The impact of business-to-business electronic commerce on export supply chain management: An empirical study of Canterbury export manufacturers
Export Supply Chain Management (SCM) is important for a company's overall performance and export success. Especially in today's global marketplace, to remain competitive, companies must be able to react quickly to market changes and produce quality products promptly with lower costs and shorter lead-time. Part of the solution may lie in electronic commerce where it provides supply chains with significant opportunities for cost reduction, enhanced communication between partners, service improvement as well as shortening the supply chains. Electronic commerce (e-commerce) is a rapidly growing technology and is becoming an important business tool for any organisations in today's competitive market. Hence, it is essential that New Zealand exporters consider how e-commerce tools can assist them in SCM, in an increasingly globally competitive marketplace. To date, many practitioners and researchers have attempted to identify the potential benefits that e-commerce has to offer with reference to user perceptions. However these perceptions have not been thoroughly tested and analysed. Much of these earlier efforts have been either descriptive or theoretical, or aimed to educate firms about the basic principle and benefits of e-commerce, instead of looking into more complex issues. This research furthers previous authors' arguments and studies by empirically testing the benefits of e-commerce in export SCM. The main objective of this research is to investigate the impact of using Business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce in the export supply chain functions in the Canterbury manufacturing sector. These functions are pre-order process, order processing, customer services and production and inventory management. A mailed questionnaire was used to collect data from export-manufacturer members of the Canterbury Manufacturers' Association. This study empirically confirms previous findings about the benefits of e-commerce. The results provide evidence of a positive relationship between the use of B2B e-commerce and benefits in the supply chain functions. It indicates that B2B e-commerce can positively contribute to efficient export SCM. In addition, it shows a positive impact on supply chain relationships from the use e-commerce. However, it also confirms that barriers to e-commerce still exist but that the potential benefits of e-commerce outweigh these barriers. This study makes several contributions to the existing literature. Firstly, it brings together the e-commerce and SCM fields and identifies the major benefits of e-commerce in export supply chain functions for Canterbury manufacturing companies. This study is particularly important in a New Zealand context because of New Zealand's relative isolation and the consequential higher costs of doing business with overseas customers. Secondly, this research provides guidance to practitioners with information on what to expect when implementing or using B2B e-commerce applications and the kind of problems they may face. Finally, this study provides some ideas for future research to explore.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordsbusiness-to-business (B2B) e-commerce; supply chain management; export; benefits; manufacturer; supply chain relationships; supply chain structure; supply chain functions
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