A Case Study: The Success of BuildOnline. A Business to-Business Internet Exchange in a Highly Competitive Market.

Moran, Maurice (2002) A Case Study: The Success of BuildOnline. A Business to-Business Internet Exchange in a Highly Competitive Market. Undergraduate thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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The Internet has changed the face of how people all over the world view communication, entertainment, buying and selling. The past few years has seen an explosion in information technology. It has had a great impact on the world. The Internet is used in many aspects of our daily lives. E-commerce has become a very important aspect of business and cannot be ignored by companies. E-business has many advantages over traditional methods of business. It can dramatically cut costs for suppliers and customers. Transactions are quicker and easier. People are no longer inhibited by their location. Competition between companies in different countries drives down prices and improves customer service.

In the mid-1990's the Internet emerged as a less costly alternative to the expensive computing networks that were required with the previous generation of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. Companies like Dell and Cisco began using the Intemet to link to their customers and suppliers without having to build costly networks and customized data interfaces. These companies experienced shocking results from their Internet business models. For example, Dell was able to speed up its supply chain processes to the point where it had negative working capital-it could collect payment on a customer order before it paid suppliers for parts that were typically delivered within hours of receipt of the order.

In the construction industry most tasks are now managed on computer, including production drawings, material schedules and purchase orders. However despite the potential benefits arising from that, as it currently stands nearly everything has to be printed out in a hard copy format and circulated to other parties. This not only wastes time, leads to more mistakes in information transfer, but also limits the amount of vendors that can be contacted for any material selection process or bid.

In the late 199O's, a group of small software companies began offering Internet-based procurement software that could create and manage online marketplaces for buyers and sellers in the supply chain. These marketplaces were known as "vertical markets" because they linked the different levels of the supply chain. Despite the obvious advantages created by B2B e-commerce, the construction industry was very slow to react. An industry survey by the Construction
Products Association revealed that, by early 2000 only 5% of business activity in the European construction industry was conducted via ecommerce. Most of this activity was done by manufacturers in the handling of information requests and bidding on supply contracts.

Many industry watchers believe that the construction industry was too conservative to rapidly adopt new ways of doing business. Buyer-seller relationships were slow to change, and industry participants were often suspicious of players who attempted to change the way business was done. The Construction Products Association survey revealed that 86% of respondents felt that the lack of "the right culture" was the most significant barrier to the development of e-commerce within the European construction industry.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > Specific Industries > Construction Industry
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources > ZA4150 Computer Network Resources > The Internet
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics. Nuclear engineering > Telecommunications > The Internet

H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > Electronic Commerce
Divisions: School of Business > BA (Honours) in European Business and Languages
Depositing User: SINEAD CORCORAN
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2010 11:42
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2015 08:43

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