Electronic commerce for small and medium-sized companies

This guide provides a step-by-step description of what your company needs to do to start trading electronically with your business partners using ESAP business processes.

Getting started with electronic commerce for small and medium-sized companies

Electronic commerce does not just provide advantages to large companies. Small and medium-sized companies, too, have a lot to gain from electronic commerce. Your customer may want your company to start doing business electronically, but consider that purchases of office supplies or telephony services can be billed electronically.

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Choose a business process depending on who you will receive information from and who you will send it to:

  • Call-off from frame contract is common for companies that do business with the public sector and also within the construction industry.
  • Retail supply chain is a general business process for goods flow in general and specialist retail.
  • Periodic invoicing is used for billing electricity, water or telephony services as well as credit card usage.

Read the guideline and specifications for the business process you have chosen so that you can implement the process correctly.

Depending on your requirements and the capabilities of your existing business system, you can choose different types of solutions for electronic commerce:

  • Your business system already includes the functionality needed for electronic commerce for your chosen business process. Contact your business system supplier for more information.
  • A web-based e-commerce system can provide a quick and simple solution. It is appropriate when you do not have your own business system, where your business system does not have the correct functionality, or while you are waiting for these functions to be added. You communicate with your customer through a website, receive orders and enter information such as order responses or invoices which is then sent to the customer.

In order for your business partner to see where transactions have originated your company must be identified with a GLN (Global location number). Your partner is identified in the same way so that you can see who have received information from. Sending and receiving information using GS1 Sweden’s business processes requires all parties to identify themselves with a GLN. A GLN is included in a GS1 company prefix subscription.

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Send and receive master data about parties, delivery points, products, and so on by exchanging party information, price lists and trade item information. Your business partner might have several delivery points each of which is identified with a GLN, so you will need to set up a database with party information.

Remember that master data must not be accidentally updated since it includes such things as account numbers for payments. Consider locking the information against unauthorised access.

Sign an interchange agreement with every business partner. This agreement assigns responsibility to the parties for the exchange and logging of business information carried in the electronic business messages.

When the master data is in place, your company is ready to do business in a new way by receiving electronic call-offs or orders as well as sending information on deliveries and invoices.