09 March 2000 | Elizabeth Bellamy
An office and IT supplies firm has claimed that recent changes to the dominant formats of e-commerce have made life easier for suppliers, writes Elizabeth Bellamy.
Des Campbell, major account manager at the Orion Group, said that suppliers trading their wares electronically were now able to provide more detailed and up-to-date information about their products.
"The fast-moving nature of the IT industry used to mean that many of our catalogues were out of date even before they came off the printing presses," Campbell told conference delegates to eLink 2000 in London last month.
He added that e-commerce had allowed Orion to become more customer focused. "With paper-based catalogues, we try to cut down on product descriptions as much as possible," he said, "but now buyers can have more information - the flowery stuff if they want it."
Peter Moldrum, head of supplier relations at BT, agreed. E-commerce had enabled suppliers to offer buyers content that was more market-orientated, better structured and of a higher quality, he said.
Orion has seen its business - of which it conducts 30 per cent electronically - grow by 20 per cent since it went online last September, said Campbell. The firm has been a supplier to BT for 14 years.