B2B e-commerce could save firms trillions, according to study

Companies worldwide could save on aggregate $2.3 trillion a year by using the Internet to purchase resources ranging from office supplies to plane tickets, according to a study. The report, by Boston-based analysts Aberdeen Group, is an uncommon piece of positive news for the moribund business-to-business, or B2B, e-commerce sector. At the height of the Internet boom, numerous firms, including Ariba and Commerce One were launched on a promise to save large corporations millions with their "e-procurement" software that automates purchase orders.Aberdeen studied over 25 multi-national corporations since August and found that the firms employing e-procurement are beginning to realise savings."It really does offer companies an ability to cut costs off the bottom line. And in this economy, that's where companies want to be," said Frances Howarth, research director for Aberdeen's e-business group.Howarth said that in 2001, eight to 10 percent of the largest 5,000 companies were using e-procurement software. By 2003, she estimated it could grow to 80-90 percent.

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