Business To Business (B2B)

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B2B systems have been considerably misunderstood. B2B is not a new phenomenon. It has been around for several years, and has largely evolved from electronic data interchange and grown from there. Here's how it works. Typically, e-business activities are conducted with other companies and partners through supply chains or distribution networks. These networks provide the materials, services, components, and products that make up the industry. Each of these has their network, capabilities, business rules, and competitive elements.

For many years, outsourcing and manufacturing components in these chains resided in the most competitive locations. Each element in the supply chain both provides a link and establishes a firm's position in the chain. These chains have been mainly self-monitoring and policing, with few rules and international trade agreements keeping them in place.

Market conditions, supply and demand, competitiveness, and distributed locations have all influenced where in the world part or all of the business functions resided. As these chains and networks become more sophisticated, the impact of globalization and the Internet has extended the reach of our options and how quickly we can change them.

In the case of B2B, organizations have been trading for many years using their existing environments, markets and supply chains, with little impact in the electronic world. The exception to this has been the world financial community, and a very small sector of B2B commerce that has been connected by EDI. As mentioned earlier, EDI and the supported dedicated networks were early stage e-commerce or e-business activities. They set the scene for the new markets and e-business developments.


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