B2b In SmeS Perspectives And Future Challenges

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?B2b In Sme?S: Perspectives And Future Challenges?, Essay, Research Paper Chapter 1 Introduction 1.1 Purpose and Content The Forrester report (Feb. 2000) in an article entitled ?eMarketplaces Boost B2B Trade.? Predicts that ?B2B (business to business) e-Commerce will reach $2.7 trillion in 2004. While Internet trade between individual partners will continue to flourish, eMarketplaces will fuel most of the growth reaching 53% of all online business trade in five years.? These figures would suggest that it is imperative that SME?s embrace the e-commerce world that is unfolding around them, to ignore it, could be the business equivalent of hara-kiri. In this dissertation entitled ?B2B in SME?s: Perspectives and Future Challenges?, The opportunities and challenges faced by SME?s

in the B2B environment will be examined in detail. Disruptive technologies and repeating patterns in retailing will be reviewed and the new developing strategies and business models available using the Internet will be discussed and the benefits they bring to both buyers and sellers will be investigated as part of the research study. Primary research will be conducted, analysed, reviewed and presented to illustrate the way in which SME managers? view B2B commerce. The research questions guiding the reported work will be detailed later. 1.2 E-Commerce: An Introduction Electronic Commerce (e-commerce) is a means of using the power of computers, the Internet and shared software to send and receive product specifications and drawings; bids, purchase orders and invoices; and any other

type of data that needs to be communicated to customers, suppliers, employees or the public. (xxx) E-commerce is the new, profitable way to conduct business which goes beyond the simple movement of information and expands electronic transactions from point-of-sale requirements, determination and production scheduling, right through to invoicing, payment and receipt. E-commerce uses key standards and technologies including Electronic Data Interchange, Technical Data Interchange, Hypertext Mark-up Language, eXtensible Mark-up Language, and the Standard for Exchange of Product model data. E-commerce is made possible through the expanded technologies of the Internet, the World Wide Web, and Value-Added Networks. The Internet is creating unprecedented and seemingly infinite

opportunities for both its businesses and customers. Yet it is changing so fast that the speed of change and the sheer number of choices available to companies often overwhelm managers and customers alike. In addition to this the rules of the Web are slightly different to those of traditional businesses. E-commerce is not constrained by the rules that have restricted companies historically in the normal codes of business conduct. Companies can now set new standards in profitability and efficiency. This is turn leads to the consumer, in either the business to business (B2B) sector or business to customer (B2C) sector, getting the right product, in the right time, to the right place for the right price, this will be referred to as the retailers mission. (XXX) An additional

attribute of the Internet is that it lacks a central authority, in other words, there is no ?Internet, Inc.? which controls the Internet. Beyond the various governing boards that work to establish policies and standards, the Internet is bound by few rules and answers to no single organisation. 1.3 Disruptive Technologies ?A disruptive technology enables innovative companies to create new business models that alter the economics of their industry?. (Christensen and Bower 1995) In retailing the Internet is not the first such disruption that came with the emergence of the department store and was closely followed by the mail order catalogue. Then followed discount department stores and finally, in the early 1990?s came the Internet, the fourth disrupter. Internet companies such as