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information-technology-business - Introduction In a recent...

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Introduction In a recent article (Anon 2005) it was stated that the Internet has revolutionized business, it has played an instrumental role in transforming the world into a global market and creating what is being called "digital economy". Internet has created opportunities for company to expand their markets, reduce costs, improve efficiency, increase satisfaction and collaborate with partners as well as with competitors. Business-to-Business (B2B) e- commerce is one area where companies can achieve many such efficiencies. B2B e-commerce can be defined as "doing business electronically" or business that is conducted over the Internet. It is most commonly associated with buying and selling information, products and service via the Internet or through the use of private network shared among business partners. B2B e-commerce can also be defined as exchanges of structured messages with other business partners over private networks or Internet to create and transform business relationship. (Wise R., and Morrison D., 2000. Beyond the Exchange: The Future of B2B, Harvard Business School). Of the different classification of e-commerce, business to consumer, consumer-to- consumer, consumer-to-business, business-to-government) B2B e-commerce is the largest and fastest growing. According to Gartner Group, B2B trade is expected to reach $8.5 trillion by 2005 while purchases made via B-2-B e-commerce in the United States are expected to increase at an annual growth rate of 68 percent between 2001 and 2005. The chief executive of Motion Industries has asked the author to write a position paper on key development of B2B e-commerce and its implications on the organization. The position paper will include a review of the current position with regard to B2B and recommendations for the best way forward. Background and Current Situation B2B E-commerce at Motion Industries Background of Motion Industries Motion Industries is North America's largest distributor of industrial maintenance, repair and operation replacement parts. Motion Industries distributes bearing; mechanical, industrial automation, electrical, pneumatic and hydraulic power replacement parts; hose and rubber products and industrial supply products. The company has more than 450 operations including nine distribution centers and serves more than 150,000 customers including automotive, chemical, food, beverage, wood and lumber, iron, oil, pulp and paper, steel and textile industries. The supply chain at Motion Industries is shown in Figure 1 FIGURE 1: Supply Chain of Motion Industries BUY SIDE SELL SIDE Current Situation B2B E-commerce at Motion Industries
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Between 1999 to present, Motion Industries has made steps to improve its B2B exchange by 1. Replacing its Value Added Network (VAN) Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) network with that of Internet EDI.
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