Implications For Supply

Implications For Supply

 

With rapidly changing technology, it is difficult to predict what the future will look like.  It is, therefore, important to identify the key questions that decision makers in supply management must answer before embarking on an e-commerce path.  These include:

 

  • Should we be a leader or follower – Management must decide to be an early adopter of new technology or wait to see what emerges as the norm or standard.
  • What should be acquired through e-commerce – Should the organization purchase indirect goods and services, direct requirements, or both through e-commerce tools, strategic or non-strategic goods and services?
  • What tools should we use to acquire those items – Streamlining tools range from lower technology tools such as p-cards, to high technology tools such as online reverse auctions, e-catalogs, and integrated e-RFx systems.
  • Who should we use as a service provider – Careful assessment must done to screen available assets internally and seek providers externally.
  • Should we enter into an alliance and, if so, what type, or should we work privately – One should choose from a number of alliance options available which include electronic supply through a buyer-controlled system, or through a neutral, third-party-controlled e-marketplace or trading hub.  The choice is in essence a make/buy decision; one should conduct an extensive cost/benefit analysis before embarking on new internal systems or using third parties.