The Use of Emerging Technology to Create Competitive Advantage Within the Business Environment

Topics: Supply chain management, Procurement, Management Pages: 9 (3027 words) Published: September 8, 2012
The Use of Emerging Technology
to Create Competitive Advantage
within the Business Environment

Tim Dodd

Table of Contents
Emerging technology enhancing inter-organisational relationships3-4 Emerging technology creating more integrated supply chains5 Efficient procurement processes through the use of emerging technology6-7 Creating a culture that complies with technological procurement processes7-8 Conclusion8-9


In today’s business environment, it is essential that companies adopt processes that incorporate various forms of technology in order to be competitive within the market. Research has indicated that implementing an inter-organisational information system greatly improves the efficiency of the procurement processes (Dai & Kouffman, 2002). More recently, businesses have realised the potential advantages of using emerging technologies to assist with the purchasing and decision making processes. As such, the application of web-based technologies to business transactions has resulted in considerable growth of business-to-business (B2B) online markets and sales (Dai & Kouffman, 2002). B2B refers to the procurement of products and/or services from one business to another. For example, a transaction between a wholesaler and a manufacturer is referred to as B2B transaction. This transactional process is not an isolated act or event. Instead, organisational buying involves several steps, each of which involves a specific decision from when a need is established, through to after sales evaluation (Lewin et al, cited in Hutt & Speh, 2010). This is a long-winded, complex process, involving a considerable amount of time and resources. In recent years, businesses have realised the potential for using technology to enhance inter-organisational relationships. Emerging technology has enabled businesses to collaborate throughout the buying process and as such, businesses are rethinking the way they interact with each other, choosing to develop more integrated supply chains. By doing so, they have been able to develop more efficient procurement processes that work towards obtaining a competitive advantage within the marketplace. Whilst technology offers a number of benefits to the procurement process, there is still the need for compliance from those using it. In order to experience the full extent of the benefits, there needs to be a high level of compliance from the users throughout the supply chain network (Brandon-Jones & Carey, 2011). As such, the focus of procurement has shifted to a more collaborative process involving a number of businesses all working together to achieve a competitive advantage within the marketplace.

Emerging technology enhancing inter-organisational relationships Emerging technology has enabled businesses to enhance their inter-organisational relationships. Many companies have been able to improve existing relationships by enabling an increased level of integration and interdependence between supply chain members (Malone et al, Riggins & Rhee, cited in Icasati-Johanson & Fleck, 2003). Technology has enabled more effective communication, which has led to an increased level of transparency and made collaboration more achievable throughout the supply chain. Furthermore, technology has led to more cooperative relationships between buyers and suppliers. This is imperative in today’s business environment. Improved communication has contributed to enhancing inter-organisational relationships. The ability to exchange, precise, pertinent and easily understood information, openly and promptly is essential for developing high quality supplier-customer relationships (Anderson & Weitz, cited in Icasati-Johanson & Fleck, 2003). Various web-based technological innovations such as teleconferencing and video calling have made communicating in a real-time manner more...
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