Supplier Value in B2B E-Business - A Case Study in the Corrugated Packaging Industry

University dissertation from Lund Business Press PO Box 7080 SE-220 07 Lund, Sweden

Abstract: In the business-to-business (B2B) setting much attention has been given to how e-business tools can be used to assist firms in purchasing. Considering the increasing pressure on suppliers to use B2B e-business, this thesis turns its attention to the supplier situation by taking a closer look at how collaborative uses of B2B e-business are of value to suppliers. This book differs from much of the prescriptive B2B e-business literature and consultancy practice which has an overly focus on supply chain benefits such as lower inventory,production efficiency and reduced workload. A broader understanding of the phenomenon of B2B e-business is offered by also addressing commercial, relational and evolutionary aspects in a process framework that better reflects the reality managers find themselves in. The framework is developed through a theoretical review, which is based on strategic management and industrial marketing theory, and a case study of three e-business projects between a corrugated packaging firm and customers in the FMCG industry. The case study is used to illustrate and discuss the various parts of the framework. The results indicate that supplier value to a large degree is mediated by relationship development. Based on the findings it is also suggested that the technical solution is of limited importance for supplier value. Instead it is argued that the strongest source of supplier value is the implementation of the project that leads to the solution. It is proposed that another source of value in collaborative B2B e-business is the way B2B e-business over time becomes part of the supplier's offering.

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