Advances in B2B E-Commerce and E-Supply Chain Management: A Special Double Issue of the Journal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce by Jae K. LeeThis special issue presents findings from research efforts aimed at addressing a number of key challenges that still need to be addressed--from developing flexible middleware, intelligent decision support functionality and new layers of eBusiness standards to gaining a deeper understanding of how to effectively apply these technologies in different contexts.
Advances in B2B e-Commerce and e-Supply Chain Management:
*shares experience working with Hong Kongs HKTAIUA initiative, a major government effort aimed at using the Internet to bring together buyers and suppliers in the local textile and apparel industry;
*considers the procurement of logistics services as a reverse auction process, where e-tailers submit requests for bids to a transportation broker agent;
*discusses experience working in Sweden with seven Small and Medium Enterprises, as these companies transition to new eBusiness practices;
*introduces MASCOT, a collaborative decision support environment for the dynamic creation and coordination of supply chains; and
*presents an agent-based framework for both lateral and vertical coordination across different supply chain entities.
B2B eCommerce Supply Chain Management
Whilst the retail sector was the first industry to take up eCommerce, defining many of its key characteristics in the process, the demands of B2B customers are now shaping a different type of eCommerce, one that is markedly different from its consumer-facing counterpart. One area that is being changed significantly by the presence of B2B eCommerce is that of operations and supply chain management. Much of the automation and integration that is typical of eCommerce is growing increasingly present across entire enterprises, such as on the factory floor in the form of smart factories, for example, or throughout logistics networks where the sharing of real-time location data is now prevalent. There is a tendency to think that complex supply chains and the multifaceted processes needed to manage numerous suppliers, manufacturers, wide-ranging logistics networks and corporate buyers requires disparate multi-layered levels of organization. B2B buyers at all stages of the supply chain, however, are coming to expect the kind of automation and process consolidation that is a hallmark of B2C eCommerce. The fact that many corporate buyers now rely on one-click ordering based on personalized order histories is testament to this fact.
How Supply Chain Management Can Help Your B2B Company
In a B2B eCommerce transaction, the buyers and suppliers are enterprise businesses. This often means that certain parts of the B2B infrastructure, like the supply chain management process, must be even more robust than a business-to-consumer eCommerce store. The supply chain process for multiple businesses can be quite difficult to manage. Challenges inherent in supply chain management for B2B eCommerce include production planning, purchasing, material management, distribution, and more. From wholesalers to manufacturers, every point of the supply chain management process is a critical one for successful B2B eCommerce.
Supply chain management SCM refers to the handling of all operations that relate to building a product and getting it to the right customer. The purpose of a supply chain is to get goods produced and distributed as quickly and efficiently as possible. The supply chain can include, for example, designing, planning, manufacturing, storing, and distributing. Some companies are able to own every stage of their supply chain, but most supply chains are made up of a collection of companies—suppliers, manufacturers and distributors to name a few—that are each responsible for completing certain processes in the chain. Supply chain management can be complex, particularly for B2B businesses who may not own the entire supply chain. When multiple companies are involved in the supply chain, everyone needs to be on the same page and have the same information, which can be quite the challenge in itself.