The evolution of e-Business has placed many organizations in a position to rethink business strategies to remain productive and competitive. Speed has been a major factor that sets e-business apart from traditional business practices. The luxury of possessing speed has allowed organizations the ability to reach a more diverse customer base and exploit local and global markets (Papazoglou & Ribbons, 2006). Internet, accessibility has evolved over time.
Once considered expensive and trendy, the internet has evolved and taken on a new meaning in terms of conducting business in a complex environment. As organizations incorporate e-Business into the realm of business practices, diversity plays an important role in the manner in which supply chains are managed. Considered to be a common term used widely in a business environment, e-business has a major impact that has a residual effect that basically touches every aspect of one’s life.
The Internet when first implemented, was primarily used for marketing purposes providing information using websites. As the technology improved and computer programs and systems became more user friendly, organizations shifted gears and started to use e-business as a means to promote and support customer service functions to include sales and delivery of products. Initially e-business was geared toward (B2C) business to customer purposes however operations have expanded to (B2B) business to business E-business has the responsibility of supporting operations of the business from start to finish. Read about Evolution of Job Design
The sharing of information allows company’s to pass information throughout the supply chain both internally and externally to better meet the demands of customers. E-business and e-commerce are terms oftentimes used interchangeably. The e stands for “electronic networks” and describes the application of electronic technology including Internet and electronic data interchange (Bartels, 2000). E-commerce impacts supply chain management in that external partners are more intimately involved.
External partners are limited too but include procurement operations, sales, marketing, customer service, and all services that directly correlate to production to include indirect operating expenses. Although e-commerce primarily involves external operations e-business equally shares some of the same responsibilities as e-commerce in that production and inventory management are managed internally. The intent of e-business is to manage the supply chain from a perspective that primarily focuses on cost reduction through improved efficiency and production.
Factors that intimately support supply chain management through e-business includes risk management, financial management, product development, human resources management, and inventory management. To achieve supply chain management through the use of e-business practices, several established organizations incorporate (ERP) enterprise resource planning that enables the top down to bottom up communication thus providing higher payoffs in the form of efficient business operations. Communication is the driving force that makes e-business and e-commerce such viable aspects of any organizations business practices.
E-commerce has at times been grossly mistaken for merely purchasing and selling on the Internet. When used individually the definition applies however, e-business evolved from e-commerce as organizations learned to use the components of both processes. In the dot-com era many businesses incorporated e-business solutions and became rather successful using web applications to promote the selling of products most noteworthy are e-Bay and Amazon (Chaffey, 2008). As previously stated, internal and external communication is important if organizations are to remain competitive and prosperous.
The evolution of e-business can be traced to IBM who had the insight to conduct transactions electronically and incorporate management techniques that supported the direction in terms of growth and management. E-business also can be linked to the evolution of supply chain management that at around the same time IBM was incorporating e-business through the initial use of e-commerce, supply chain management was also developing and becoming a manner in which to manage supply chains effectively. End to end business transactions depicts the completion of an electronic transaction similar too point of origin to point of consumption.
In conclusion, e-commerce and e-business applications although similar each support different aspects of an organizations business processes. Management of assets and services are vital if organizations are to remain globally competitive. The use of the Internet has provided the opportunity to conduct business globally in less time than traditional business practices. Speed coupled with improved technology enhances the diversity of organizations and increases the capability to exploit local and global markets whereas at the same time managing the operations and supply chain.
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