E-Commerce for Healthcare Supply Procurement

D Arbietman 1, E Lirov, R Lirov, Y Lirov

PMID: 11338910


The total investment of the more than fifty e-commerce startups that entered healthcare supply chain management in the past three years has surpassed $500 million. However, none of these early entrants has delivered on the initial promise of restructuring the entire supply chain, replacing the traditional intermediaries, or at least achieving substantial revenue. This article offers a new business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce solution classification paradigm and uses it to analyze the functional requirements for an effective and, efficient healthcare supply chain marketplace. The analysis exposes several fundamental B2B market complexities that prevent the early entrants from creating a solid customer base and reaching desired liquidity goals. It also identifies several technological solutions to the problems mentioned. These new technologies create a comprehensive and symmetric order-matching engine that is capable of aggregating buy orders, requesting quotes from multiple vendors simultaneously, and negotiating along multiple criteria.