Nearly half of US companies expect to do less than 20 per cent of corporate purchasing online in the next two years, according to a report released today [Monday] by Jupiter Research.
The report, which surveyed US procurement managers, says that although firms understand the business case for online procurement, practical considerations hold them back from adopting it.
It states: "Although their bosses tout the benefits, the buyers in the trenches are held back by lack of knowledge, lack of trust and, most of all, the fact that their current, favoured suppliers do not transact online."
Indeed, maintaining existing relationships with preferred suppliers is cited by more than half of those surveyed as preventing them from moving to online transactions.
E-procurement evangelists said typical questions put to them include, "What's my supplier going to think when I do a reserve auction? What's going to happen to the relationships I have? When exactly should we use it?"
Jupiter analyst, John-Gabriel Henry, said: "It is not that procurement agents don't get it - more than half said that reduced costs, quicker product searches and reduced cycle times are important benefits.
"But without the security of knowing their existing suppliers are online, better knowledge of how to use online procurement, and a higher level of trust, these value propositions are simply not compelling enough."
"For the purchasing agents, it's all about relationships, consistency, quality and reliability. It sounds so obvious but we've forgotten it," Henry added.
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