Compiled ByDeborah Austin Lower-tier automotive suppliers --- ones that use electronic business methods much less extensively than first-tier suppliers and OEMs -- may be poised for change, suggests a study by the Center for Automotive Research at nonprofit research institution Altarum, Ann Arbor, Mich. While only 11.8% of lower-tier players use e-commerce capabilities as criteria in choosing their own suppliers, 67.4% plan this requirement within three years. This may prove imperative, as 33.9% say their Tier-One customers now use such criteria themselves, and 77.4% expect this within three years. E-business-enabled demand planning and management will be "required for success," say 47% -- as well as e-procurement applications (39.3%). The study of 160-plus supplier representatives -- sponsored by supply-chain execution firm SupplySolution -- received execution support from online survey company Amplitude Research.