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Information management: The adoption of order processing for B2B e-commerce

Author(s): F. W. Voges | S. C. Warden

Journal: South African Journal of Information Management
ISSN 1560-683X

Volume: 9;
Issue: 2;
Date: 2009;
Original page

The management of information flow in the order processing activities of small enterprises is not always understood. An inefficient supply chain is often the result of the lack of timely and accessible inter-firm information and data exchange. Small suppliers often do not have the technology infrastructure and capable resources available for proper integration with supply chains. This research investigated suppliers and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) retailers, adopting business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce. Small businesses are the focus of this research, as they contribute to a large portion of the South African economy and play an important role in the supply chains of retailers. Case study research using evidence obtained from nine small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) and suppliers located in the Western Cape, South Africa, was used. It was found that small suppliers have different processes for conducting business with various retailers. Literature revealed little evidence of using the Internet as an enabling technology in on-line order processing. From the analysis, nine improvement areas were identified to enhance the conduct of efficient B2B order processing and associated information flow. These improvement areas were merged with four factors that were identified in a framework when adopting e-supply chains. This resulted in the proposition of guidelines for small suppliers when adopting B2B e-commerce for order processing. 

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