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E-Markets: An Investigation of Value Drivers and Business Implications

Dr Mohini Singh, Dr Karin Geiselhart and Professor Bill Martin

Business to business e-commerce is by far the largest segment of the Internet economy. It is estimated to reach $6 trillion by 2004. The large amount of bid, order and transaction management for the B2B procurement of parts and supplies require assistance from auxiliary services such as e-markets. An e-market' functions as a trusted intermediary whose well-integrated business procedures and technology save costs and streamline the purchasing and sales processes. e-Markets are proliferating at an astounding rate because of the benefits they offer buyers and sellers. For buyers e-markets lower purchasing costs while reaching new suppliers. For suppliers e-markets lower sales costs and help the supplier reach new customers. e-markets play a major role in industries that have a large market size, fragmented supply chain, unrecognised vendor or product differentiation, high information costs, high product comparison costs and high work flow costs.

The role of e-markets in the B2B e-business has been identified, however, with evolving e-business models and technological developments that are taking place, concerns for their success, survival and the value they add to B2B e-commerce are becoming important questions. This research project aims to investigate business, technological and organisational issues pertinent to e-market success in business-to-business e-commerce. It will also establish the benefits of e-procurement facilitated by e-markets. The value created by e-markets' to businesses also leads to the success and survival of these intermediaries as new Internet based business ventures.

This research will identify the benefits of  e-market' facilitated procurement in terms of reduced purchasing and information costs, and increased market share in B2B exchanges, determine the strengths and weaknesses of blending online services with traditional offline networks for business expansion, determine appropriate revenue models for extracting payments for e-market' facilitated services and identify the skills needed by the employees, buyers and suppliers (business partners) to capitalise on technology and enrich the e-procurement services.

This project is funded by the RMIT Faculty of Business Collaborative Grant Scheme.

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