There's Profit in Here Somewhere

Collaboration continues to garner corporate attention

New York  June 7, 2001  Companies across all industries are continuing to aggressively embrace collaborative commerce capabilities, according to survey results published in Deloitte Consulting's report Collaborative Commerce: Going Private to Get Results, released today. Surprisingly, the survey found that the slowing economy has accelerated the appeal of collaborative commerce. Fifty-four percent of respondents stated that the existing economic conditions had increased the importance of collaborative commerce initiatives to their company.

The rapid adoption of collaborative commerce is, in part, being accelerated by current economic conditions as companies try to improve both their operations and competitive advantages, said John Ferreira, principal, Deloitte Consulting. Internet-based collaborative commerce has emerged as the most powerful technique available today for addressing both operational as well as strategic business transformation improvements.

However, while businesses across the board acknowledge the importance of B2B collaborative commerce, they are under few illusions about the technical and organizational challenges to implementation. Although technology issues were mentioned frequently, respondents said that a number of non-technical challenges were actually more important, and needed to be overcome before collaborative commerce can be fully realized:

  • The ability of organizations to adapt to new models and approaches (43 percent)

  • The internal resistance to change (41 percent)

  • Lack of internal skills to conduct collaborative commerce (38 percent)

  • Lack of incentive structures to encourage collaborative commerce adoption (20 percent)

"The responses have shown that successful collaborative commerce implementation involves much more than technology, said Ferreira. In the past few years, many companies mistakenly believed that technology infrastructure was the single key element for B2B. The survey shows that companies now see the need to take a balanced, integrated approach to find the true path to rapid ROI. This means, for example, aligning c-commerce initiatives with corporate strategy, enrolling trading partners and re-constructing cross-enterprise business processes. The survey responses underscore the need to have a complete and holistic approach to c-commerce.

Collaborative Commerce: Going Private to Get Results is based on research from the Deloitte Consulting B2B Online Collaborative Commerce Survey, which was undertaken by Deloitte Consulting to measure businesses' collaborative commerce perceptions, expectations and intentions during the next year. For the purposes of the survey, collaborative commerce was defined as companies using the Internet to work collaboratively with suppliers and customers for the following processes: planning and forecasting, inventory and supply-chain management, product design and development, manufacturing, and logistics.

The Deloitte Consulting B2B Online Collaborative Commerce Survey was conducted in late spring 2001, and its findings are based on the responses of 356 participants representing a cross-section of major industries of all sizes from around the globe.

For a copy of the report, visit Deloitte Consulting's Web site.