Electronic marketplaces are inter-organizational information sharing systems that enable virtual business transactions and allow the exchange of price and product information between buyers and sellers (Kollmann, 2000). For many decades, such information systems were solely utilized for buying and selling of goods under “market conditions.” With the emergence of advanced IT, academia, and also businesses have begun to use electronic marketplaces for information sharing system and it is no longer only a medium for electronic buying and selling processes. In addition, electronic marketplaces are predicted to be a key-stone for integrating the information flows within inter-organizational systems such as supply chains (Grieger, 2004) where borderless organizational structures occur (see Picot, Reichwald, R., Wigand, 2001).
Key Terms in this Chapter
Electronic Marketplace or E-Market: A type of an inter-organizational information systems that enables virtual business transactions and allows the exchange of price and product information between buyers and sellers.
6C Business Model: A system-oriented view or concept for analyzing meta-enterprise information systems. The six Cs are abbreviations for six subsystems or business models: context, connection, content, commerce, community, and cost.
Supply Chain Management: The integration of key business processes from end user through original suppliers, which provides products, services, and information that add value for customers and other stakeholders.
Integrated Supply Chain/Supply Chain Integration: A “seamless supply chain” where territorial boundaries between trading partners are eliminated allowing them to operate effectively as if they were part of one organization. Supply chain integration typically encompasses three distinct, albeit related, elements: One element is mainly concerned with the sharing of information among members of the supply chain, for example, demand information, inventory status, capacity plans, production schedules, promotion plans, demand forecasts, and shipment schedules (information integration). The second element refers to tightening organizational relationships between firms (organizational linkage), and the third element refers to the redeployment of decision rights, work, and/or resources to the “best-positioned” supply chain member (coordination).
Virtual Supply Chain: A supply chain (network) that is connected through electronic links and characterized by its inherent flexibility to quickly adopt and adapt to changes in the business environment. Meaning that, new members can be continually added and old members deleted or have roles reassigned to them within the chain. As a result, a virtual supply chain is a combination of a computer-based structure and a temporary organized supply chain network.
Meta-Enterprise Information System: An information system that crosses organizational boundaries and involves resources shared between two or more enterprises.
Internet-Based Electronic Marketplace (IEMP): Internet-based meta-enterprise information system that allows participating firms (B-to-B) to interact and to accomplish one or more of the following market-making activities/transactions: identifying potential trading partners, facilitating the exchange of information, goods, services, and payments and providing an infrastructure that enables an efficient functioning of the market.