Dear Readers,

It is truly incredible how technology has become the biggest driver for how we do business. The latest technology wave ­ which seem to arrive on a quarterly basis ­ is B2B exchanges. These B2B exchanges are poised to revolutionize the business supply chain, creating dramatic cost savings and speeding up a corporation's time to market. All companies within the supply chain will benefit as a result of better forecasting and lower inventories as they will feed directly into the production plans of their customers. Most large companies will rely on the dominance of their brands while outsourcing most of the production of their products. The major hurdle for all companies is to be able to build a network that is capable of connecting all their suppliers and providing direct connections to their production and planning systems. The hardware technology is there, and the software is rapidly being developed to provide the functionality.

The claim being made by Grady Means and David Schneider in their book MetaCapitalism is that we are just at the threshold of a new age where B2B and the Internet will propel profits that will carry the stock market to 100,000. It is hard to believe that these large companies who have competed for almost 100 years will suddenly become great partners willing to share the basic supplies required to build their products. If there is a shortage of parts, who gets them? We are all familiar with the difficulties between departments in the same company when sharing resources. What will result when we expect staunch competitors such as GM and Ford to cooperate? Only time will tell!

Will e-business be able to transcend the development of customer relationships where trust and respect were built by human interaction? If anything provides a roadblock to the vision of metacapitalism, it will be the traditional communications issues and problems that are prevalent in most corporations today.

This month's issue focuses on the current industry trends and how markets are changing. This will be an annual focus every August for DM Review. Let me know what you think!

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