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How The Supply Chain Differs On A B2 C Site Compared To A B2 B Site

1049 words - 4 pages

How the supply 1
How the supply chain differs on a B2C site compared to a B2B siteUniversity of PhoenixEBUS/400: eBusinessAugust 25, 2007IntroductionThe purpose of this paper is to examine the differences between the business-to-business (B2B) and the business-to-consumer (B2C) supply chains. The first step is to define the terms supply chain, B2B and B2C, and then compare the supply chain characteristics in each business type. The Supply Chain "A supply chain is a coordinated system of entities, activities, information and resources involved in moving a product or service from supplier to customer. The entities of a supply chain typically consist of manufacturers, service providers, distributors, and retail outlets (Dictionary.com, 2007)." B2BBusiness-to-business (B2B) is the exchange of products, services, or information between businesses rather than between businesses and consumers (SearchCIO, 2006), or e-commerce between businesses. Electronic technologies and most importantly, the Internet have drastically changed the B2B marketplace. Procurement processes, or the purchase and sale of materials and supplies between businesses and a key element in the B2B supply chain, have completely changed and are considered to be fluid in the most competitive systems. Some examples of categories where B2B websites may fall include the following: 1.Company Web sites 2.Product supply exchanges 3.Industry portals (specialized) 4.Brokering sitesIn the past, most procurement activities were slow and labor intensive, taking place by telephone, mail, fax or in-person. Now they are achieved through highly integrated and often real-time systems that communicate worldwide, across many different platforms, in many different languages and coping with many different types of currency. As an example, W. W. Grainger is one of the first B2B suppliers with an online presence. Grainger began integrating technology into its supply chain operations very early, starting in 1991 with the first digital maintenance, repair, and operating (MRO) equipment catalogs. Grainger supplies businesses worldwide with MRO products via a sophisticated system of electronic ordering, processing, fulfillment and delivery. Grainger's supply chain includes all of the suppliers and manufacturers "upstream" from its website who fabricate the supplies and equipment that it sells. B2CBusiness-to-consumer is basically retailing on the web. It is the method that online businesses use to sell their products directly to consumers. For most businesses, the Internet has enabled them to significantly increase their customer base, and to improve their ability to support transaction related issues without increasing, and in many cases even decreasing cost. Examples of B2C enterprises include the bookseller Amazon.com and Walmart.com. In both cases, the B2C or "downstream" supply chain consists of the retailer and the customer. B2B Supply ChainCollaboration is the key to B2B supply chain success. How well a...

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