E-commerce has now become the back bone of most major corporations in the developed parts of the world. It has provided a means of linking corporations all over the world thereby providing a very large market environment for the corporation. There are B2B exchanges on the web who act as middlemen between businesses. Their charge is a commission on the transactions they help put in place. Headquartered in both San Francisco and Hong Kong, Rebound helps connect Asian and North American markets, particularly factories in Asia seeking ways to sell overruns and discontinued goods. This system works by you posting the goods your company wants to buy or sell on the B2B exchange site. And if another corporation is interested will simply respond to your offer.
Another benefit of B2B e-commerce is that business deals can be cut at minimal cost and within less time. If another company across the globe wants to create a partnership with yours, by hosting your business online, the other company can view your business structure and analyze it in stead of coming all the way to your location. This is important when it comes to making deals between suppliers, distributors, producers and retailers. An example is GlobalNetXchange which will offer a global retail goods marketplace, supply chain management, and other collaborative solutions. According to an article on the retail industry web site, Sears and Carrefour's two retail giants, initially focused on combining $80 billion supply chain purchases from 50,000 suppliers, partners and distributors.
Also B2B helps reduce business expenses thereby increasing marginal profits. The paper work involved in business is cut down. Also the process time is also reduced. Sears and Carrefour expect GlobalNetXchange will significantly reduce their purchasing expenses and enhance supply chain efficiencies with their trading partners. ``When the supply chains get cheaper and computer automation makes things more efficient, it enables companies to maintain price stability,'' said Vernon Keenan, president of Keenan Vision. ``It could introduce further restraint on inflation in our economy.''
According to a retail industry research, the ability of Internet marketplaces to connect international and geographical markets without major infrastructure investments makes it ideal for large and small retailers alike. B2B sites provide other services aside linking businesses such as product knowledge, news, industrial articles, buyer and seller ratings, logistics services and backend integration with the retailer's computer systems.
The future of B2B e-commerce looks very promising. Most major corporations and even smaller ones are re-strategizing their organizational structure to accommodate e-commerce. In North America, Asia and Europe the advancement of businesses into e-commerce is rising at a fast pace. For all B2B exchanges, the potential market size is staggering. According to a forthcoming report from research firm Keenan Vision of San Francisco predicts that the dollar volume of B2B exchange transactions will vault from $33.9 billion this year to $1.3 trillion in 2004. That's almost 12 percent of the U.S. GDP gross domestic product, which the White House projects will be $10.9 trillion in 2004.
According to an article by San Francisco Chronicle writer Carolyn Said, about two dozen B2B firms plan to go public this year, and plenty more are in the pipeline. Aside these firms other major corporations who at first used B2B exchanges are planning on going online within the next three to five years. For example, five of the biggest medical supply companies, including Johnson & Johnson and GE Medical Systems, will form their own online marketplace. E-business in Ghana is still in its budding stage. B2B type of e-business is not common though in Ghana. B2C is becoming quite popular with a few B2B intertwined. A typical example of B2B in Africa is between Spacefon (a Mobile phone service provider in Ghana) and Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) (a foreign bank in Ghana). Spacefon provides the avenue for their users who save at Standard Chartered Bank to check their balance and purchase reload credit through their bank accounts.
B2B e-business helps speed up business processing and reduces time spent on a business transaction. For example Spacefon provide such services where someone can check his bank account balance using his or her mobile phone. SCB also provide avenue for Spacefon users to buy units for their phones through their phones and credited to their bank accounts.
Most people think that E-business or commerce is limited to only internet business processing but the real definition of e-commerce is business transactions over any electronic medium.
1. Carolyn Said, Chronicle Staff Writer, San Francisco Chronicle