24 April 2003 | David Arminas
Reverse auctions are successful, but the real test for e-commerce is its ability to improve supplier relationships, according to a senior US procurement figure.
Daniel Enneking, vice-president of global operations and chief procurement officer at NCR Corporation, told the Conference Board's 2003 Electronic Procurement Conference in Chicago not to get carried away with the success of e-auctions.
He told SM: "The biggest challenge is expanding the use of electronic capabilities in the supply chain to improve supplier performance and management."
Enneking warned that while e-procurement allowed greater tracking of costs, it was just an enabler for efficiencies. Suitable processes and people skills must be in place before electronic systems were implemented.
E-procurement within NCR, which has an annual procurement budget of about $3.6 billion on revenues of nearly $5.6 billion, had freed up his staff for more strategic work.
Enneking said NCR, well-known as a maker of cash machines, was working on extending e-procurement to include the sharing of manufacturing and design information.
Robert Waugh, chief sales and marketing officer at software supplier B2e Markets, said using software for supplier management was the next big step for companies after reverse auctions.