E-business in Supply Chain Management

E-business in Supply Chain Management

Claudia-Maria Wagner (Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland) and Edward Sweeney (Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-808-6.ch002


E-business is concerned with the use of the Internet to link companies with their suppliers, customers and other trading partners. As a business concept, it has evolved significantly since its introduction in the 1990’s in parallel with the rapid rate of development of information technology (IT) during this period. Supply chain management (SCM) is fundamentally concerned with integration of activities both with and between organisations. IT plays a crucial role in SCM as a key enabler of supply chain integration (SCI). This chapter sets out the role of e-business concepts in the context of the supply chain challenges faced by firms. It specifically explores the role of e-procurement as an example of how e-business concepts have been applied to one key SCM activity, namely purchasing and procurement. In this context, the chapter examines the nature and evolution of e-marketplaces and goes on to identify key adoption drivers and benefits based on recent research. This research identifies key adoption drivers and benefits but also recognises that there are many barriers that ongoing research needs to address if the potential of e-business is to be fulfilled.
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This section sets out the background to this chapter by introducing the supply chain concept as it has evolved in recent years. It highlights the importance of the concept of integration in this context and explains how the effective management of supply chain information flows is critical in this regard. The role of e-business (as defined earlier) is then introduced as a possible means of enhancing the management of information throughout the supply chain.

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