Businesses must select technologies that support core business initiatives to help sustain operations in an e-business environment. To gain a competitive advantage in any e-business industry businesses must analyze current trends and implement new technologies that will help increase efficiencies, support functionality, and increase profit margins. This paper will discuss the effects of emerging technology trends on e-business and supply chain management as well as provide examples of business opportunities from these technologies.
Emerging Technologies and the Effects on e-Business With the recent hype of social media websites such as MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter e-businesses need to harness the marketing capabilities that come with this type of Internet technology. Commonly called a "virtual marketplace" this technology makes it easy for sellers and buyers to come together, give neutrality to both seller and buyer, and boost information about products a seller is providing. According to Fadden (2009) a virtual marketplace brings together buyers and sellers through the Internet.
At its highest level, a virtual marketplace gives a purchaser and supplier the opportunity to re-engineer the sales administration process, improve forecasting and scheduling, renew its go-to-market approach, shorten its order-to-cash cycle, and enhance customer service. As more consumers are attracted to social media websites businesses need to increase its knowledge of virtual marketplaces and implement new marketing technology that will allow them to capture the millions of people visiting these sites and adjust their supply chains to stay current with the demand that will continue to grow if this technology is use correctly.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems is another emerging technology that e-businesses need to harness as it provides businesses with information integration, planning synchronization, and new business models that will help e-business increase efficiencies inside their supply chains. For an e-business supply chain to be effective there is a requirement of information sharing and transparency that needs to take place. The more information shared among members in the supply chain the benefits of lowering costs and improve services is more predominate.
ERP systems permit businesses to integrate multiple functional areas together into one harmonious business model, giving the business the benefit of real-time data, collaborative planning, and better strategic decision making. The benefits from an ERP system does not only improve efficiencies inside the supply chain but also helps strengthen business-to business relationships which become imperative for successful operations in an online environment.
As e-business popularity continues to grow its important for businesses to keep up with current trends in technology that will increase their production and help streamline their supply chain. A web-base Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is a cost-effective solution that enables small and medium size suppliers to be fully compliant with the EDI requirements of their customers with a solution that takes the complexity out of EDI (Edict Systems, 2003) Web-EDI systems is an emerging technology that e-businesses are using to partner up with one another.
Businesses that use these types of websites allow other businesses to transact electronically by the means of a simple web browser. This technology is becoming a new trend in e-business as it is more affordable than traditional EDI systems. With low implementation and maintenance cost a web-base EDI system becomes the preferred technology for e-business to enhance their supply chains. The effects of this technology can permit business to show more transparency to their partnering businesses as well as expedite consumer transactions in the supply chain by reducing out-of-stock inventory and increasing on-time delivery.
A common example of a web-based EDI transaction occurs when two businesses partner up and replicate paper documents on to a web page. Once the necessary information is imputed into the web page the web-based EDI system automatically converts the information into an EDI message and sends the appropriate communication to the correct functional area. This permits the business to maximize potentially all their partners in the supply chain to make it completely automated and cost-effective all with the use of a simple web browser.
e-Business Opportunities Technology has become a gateway for businesses to grow, build new relationships, and maintain complex business models. As e-businesses implement new technology such as social media platforms, ERP systems, and web-base EDI e-businesses are given the opportunities to increase production, secure faster procurement, and meet customer demands. With social media websites e-businesses can be given the opportunity to increase product market awareness and build relationships with fellow e-businesses.
ERP systems present several opportunities for e-businesses as this type of system streamlines information flowing in and out of the supply chain and permits e-businesses to make more strategic decisions that can benefit all-around operations. Last, web-base EDI systems provide e-businesses the opportunity to reduce production costs as well as integrate suppliers and vendors into one harmonious supply chain eliminating complexity. Conclusion
With new technologies emerging every year it is important for e-businesses to harness the best technology that will support their core business initiatives. As e-business becomes more of a common work ground for brick and mortar businesses, technology will be imperative for these businesses to stay competitive. In conclusion this paper discussed the effects of emerging technology trends on e-business and supply chain management as well as provided examples of business opportunities based on these technologies.