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The Supply Chain B2B vs B2C The purpose of this paper is to examine the differences between the business-to-business B2B and the business-to-consumer B2C supply chains The first step is to define the terms supply chain B2B and B2C and then compare the supply chain characteristics in each business type The Supply Chain A supply chain is a coordinated system of entities activities information and resources involved in moving a product or service from supplier to customer The entities of a supply chain typically consist of manufacturers service providers distributors and retail outlets Wikipedia 2005 B2B Business-to-business B2B is the exchange of products services or information between businesses rather than between businesses and consumers SearchCIO 2006 or e-commerce between businesses Electronic technologies and most importantly the Internet have drastically changed the B2B marketplace Procurement processes or the purchase and sale of materials and supplies between businesses and a key element in the B2B supply chain have completely changed and are considered to be fluid in the most competitive systems In the past most procurement activities were slow and labor intensive taking place by telephone mail fax or in-person Now they are achieved through highly integrated and often real-time systems that communicate worldwide across many different platforms in many different languages and coping with many different types of currency As an example W W Grainger is one of the first B2B suppliers with an online presence Grainger began integrating technology into its supply chain operations very early starting in 1991 with the first digital maintenance repair and operating MRO equipment catalogs Grainger supplies businesses worldwide with MRO products via a sophisticated system of electronic ordering processing fulfillment and delivery Graingers supply chain includes all of the suppliers and manufacturers upstream from its website who fabricate the supplies and equipment that it sells B2C Business-to-consumer is basically retailing on the web It is the method that online businesses use to sell their products directly to consumers
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