With ever‐increasing competitive pressures, growing numbers of firms use electronic procurement (e‐procurement) in an attempt to reduce costs and increase profitability. Academicians and practitioners alike agree that one of the most important benefits of e‐procurement is its ability to facilitate integration within the firm and across the supply chain. However, there is much to be discovered about the prevalence of actual implementation of e‐procurement. The purpose of this study is to empirically examine the extent to which firms operating in diverse industries use nine different e‐procurement tools that differ in their ability to facilitate supply chain integration. The survey data were provided by a sample of 142 members of the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). Factor analysis revealed that the group of nine e‐procurement tools could be categorized into two types: basic, single‐process tools and integrative tools. A t‐test of the mean differences between each type of e‐procurement tool revealed that firms used basic, single‐process tools to a greater extent than they used integrative forms of e‐procurement. To further explore firms’ use of e‐procurement, we attempted to ascertain whether the industry in which a firm operates impacts use. Logistic regression revealed that firm sector has an effect on the use of integrative eprocurement tools, with firms operating in the petroleum and the transportation equipment sectors being less likely to use them than their manufacturing counterparts. These findings are important, as previous research indicates that effective supply chain integration is associated with improvements in production planning, inventory management, distribution, and overall supply chain performance.
American Journal of Business – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 2008
Keywords: Electronic procurement; Supply chain management; Supply chain integration
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