Digital/web-based technology in purchasing and supply management: a UK study

Gallear, D., Ghobadian, A. and O'Regan, N. 2008. Digital/web-based technology in purchasing and supply management: a UK study. Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management. 19 (3), pp. 346-360.

TitleDigital/web-based technology in purchasing and supply management: a UK study
AuthorsGallear, D., Ghobadian, A. and O'Regan, N.
Abstract

Purpose – To date little is known about the actual level of utilisation of digital/web-based interaction technologies in purchasing and supply management (SM) in the UK. This paper seeks to address this gap in the extant knowledge through empirical research in a UK setting. It examines the level of usage, the uses, the perceived benefits, and future perspective on the use, of web-based technology in purchasing and SM.

Design/methodology/approach – An empirical survey of UK-based organisations was undertaken. Information simultaneously collected on the buyer-supplier relationship orientation of the firms in the sample was used to test the proposition that the use of web-based technology leads to stronger collaborative relationships with suppliers.

Findings – Data obtained from 156 valid responses indicated that six in every ten organisations use web-based technology to support purchasing and SM activities, but that the usage is lower in small to medium-sized enterprises. The main uses reported are for communicating with suppliers, for marketing products/services, and for locating technical data. Making purchases over the internet was significantly more prevalent in organisations exhibiting relatively more partnership orientation.

Practical implications – The findings provide only limited evidence in support of the proposition that the deployment of web-based technology leads to stronger buyer-supplier relations. However, findings do suggest that the effectiveness of the purchasing and supply function can be enhanced through greater use of web-based technology for online purchasing and for efficient consumer response.

Originality/value – The paper establishes salient UK managerial perception on the strategic and operational importance of web-based technology adoption in purchasing and SM.

JournalJournal of Manufacturing Technology Management
Journal citation19 (3), pp. 346-360
ISSN1741-038X
Year2008
PublisherEmerald
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1108/17410380810853777
Publication dates
Published2008

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