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NMBS answers your OnePlace questions

Posted on 08 Apr 2021

NMBS answers your OnePlace questions

As NMBS continues to develop its OnePlace B2B Ordering and PIM platform, BMN reveals the answers to some common questions NMBS Members and Suppliers have about the platform.


NMBS OnePlace is an industry leading B2B ordering and product information management (PIM) platform, developed to create better trading efficiencies and opportunities for members and suppliers. Through OnePlace, members can check stock levels, research products, place orders and have access to order acknowledgements, delivery notes and dispatch information. Approved suppliers can upload rich product data on their entire range, creating new sales opportunities through product visibility on the platform. The system ensures any orders placed are clean and validated, meaning they can be processed quickly and efficiently, reducing the number of queries and delivery delays.

The PIM database at the heart of OnePlace allows suppliers to manage and maintain their product data, which can then be exported to merchant systems and the suppliers own platforms. Members can export the product data housed in the platform and integrate it into their own back office, purchase order platforms, cataloguing systems or e-commerce systems, to create their own online trading portals, and to improve efficiencies within their own businesses.

There are currently more than 170,000 products from 21 suppliers on the platform, with more than 300 independent merchants regularly placing orders. Since its launch, the system has processed more than 6,800 orders and associated documents worth £200m+, generating additional rebate for members and encouraging new orders for OnePlace-approved suppliers, with more companies starting to use the platform every month.

Many NMBS members and suppliers do not have their own trading platforms, and have questions about how they can make the most of the benefits OnePlace offers. Here, we answer some of the most common questions put to NMBS’ E-Commerce team.


Getting started with OnePlace

Why should NMBS members use OnePlace?
OnePlace gives independent merchants access to detailed product data, real-time stock levels, and the ability to find products quickly and easily. Some suppliers also offer additional benefits, discounts and promotions to merchants using the platform in recognition of the trading efficiencies the system offers.

Which suppliers are using OnePlace currently?
The suppliers live on the platform now are predominantly in the lightside sector, however a number of heavyside suppliers are due to go live in the coming months, and NMBS expects this to grow going forward.

What are the costs to NMBS suppliers?
The cost to NMBS suppliers wishing to become OnePlace approved is £1,500 + VAT per year. Suppliers can have as many user login accounts for OnePlace as they need, and can receive online orders from any NMBS merchant member. There is no additional per-order cost to suppliers.

Is there a cost to merchants?
No. All independent merchants have access to OnePlace as part of their NMBS membership.

Will members have to use OnePlace as part of NMBS’ trading terms?
Merchants don’t have to use OnePlace if they prefer to order through traditional methods, but NMBS will encourage them to use it. The key is to make it as easy as possible, with plenty of user benefits in place so they will want to use it. 

Is there a test environment where suppliers can try the system out without their data being visible to members?
Yes. As part of the onboarding process, the E-Commerce team will demo the platform and provide login details so suppliers can fully explore the site.


Searching OnePlace and placing orders

When a member searches for a product using OnePlace, does it do a full search of all fields (title, SKU, description, brand, etc)?
Yes, all matching results will be displayed from any field within the database.

Can members compare products against another?
Yes, when a member searches for a type of product, OnePlace will return everything available under that search term. The member can then filter or compare different products, or sort by price, for example, in the same way as with most online ordering sites.

If a member is not an existing customer with a particular supplier, can they still access that supplier’s information on the platform?
Supplier information can be made available to all NMBS members, but access can also be restricted if suppliers tell NMBS which members they want to be able to order from them.

Can members use previous orders as a template for new orders, to save inputting the same data each time?
Yes, there are a few ways members can do this. The upload feature lets them upload a pdf of all the products they want to order, which the system will then convert into an active order. Alternatively, they can use the shopping basket to quickly add their ‘favourite’ products back in. NMBS is also looking at creating a standardised ‘previous orders’ function so they can re-order the same core stock every week/month.

Does OnePlace show if a member’s account is on stop or over its credit limit?
No – however If a member places an order that takes them over their credit limit, the order will first be sent to NMBS for approval. NMBS will then discuss the order and credit limit with the member before sending it on to the supplier.


Next month: NMBS explains more about how OnePlace gives Members and Suppliers access to product data and stock levels.


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