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Study: Manufacturers, Distributors Disagree On E-Business

Compiled By Tonya Vinas A new study shows that manufacturers and distributors are at odds when it comes to the presence of e-business in their relationships. The study, conducted by Philadelphia-based Pembroke Consulting Inc. on behalf of the National Assn. Of Wholesaler-Distributors, Washington, is based on 1,600 responses from manufacturers, distributors, and in-depth interviews with leading supply-chain and distribution-channel experts. The findings show that a majority of distributors are certain the Internet will not replace their sales and communications services, while manufacturers are unsure of this. In addition:

  • 56% of surveyed manufacturers expect online exchanges to generate loyal customers by 2006, while 60% of distributors doubt online exchanges will attract customers.
  • 67% of manufacturers expect distributors to stock less inventory and rely on other supply-chain partners to ship to customers for them by 2006, while 47% of distributors believe they will outsource logistics by 2006. Adam J. Fein, Pembroke president, said this disconnect will slow adoption of e-business technology and practices for both groups.
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