E-commerce escalates as the networked economy gathers pace. The internet is pervading every area of our lives to bring greater interactivity especially among suppliers and buyers, linking everybody in the supply chain together.
Evidently, "To be left out of e-commerce is like trying to compete for global business without having a telephone line." Mr Lim Swee Say, The Minister for Communications and Information Technology & Minister of State for Trade and Industry once said.
In the Asian conference on e-commerce, e-purchasing 99, speakers on e-commerce abounded, ranging from Oracle's K.K Wong to Advanced Manufacturing On-line's James Hatcher. Their message: e-commerce is still growing strong.
At Lufthansa for example, the aviation group's e-commerce is taking flight as on-line bookings are increasing from 14,000 in 1997 to the current figure of 95,000. And it is not just e-commerce in the airline industry that is taking off, Discvault.com, Asia's internet retailer of music CDs has a fully transactional e-commerce enabled website (now valued by Forrester at US$2.5-10 million) that is highly active with over 2 million hits and tracking sales of 1100 CDs per month, propelled by the booming on-line music market which is estimated to reach US3.9 billion by 2004.
In an information packed speech, K.K Wong of Oracle Corporation highlighted the impact of the internet on the supply chain. He defined supply chain management as the "coordination of products, information and funds across a supply chain," and said that with the proliferation of e-procurement, it would expedite a "new community coming together in a better supply chain environment." Evidently, as suppliers and buyers are brought together in a virtual market place, the costs of finding the right buyer or the right supplier would be reduced and businesses can focus on their core competencies.
The growth of e-commerce is increasing as more and more companies find it more profitable to focus on business competencies by outsourcing non-core services and supplies and thus allowing for more business to business electronic interactivity. By all counts, e-commerce is still growing strong.