Benefits, Strategies and Barriers of E-procurement Adoption for Swedish Food Wholesalers : Case studies with three Swedish food wholesale companies

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för ekonomistyrning och logistik (ELO)

Abstract: Background: Procurement as a main part in supply chain management is supported through information technology traditionally. With the usage of Internet and e-commerce technologies, procurement is experiencing a revolution from a conventional paper-based process to e-procurement. E-procurement is increasingly becoming recognized due to its abilities to improve the management of business operation, which in supply chain allows organizations to take use of Internet source to procure indirect and direct materials, and handle value-added service such as quality validation. However, although e-procurement solutions are adopted by many industries currently, no previous study is about e-procurement adoption in Swedish food companies. Purpose: The purpose of this thesis is to study the adoption of e-procurement from the perspective of Swedish food wholesalers. Through exploring the e-procurement adoptions with the aspects of benefits, strategies and barriers in three food wholesale companies, similarities and differences in these three aspects are analyzed to find the current situations in e-procurement adoption settings in Swedish food wholesale companies. Method: This thesis was conducted by using qualitative semi-structured interviews, and a deductive approach. Both primary and secondary data are collected. Three sampling examples are involved in for a multiple and holistic case study. Conclusion: Through the study of this thesis, the most important benefits with e-procurement adoption that Swedish food wholesalers can perceive include planning control, time savings and cost savings. With e-procurement solutions, accurate data information can better forecast demands of customers. However, cost savings could only be achieved obviously after adopting e-procurement more than three years. Almost all food wholesale companies use both direct and indirect purchases with e-procurement adoption. Also, independent portal or online trading communities are not the mainstream for food wholesalers. Swedish food wholesalers play the role in both buy-side and sell-side, and webshops are owned by all of them. As for e-procurement approach, wait and see approach with e-procurement adoption are more attractive for Swedish food wholesalers from a strategic perspective. Aggressive approach could be used for the food wholesale companies that are in development stage. After researching, the most serious barriers for Swedish food wholesalers could be low assurances with problems such as suppliers standards, services or delivery capabilities, two or more systems with overlapped functions, and unstable e-procurement systems.

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