Understanding B2B e-hubs and the value they provide

There is currently a trend in which companies’ use of B2B e-hub integration is increasing due to the benefits that B2B e-hubs can offer. The continuously expanding Internet is also a factor that speeds up the integration, allowing companies to interact and trade 24/7, eliminating the barrier of different time zones when doing business globally. It is also said that the traditional physical intermediary will be replaced by B2B e-hubs which connects buyers and suppliers in a virtual marketplace and facilitates commerce in a global environment. Based on this, the purpose of this thesis is to provide a better understanding of the use of B2B e-hubs. In order to reach this purpose, two research questions asked how B2B e-hubs can be described, as well as the value they provide. Based on the research questions a literature review was conducted, resulting in a conceptual framework that was used to guide data collection. A qualitative, case study methodology was used, relying on interviews to collect data. The findings indicate that catalogues as a trading mechanism is most suitable for B2B e-hubs in the MRO industry and that storefront and product catalogue fees are important for the e-hub to generate revenues as well. Moreover the findings showed that it is the quality of the core service which generated the most value and not the value-added services. It was also found that by participating in a B2B e-hub, companies can reduce procurement costs, product costs and increase capacity utilization in their core activity.

Author: Nilsson, Daniel; Lundqvist, Krister

Source: Luleå University of Technology

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