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Business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce will grow at aggressive rates through 2004, causing fundamental changes to the way businesses do business with each other, according to GartnerGroup, a leading IT advisory firm.

According to Gartner, the worldwide B2B market is forecast to grow from $145 billion in 1999 to $7.29 trillion in 2004. By 2004, B2B e-commerce will represent 7 percent of the forecasted $105 trillion total global sales transaction. (See Figure 1, Worldwide Business-to-Business Market Forecast, 1999-2004.)

The catalyst for B2B e-commerce will be the activities of so-called “e-market makers”. According to Gartner, an “e-market maker” is an organization that develops a B2B, Internet-based, e-marketplace of buyers and sellers within a particular industry, geographic region, or affinity group. Among the best-known e-market makers today are Chemdex, VerticalNet, Altra Energy Technologies, Paper Exchange, Instill, PlasticsNet, and Commerce One’s

Gartner projects that these e-market makers will facilitate $2.71 trillion e-commerce sales transactions in 2004, representing 37 percent of the overall B2B market, and 2.6 percent of forecasted worldwide sales transactions.

Worldwide Business-to-Business E-Commerce Market Forecast, 1999-2004
Worldwide Business-to-Business E-Commerce Market Forecast, 1999-2004 (Source: GartnerGroup)

GartnerGroup analysts add that e-market makers will have a critical but subtle impact on transactions that flow through brick-and-mortars’ sell-side initiatives. These sell-side initiatives are defined as including extranets, B2B Web storefronts, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), and flat file transfer over the Internet, as well as related e-commerce activity that allows a seller to leverage the IP network as a channel to its buyers.

The impact of e-market makers and the evolving business models surrounding the multitrillion dollar B2B e-commerce market will be explored in GartnerGroup’s soon-to-be-released suite of B2B e-Market Makers advisory services. For more information on these services, contact the GartnerGroup at

Going global pays off

Annual WEF, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu study says globalization helps companies beat S&P500.

Want your company’s financial performance to outpace the S&P 500?

Well, then, going global may be the answer.

A new study shows that going global can have big payoffs. The study, released from the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, measures the impact that going global has on corporate enterprise values. It shows a distinct correlation between going global and successful financial performance. This year’s findings from the WEF/Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu “Innovative Leaders in Globalization” multiyear study show that 84% of companies that ranked highly, according to a proprietary Globalization Index, have outperformed the S & P 500 over the last five years.

The Globalization Index was derived from results of a diagnostic survey completed by 25 of the world’s leading companies. It is designed to help companies gauge how global they are in relation to their peers. The index ranks six organizational capabilities: governance and responsibility; strategy and finance; marketing, sales and service; operations and technology; research and development; and human resources management. The framework categories were selected based on their respective role in affecting ultimate shareholder value.

Other key findings from this year’s “Innovative Leaders in Globalization” study were:

  • Global leadership is key to global success: Senior executives and board members must have global business experience to succeed at globalization in the long run
  • The marketing and R & D functions are the least global functions at most of the companies surveyed
  • The Internet is fundamentally realigning perceptions about markets and customers, as business opportunities that were once considered too remote due to distance and language are now prime targets for doing business

The findings reflect the second phase of a multiyear collaboration between the WEF and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, the two organizations say. Last year, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and the WEF presented the results of the first phase of the program: a globalization framework and a common globalization lexicon with the aim to demystify the term and clarify what globalization means. Next year’s focus will be to isolate and measure those distinct practices associated with going global that create value. For more information on the study, contact Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu at

In virtual world of e-commerce, fulfillment woes are quite real

New consumer’s guide offers help for e-unfulfilled.

In virtual world of e-commerce, fulfillment woes are quite real New consumer’s guide offers help for e-unfulfilled. E-tailing grew rapidly in 1999, but the inability of many Internet retailers to meet orders on a timely basis remains a problem. Many terrific Web site builders have found that dissatisfied, angry customers are real, not virtual, according to Armstrong & Associates, publishers of a new report on e-fullfillment.

Most e-tailers and many businesses initiating Web alternatives are turning to third-party fulfillment companies to solve this problem. Identifying the best fulfillment providers has been a challenge that will be addressed with the publication of “Who’s Who in e-Commerce Fulfillment? Armstrong’s Guide to e-Fulfillment Services Providers.”

According to its publisher, the new guide to fulfillment companies provides a detailed roadmap for businesses and retail consumers looking for help in the e-fulfillment arena. Comparative information is provided on service capabilities, company sizes, key personnel, software, and current customers. In addition, case studies are presented to assist customers in identifying the prospect’s best suited to their operations.

Traditional third-party fulfillment companies that are adjusting rapidly to the new environment are NFI, GATX and USF Logistics. Smaller companies like Matthew Bender are also catching on. FedEx and UPS have modified their services quickly to accommodate their e-commerce package customers, the report says.

“Who’s Who in e-Commerce Fulfillment” contains detailed information on 60 companies and lists more than 100 companies. Some of these services providers have been in business for a few months — others have been performing fulfillment services for decades and are now adding e-commerce capabilities. Service matrices allow for quick comparisons of provider capabilities.

The guide is more than 170 pages long; it sells for $225 (hard copy only) or $495 (hard copy and diskette).

For more information, contact Armstrong & Associates at (800) 525-3915 or e-mail

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