B2B E-Procurement Beyond MRO?
Electronic product catalogs are the prime instrument in the information phase of procurement transactions. Likewise it is a vital interest of suppliers, thus the companies that create electronic catalogs, to be able to describe products in full detail, according to requirements of customers and in a manner that supports and influences procurement decisions. However, the main object of catalog-based transaction systems are standardized products of a limited specification and complexity. A common term is MRO goods (maintenance, repair and operations). Catalog data is exchanged between companies with the help of XML-based catalog standards. Each standard contains a more or less powerful product model that represents products through data structures and elements. Which types of products can be described depends on the range, complexity and restrictions of the respective product model. This paper aims at analyzing how these XML-based catalog standards model complex products and therefore answers the question if B2B e-procurement beyond MRO is possible.
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