UK companies fail to get to grips with web-enabled supply chains

Manufacturers in the UK recognise the importance of e-business but are not making real use of the technology to control their supply chains, a survey has warned this week. The research, conducted for the Softworld Supply Chain Conference with interBiz, the e-business applications division of Computer Associates, revealed that 64% of the companies surveyed had […]

Manufacturers in the UK recognise the importance of e-business but are not making real use of the technology to control their supply chains, a survey has warned this week.

The research, conducted for the Softworld Supply Chain Conference with interBiz, the e-business applications division of Computer Associates, revealed that 64% of the companies surveyed had an e-business strategy. However, while 35% claimed to have a web-enabled supply chain, only 4% actually allowed their customers and suppliers direct access to their systems.

Richard Waller, marketing manager at interBiz, said firms in the UK are trailing badly behind those in the US, as many think they are involved in e-business when in reality they are not.

`A lot of people are aware of the importance of e-business, but very few are actually carrying it out. It’s another hot topic that is just thrown over the wall for the IT department to get on with,’ he said.

According to Waller a large proportion of companies simply use the internet as a communications device, by setting up a catalogue or a static page on their site, rather than conducting genuine e-business.