Survey Shows Suppliers Are Techno-Savvy

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New survey data suggest that despite a reputation for being technology laggards, builders and their suppliers are steadily moving forward with e-commerce and back-office data interchange.

October 01, 2002

New survey data suggest that despite a reputation for being technology laggards, builders and their suppliers are steadily moving forward with e-commerce and back-office data interchange.

A survey of technical managers at 100 of the leading wood product suppliers finds a surprisingly high level of business-to-business systems integration with their customers, including builders.

More than two-thirds, 68%, say they have a strategy for e-commerce, and 60% say they have integrated or are planning to integrate their back-end systems with customers.

Of the 45% of companies that already have the equipment and processes in place, most have added B2B back-office capabilities within the past two years despite slackening technology demand elsewhere in the economy.

"We see the primary benefit of business-to-business integration in lower inventories for our customers and our ability to eliminate manual processes," says Charlie Wells, a manager of sourcing and supply at a Georgia-Pacific Corp. plant.

The survey was sponsored by software maker ForestExpress LLC and conducted by independent researcher Stat One Research.

B2B Systems: Benefits and Obstacles


Benefits cited by users of B2B integration
Faster transactions, time savings
51%
Increased data accuracy
35%
Cost savings
34%
Convenience
15%
Lower inventory
9%
Less paperwork
9%
Obstacles to B2B systems integration cited by nonusers
Compatibility with buyer/supplier systems
22%
Upfront costs
21%
Buyers/suppliers not prepared for e-commerce
12%
Security concerns
11%
Lack of people/time required to integrate systems
10%


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