• E-business strategy development: an FMCG sector case study.

      Webster, Margaret; Fouweather, Ian; Beach, Roger (2006)
      Purpose ¿ This paper sets out to discuss the development of an e-business strategy by a UK soft drinks company. It is based within the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector (also known as Consumer Packaged Goods), which is characterised by powerful retailers, tier-1 suppliers of industrial end-products and ingredient/raw material producers further upstream. The paper aims to examine the tensions created at tier-1 level relating to the adoption of e-business solutions for B2B activities. Design/methodology/approach ¿ The paper draws on the literature to describe the technological options for achieving e-commerce, focusing particularly on Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and internet-mediated e-commerce. It then explores the current uptake of e-commerce, and the drivers and barriers that relate to its adoption. The theoretical issues identified are explored empirically using data gathered from a case study of Princes Soft Drinks. A detailed survey of organisations within its supply base was conducted in order to inform the development of its future e-business strategy. Findings ¿ The results of the survey indicate a lack of enthusiasm among Princes' supply chain members for the adoption of e-commerce generally and for internet-mediated e-commerce solutions in particular. Research limitations/implications ¿ The empirical survey is limited to the UK soft drinks sector and allows for the development of descriptive findings. These findings, discussed within the theoretical context of the paper, have potentially wider implications for the FMCG sector as a whole. Practical implications ¿ The work has significant implications for the development of Princes' e-business strategy, and ¿ by extrapolation ¿ for other companies operating in similar commercial environments. Originality/value ¿ The paper reports original empirical research in the commercially important FMCG sector. Its value stems in part from the examination of the supply chain tensions created at tier-1¿ between powerful e-committed retailers and e-reluctant industrial suppliers.
    • An evaluation of partnership development in the construction industry.

      Beach, Roger; Campbell, K.M.; Webster, Margaret (2009-09-09)
      Improving the effectiveness of projects, particularly in construction, is of interest and concern to practitioners and academics alike. To this end, the use of partnering, now commonplace in a variety of industry sectors has been encouraged in the UK construction industry. However, in many respects project environments represent the antithesis of current thinking in partnership development and an unusual and difficult application, particularly at the lower levels in the supply chain. This paper, therefore, is concerned with evaluating the progress the UK construction industry has made in its adoption of partnering, how it is likely to develop in the future and what the implications might be for the industry¿s suppliers. The partnering experiences of Main Contractors with Main Subcontractors for structural steel products are examined and a conceptual framework of the success factors presented and discussed. Critically, clients and not suppliers were found to be major barriers to the industry¿s adoption of partnering.
    • Implementation of virtual manufacturing by a technology licensing company

      Webster, Margaret; Sugden, David M. (2003)
      The paper considers the implementation of a virtual manufacturing system as an alternative to outward technology licensing in a high technology industrial sector. Brief theoretical definition and description of the two strategy options is provided to give background and context. This is followed by empirical material from a longitudinal case study of a company that has developed a virtual manufacturing system in addition to its pre-existing outward technology licensing business stream. A summary account of the company history and development is followed by description of the virtual manufacturing proposal. Analysis of this identified a number of competencies that would be required in order to succeed. The final part of the paper describes the company's response to this analysis and discusses early implementation of the virtual system. It is shown that implementation of the proposal has represented a positive response to the business challenges facing the company.
    • A model of B2B e-commerce, based on connectivity and purpose

      Webster, Margaret; Cullen, Andrea J. (2007)
      Purpose - To present a complete and comprehensive model by which business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce transactions for sales and purchases between organisations may be categorised. Design/methodology/approach - Literature from the e-commerce and operations management fields was studied, and the findings were synthesised to develop a preliminary conceptual model of B2B interaction. The conceptual model was tested empirically using a qualitative research procedure involving focus groups. From this, its structure and content were validated and refined. Findings - The research found that the developed model, incorporating nine exclusive e-commerce trading scenarios, covers all B2B selling and purchase transactions, which suggests that it is comprehensive. It further found that trading occurs in each of the nine scenarios within the model, thus suggesting that it is complete. These findings support the conclusion that the model represents a valid taxonomy for the classification of B2B e-commerce transactions. Research limitations/implications - Although the literature findings are international, the empirical study was restricted to the UK. The model has been validated through this research, and now provides a framework by which the mechanisms of B2B trade may be further investigated. Practical implications - The model allows commercial organisations and researchers to recognise and understand the complexity and multiple dimensions of e-commerce use for B2B sales and purchases. It provides a framework onto which individual trading scenarios may be mapped. The framework offers guidance to operations and supply chain managers in organisations as to the most appropriate approach to adopt in particular e-commerce implementation projects and supply chain transactions. Originality/value - This paper furthers knowledge in the areas of e-commerce and operations management by proposing a new model of B2B interaction. This provides a comprehensive means of classifying all available transaction types, the characteristics of these and the likely technology used within them. It offers the ability, systematically, to identify, map and understand all available B2B e-commerce trading mechanisms.
    • The use of e-commerce in the value chain: an empirical investigation.

      Cullen, Andrea J.; Webster, Margaret (2009-10-05)
      Key areas of focus at the Conference. Supply and Value Chain Management Global Operations and Supply Chains Operations Strategy and Innovation Logistics and Physical Distribution Inventory and Operations Planning Environment and Sustainability Performance Management Purchasing and Supply Service Operations Collaboration