Business to Business – B2B
Business to Business – B2B is the name given to trade associated with buying and selling of information, products and services via the Internet or through the use of private networks shared between two companies, thus replacing the physical processes that involve commercial transactions. B2B can also be defined as exchange of structured messages with other trade partners from private networks or the Internet to create and transform so your business relationships.
The Internet has revolutionized business, playing a key role in transforming the world into a huge global market, thus creating a “digital economy”. E-Business is becoming a growing need for companies to remain competitive in today’s digital economy, no longer a mere matter of choice. The Internet has created opportunities for firms to expand their markets, reducing costs, increasing efficiency and customer satisfaction and collaborate with partners and with competitors. B2B commerce is an area where such businesses can achieve such levels of efficiency. To meet the challenge of globalization of electronic commerce, companies need an effective and efficient process that meets the business need to buy and sell goods more cheaply and effectively. Consequently, it identifies, among several, three main groups of B2B portals, namely (Carvalho, 2006, p.38):
* Portals for employees (intranet) – portals are where the company promotes internal communication, i.e., to its employees and between employees. These networks are restricted to employees of the company or group of companies, allowing access to a set of internal network resources of that company or group of companies. Through these portals you can join the company’s employees, regardless of physical location where they are and thus overcome the distances that separate;
* Portals for partners (extranet) – are portals that promote the relations between businesses (B2B) or between a given company and companies with whom they want to maintain relationships. Therefore, they are networks linking the company and its business partners with the aim of promoting collaboration and information sharing;
* Third-party portals or e-market places – are brokering platforms that promote the union of several organizations buying and selling. The trading of goods and services is supported by the Internet, which facilitates and promotes the purchase online, in an environment of many buyers and many suppliers and / or in a more limited and dependent also on the characteristics monopolistic, oligopolistic or open markets origin of offers and requests.
B2B is a term that has become more popular since 1999, and refers to the negotiations, usually involving businesses, and partners that standardize forms of communication to reduce internal costs and increase efficiency. Transactions between businesses are made electronically via the Internet, extranets, intranets or private networks. These transactions can be conducted between the company and its members, but also between a company and another company and any other. In this context the word denotes any organization, private or public, with or without profit. B2B divided basically into two camps: Vertical Market: encompassing negotiations between major companies from a specific activity, such as automotive, semiconductor industry, chemical industry, among others. Horizontal market encompassing both large and small companies in negotiations between the various branches of commercial activity that focuses on common services or products industries.
The concept of e-Hub
To fully exploit the potential of B2B companies need to think in terms of e-Hubs. An e-Hub is enabled for a Web platform that allows business partners, exchange and sharing of information related to the buying and selling. Several inbound or outbound transactions necessary to satisfy customers’ requests are automated.
Kevin M. McKelvie and Mark Simmonds define “e-Hub as a set of technologies that deliver throughout the supply chain integration and collaboration, information sharing, a wide visibility of activities related to planning, direct purchase, and the final implementation. In doing so well, the e-Hub optimizes the supply chain itself and all its participants.”
Flexible, reliable and highly available: The e-marketplaces must have features and capabilities that span the business process, and thus can offer its members the highest values.
B2B E-Markets, or are changing the business paradigm: The E-Markets is not only aim to bring together business partners but also competitors. The idea behind these markets is to share information, enhance collaboration and provide greater value for shareholders of companies. Competitors work together with other competitors to determine market demand, and share information to increase efficiencies across the supply chain.
The exchanges are increasingly developing more sophisticated capabilities tip. The exchanges began to instill more “core” functional type of ERP solutions and services. Some of these capabilities of these exchanges will have:
Integrating and guiding collaboration: A true B2B capabilities should promote collaboration with various partners. Collaboration should enable inventory management, planning and programming. The activities of product collaborative design have become possible thanks to the exchange capacity. Hewlett Packard, for example, supports collaborative efforts among its 1,000 suppliers to manufacture standard products for HP hardware. This collaboration would not have been possible without the help of HP’s software private exchange.
Feature: E-Markets should strive to provide features and services to a larger number of participants. Features of a Provider of Logistics Services to be developed for the private exchange, which is more centered around a company and its trading partners.
Scalability / availability: A B2B ideal should have capabilities to handle large volumes of data. A good IT infrastructure must be put in place to ensure the load handling and availability of services. Service availability 24 x 7 x 365 is no longer a matter of choice but a requirement for all applications of e-business.
Security: A B2B should have capabilities to provide secure transactions for its customers. Technologies such as encryption, Secure Socket Layer or validation keys are some of the technologies that can be used. A good procedure for authentication and authorization should be implemented. These tools and procedures should be constantly updated to stay ahead of hackers and cyber criminals.
Privacy: Adequate privacy policies should be implemented and effectively implemented. Companies do not want to share your information with anyone taking that third parties such as internal auditors should look at these processes and ensure the adequacy of practices and procedures.
Content / Catalog Management: Ability to create and manage site elements such as text graphics, embedded files and applets is another important aspect. The website should be user friendly and easy to navigate. Features such as personalization and customization can not only increase user satisfaction, leading him to perform the most enriching experiences, but also to make a more effective exchange.
Architecture — Hub and spoke: Development and construction of an open architecture, where participants can easily be added or removed and where the growth of experience is very important. Having a scalable framework, without having to restructure all due to changing circumstances is a critical success factor.
Challenges in implementing B2B initiative
Most companies have recognized the potential of B2B and B2C. Thus, by choice or by force (as a result of competition), it have jumped into the carriage of one form or another, often without realizing the magnitude of the challenges of implementation. To fully exploit the benefits of this new phenomenon, companies should set their priorities. Any company participating in e-business faces many challenges. Some of these challenges are:
The main challenges faced by organizations under this category are:
Provide adequate security resources and computer technology the company is a very important issue. There should be measures to provide security for databases, networks, applications, payment systems and operating systems.
Authentication procedures and policies should be developed, implemented and updated regularly to provide a safe environment. Using technologies such as encryption, Secured Socket Layer and Public Key Infrastructure can help the organization overcome this challenge.
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