How does the supply chain differ on a Business-to-Consumer (B2C) site compared to a Business-to-Business (B2B) site? The answer to this question, along with a few other key points, will be addressed in the remainder of this paper. Supply chain will be defined, as will the terms B2B and B2C in order to provide a more solid understanding of the differences between the two. Next, the difference between the ways a supply chain operates on a B2C site compared to a B2B site will be explained and specifics will be given.
What is a supply chain? The definition of supply chain differs depending upon the source; however, the core principle remains the same. According to BNET (2008), a supply chain is “the network of manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, and retailers, who turn raw materials into finished goods and services and deliver them to consumers.” Supply chains are an integral part of business. With proper relationship maintenance between the organizations throughout the chain, benefits such as competitive advantage, reduced costs, and loyal customer bases can be seen.
The invention of the Internet has modified and enhanced the supply chain performance of businesses today. The Internet allows companies to conduct traditional supply chain activities via the Web; however, companies can also enhance their supply chain performance by conducting business via the Web. UPS is one example of a company using the Internet to enhance its supply chain performance. How, you ask? UPS uses the Internet to allow its customers to track their packages, which gives consumers piece of mind and helps to create a loyal customer base. (Chopra & Van Mieghem, 2000)
Both business-to-consumer and business-to-business sites use the Internet to their advantage when conducting business. To begin the discussion of the various ways each business platform conducts e-business, a brief overview of each type will be given.
Business-to-consumer, or B2C, e-commerce focuses...