3 Common Challenges B2B Manufacturers Have Overcome by Moving to Composable Tech

Thought Leadership

By Matt Gould | May 16, 2023
An illustration of two people speaking to each other through their laptop screens. The man's chat bubble shows a delivery truck and the woman's chat bubble shows to puzzle pieces coming together.

We hear from clients all of the time about cross-industry pain points, including the need to work more productively, offer personal and seamless client experiences, navigate supply chain disruptions, and support international growth. Here are three examples of how modern B2B companies are evolving their tech stacks — and mindsets — to position themselves to lead.

Challenge 1: Prioritizing the customer experience

Pain point:

The “tradesperson’s favorite shop” Industrial Tool Supplies (ITS) used older technology that was susceptible to issues and downtime. The company sells to distributors and also directly to tradespeople via their website. Many evenings and weekends were spent fixing, maintaining, or restarting servers to ensure their website was online.

To make matters more challenging, customer expectations have continued to rise: “74% of Millennial B2B buyers say they would move to a competitor if a supplier’s digital channel couldn’t keep up with their needs.” ITS had to limit site downtime and create a consistent experience that put their clients first.


The ITS team needed a long-term partner who truly understood commerce, as well as the regular challenges a B2B and B2C company of their size face. We joined forces with BigCommerce to enable the company’s tech transformation.

Working together, we:

  • Evolved the ITS team’s monolith tech stack to a composable architecture that connected existing ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems and their e-commerce platform

  • Worked with the ITS team to ensure they had the knowledge and training to quickly pivot and scale to meet customer needs

  • Suggested long-term improvements to support the company’s continued growth


A significant reduction in website downtime with six times fewer dropouts freed up capacity to “fully focus on the customer.” The ITS team also valued the ability to “pick and choose the apps and the add-ons” that work for their business. With integrated data management and a better-performing website, ITS is now positioned to quickly pivot and meet digital-first B2B buyers where they are.

Challenge 2: Being agile to supply chain disruptions

Pain point:

In 2022, 83% of leaders surveyed reported at least one major disruption in their supply chain. Combine that with the 73% of B2B buyers who want a personalized B2C-like experience, and you need a tech stack that can allow you to be agile to changing markets and customer needs.

Like many during the COVID-19 pandemic, Coca-Cola Embonor’s sales team found themselves unable to visit retailers in person. Further, D2C customers couldn’t go to their local shops to pick up a bottle of their favorite beverage.


In 2019, our team at Apply Digital had already implemented a dynamic B2B app to improve workflow and sales, even in low connectivity areas. This app became our foundational building block for future solutions. Leveraging MACH architecture, we harnessed API technology to bridge communication between the app’s front-end and Coca-Cola Embonor’s existing legacy system. We quickly deployed two unified B2B and B2C commerce web platforms on their legacy system that gave retailers and shoppers a consistent, holistic shopping experience.


A 40% increase in revenue, as well as a +2,800% increase in B2B customers. This award-winning B2B project unified Embonor’s overall operations by integrating their sales, marketing, and content teams.

Challenge 3: Complex verticals and international growth

Pain point:

A global retail organization wanted to better serve their pre- and post-sale client needs. Offering a variety of measuring and machine tools, their healthcare clients needed vastly different specialist support than their jet engine manufacturing clients. On top of their complex product support requirements, the company was growing.

This B2B company used a combination of in-house sales specialists and third-party organizations to expand into different countries. The sales teams primarily used phone and in-person to support client needs, which often included simpler asks like re-orders and software updates. With about 65% of B2B cross-industry companies fully transacting online, they chose to embrace digital to improve efficiency, scale consistently, and deliver more personalized client value.


We worked with them to create a solution that modernizes their digital experience platform with a composable tech approach.

In addition to adapting new ways of working and growing digital capabilities, we’re currently working to:

  • Refine the company’s content architecture and leverage eCommerce space to improve the client user experience

  • Free up space by digitally engaging clients post-sale so the specialist sales teams can focus on new sales and more complex client questions

  • Position them for consistent, scalable growth by syndicating the data experience so any team can access online education and tools to support their work


This global retail organization has embraced a paradigm shift to move into a modern digital commerce way of working. We’re in the midst of using two-speed transformation to evolve the company to a composable tech stack that will position them to pivot to changing market and client needs, save time, and scale.

Let’s navigate digital transformation

B2B manufacturing organizations face a number of challenges in our ever-changing environment. By leveraging composable technology, companies can solve many common B2B pain points, improve agility, and position themselves to lead. If you’d like to learn more about composable technology, reach out to us at hello@applydigital.com, and let’s have a conversation.