However, a larger customer might already have instituted other roles, which the seller's B2B site does not provide. For example, the customer might have the role of browser, which is a person who can only view the catalog but not create orders, or it might require multiple levels of approval.

The large customer might have products produced exclusively for it, and hence its catalog might need to contain products or configurations of products that are not made available to other customers. In some cases, a large customer can request to make the purchasing site contain a company logo, or even to structure the site to look in accordance with a certain template so that employees using the customer's internal procurement portal do not even realize that they are viewing content from a third-party seller. Another example of a unique requirement is to allow a customer to enter additional justification and financial information with an order in accordance with the buying customer's internal accounting policies.

All these are but a few instances in which large customers might demand that the seller's site be customized to their needs. When competition among sellers is fierce and customer is king, the seller is well advised to respect such demands from large customers. Realistically, if a seller has only a single purchasing site, accommodating the unique requirements of different large customers would be almost impossible.

A selling company's revenue usually depends on the ability to attract customers, and certainly attracting large corporate customers is frequently at the top of a company's agenda. Therefore, if the seller wants to win the business and loyalty of large corporate customers, it makes sense for the seller to create customized sites for such customers. Ideally, every large customer should have its own unique site so that as the customer's buying requirements evolve, the seller can accommodate without impacting other customers. Realistically, however, this approach only makes sense for the biggest customers, which have sufficient economic clout to make a customized site worthwhile.

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