European Retailers Enhance Supply Chain Efficiency With eProcurement Solutions, Says IDC

MILAN – APRIL 14, 2003 – According to an IDC study on ebusiness in the Western European retail sector, retailers are quickly learning the value of developing strategic working relationships with vendor partners to improve supply chain efficiency.


"Technology is a key facilitator and the Internet a great enabler," said Cinzia Rinelli, senior research analyst with IDC's European Vertical Markets group.

"Technology has enabled retailers to reduce distances, integrate and connect value chains, and provide a rapidly increasing amount of information for storage, transfer, and use. Meanwhile, the Internet is emerging as a truly global channel and providing retailers with unique opportunities, as well as challenges, for conducting business with both consumers and other businesses."

This IDC study finds the following: – Retailers are moving towards technology enhancements and are increasing their focus on Web-based technologies, especially those aimed at improving their supply chain management and their relationships with partners and suppliers.

The evolution of procurement strategies in retail is driving a focus on Web integration of existing EDI systems.

Retailers are expected to invest in XML applications to enhance connectivity and accurate data transfer, increase efficiency, and reduce costs and timing.

Vendors focusing on retail must help their customers envisage and create a strategy for ebusiness implementation through balancing the trade-off between new IT implementations that leverage on past investments and pressing internal cost cutting.

The eBusiness in Western European Retail: Best Practices in eProcurement (IDC #PW01K) study provides an overview of ebusiness adoption patterns in the European retail sector. The main aim of this analysis is to understand how the economic environment and business trends are impacting the approach towards the management of procurement and the uptake of advanced IT solutions for the automation of this process.

After analyzing the retail market in Western Europe, the study looks at two case studies of European retailers that have recently deployed advanced electronic procurement systems, highlighting the benefits and challenges encountered during the implementation process.

The last section offers an overview of IT trends in Western European retail, focusing on ebusiness and a future outlook on the uptake of ebusiness among Western European retail organizations.

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About IDC

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