RESEARCH BRIEF: Emerging supply-chain e-technologies provide opportunities for growth –
During the 1990s, both academics and practitioners predicted that e-procurement would transform the supply chain by providing companies with reduced costs and online access to markets. While many companies now use e-procurement technologies, they often struggle to use them effectively. The authors look at recent research analyzing the benefits and pitfalls of the three most visible forms of e-procurement — e-sourcing, e-coordination and e-communities. While the strategic use of these technologies can have positive ramifications, including an enhancement of the information flow along the supply chain and a strengthening of strategic relationships with other companies, each has drawbacks that must be managed carefully. The authors emphasize that managers should determine the mix of approaches that will streamline their supply-chain activities.