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Vendor Relationship Management: Re-engineering the Business Process Through B2B Infrastructure to Accelerate the Growth of Small Businesses in Geographically Isolated Areas. POST 302 (ICS Conference Room) Thursday, December 6, 3:00-3:30pm.

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Vendor Relationship Management:Re-engineering the Business Process Through B2B Infrastructure to Accelerate the Growth of Small Businesses in Geographically Isolated Areas

POST 302 (ICS Conference Room)Thursday, December 6, 3:00-3:30pm

William AlbrittonCollaborative Software Development Laboratory

Department of Information and Computer Sciences


This research on Vendor Relationship Management (VRM) explores the requirements needed to create a new business process, and the associated technological infrastructure, for local businesses in Hawai’i that wish to exploit the global reach of the Internet. In order to understand the requirements and feasibility of this approach, Joy Agustin and I met with various groups of people that included the host of a virtual mall, a financial service provider, two shipping providers, several local companies, and two e-commerce research organizations.

From these meetings, an initial set of specifications was defined. These specifications were used to build a software prototype called the VRM System. The intent was to have a metamediary provide a virtual mall and advertising, vendors or virtual merchants manage product inventory and prepare orders for fulfillment, a shipping provider supply order fulfillment and order tracking, and a financial institution distribute funds.

Once the business process was defined and the software prototype created, two business owners and three employees of a local bank were asked to critique the process and prototype. They believed the main benefit of the process was that each partner could concentrate on what they do best. On the other hand, the system could be improved by adding product sales reports and daily logs. The business process should include specifications for contracts between the various partners and more details about the flow of money between the partners.

This diagram illustrates the VRM process of ordering a product. After a customer fills out an order on the metamediary’s web page (1), the order is sent to the VRM system (2), which generates an order email with shipping notification to the virtual merchant (3). The product is packed and given to the shipping provider (4), who delivers the product to the customer (5). Meanwhile, the order’s confirmation number is sent to the VRM system (6), which sends it to the metamediary (7), to pass onto the customer (8). At this point, the credit card is charged, and the funds are sent to the financial institution (9), which receives the price breakdown from the VRM system (10), and distributes the funds to the respective parties (11).