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Management article
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Reference no. U9807A
Authors: Patricia Nakache
Published by: Harvard Business Publishing
Published in: "Harvard Management Update", 1998

Abstract

Online purchasing, also known as business-to-business electronic commerce, has grown from a novelty to an $8 billion business and shows no sign of slowing down. Online purchasing is cheaper, faster, and more convenient than traditional paper processing approaches. The question is no longer whether purchasing departments should utilize online purchasing but rather how online purchasing should be incorporated into their systems. This article examines some of the available online purchasing tools including buyer-driven catalogs and bidding systems, third-party catalogs and trading exchanges, and supplier-driven extranets. The article also features Web site information for companies that offer online purchasing tools.

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Abstract

Online purchasing, also known as business-to-business electronic commerce, has grown from a novelty to an $8 billion business and shows no sign of slowing down. Online purchasing is cheaper, faster, and more convenient than traditional paper processing approaches. The question is no longer whether purchasing departments should utilize online purchasing but rather how online purchasing should be incorporated into their systems. This article examines some of the available online purchasing tools including buyer-driven catalogs and bidding systems, third-party catalogs and trading exchanges, and supplier-driven extranets. The article also features Web site information for companies that offer online purchasing tools.

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