Solutions to Support Procurement Activities within Industrial Districts
Aurelio Ravarini (Cattaneo University, Castellanza (VA), Italy), Marco Tagliavini (Cattaneo University, Castellanza (VA), Italy), Carlo Zanaboni (Cattaneo University, Castellanza (VA), Italy), Paolo Faverio (Cattaneo University, Castellanza (VA), Italy), Jennifer Moro (Cattaneo University, Castellanza (VA), Italy) and Donatella Sciuto (Politecnico di Millano, Milano, Italy)
Copyright: © 2004
The evolution of information and communication technologies (ICTs) is thought to bring new development opportunities for enterprises by enabling the development of new industrial districts and consolidating existing ones. In fact, small to medium-sized enterprises could largely benefit from this potential innovation, and, specifically, from the improvement of the management of supply chain activities. ICTs, and especially Internet-based technologies, can support the flow of materials with a more efficient way of communicating and sharing information.In spite of these premises, pioneering organizations providing e-commerce solutions for procurement have experienced many difficulties in sustaining their business. One relevant reason can be identified in the existing misalignment between the characteristics of the available technological solutions and the actual requirements characterizing the industrial district as a whole. The development of these solutions has been mainly based on the specifications of larger companies, which often turn out to be very different from the needs and requirements of SMEs. This chapter analyzes the characteristics of industrial districts and the features of existing e-procurement solutions, and cross-matches the two dimension in order to verify the adequacy of vendors’ offer to demand’s needs. The deriving assessment represents the basis to propose a set of prescriptive models of e-procurement solutions that should properly cover industrial districts requirements.