Strategic sourcing in the age of e-business : prerequisites in manufacturing industries

University dissertation from Linköping : Linköpings universitet

Abstract: Strategic sourcing (i.e. relationship, sourcing and negotiation strategies) has, by the introduction of the Internet and e-business, get hold of a variety of possibilities supporting the classical sourcing guiding principle, such as electronic marketplaces, reversed e-auctions, online communication tools, software agents and the like. E-business regenerates in addition the negotiation character. By combining the operational and strategic views and care for a cautiously implementation, due to the exclusive demands in the specific company, purchasing and sourcing may improve fundamentally, as might happen in competitive companies as well. Such steps increase the possibilities to get reductions in total costs when managing existing operational processes, and not just achieve some short-term price benefits. Further, this includes the strategic aspects of getting a balance between the need of developing suppliers in emerging markets, local and distant sourcing, and adversarial and relationdriven solutions, thanks to strategic moves interlinked to a professional e-business strategy. Nevertheless, the purchasing and supply fundamentals are ongoing, which purchasing management firmly has to address.The diversity of e-business is also its definitely strength. Applications to generate business value, noticed in this thesis, are connected to geographical range, reduced communication costs, alternative business-information flows, complex bid matching, digitized negotiation models, multi-item negotiations, support interlinks, and/or transparency control. However, what is common with these potentials and directions are that they also may be used to greatly improve classical strategic sourcing. Strongly competing suppliers, foreign sourcing, market pricing, and parallel sourcing are all classical characteristics of the purchasing profession.Nevertheless, I would like to underline fmnly that collaboration strategies are as well central on a number of specific areas, as has also been proven in my research. It is on the other hand important to recall that many needs within the purchase range do not hold the strategic content and consequently must not be solved within a collaboration strategy. Another aspect to emphasize is that e-business improves the possibilities to crossfunctional work and to integrate different levels of the organization; both subjects essential to the internal value transfer from the purchasing and supply function.My research has coped with several fields of assessment where specific requisites have been enlightened, such as supplier involvement attributes, mission-critical supplies, supplier requirements, and complexity in supplies. We may now reflect on which direction that is most favorable. As I recognize, e-business has exposed a breathtaking entry and so far generated more questions than answers. This is why the propositions are formulated as a part of the results.

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