NAPM InfoEdge
February 1997, Vol. 2 No. 6

Understanding Electronic Commerce

Table of Contents
  • The Basics of Electronic Commerce Members Only Content
    During the next several years, electronic commerce — doing business over the Internet and private intranet networks — will fundamentally change the way purchasers and supply managers conduct business. Electronic commerce will cease to be a novel resource, developing into a value-added process and a necessary means of organizational survival. The purchasing and supply management function has the potential to become one of the greatest beneficiaries of electronic commerce and its related technological improvements. The U.S. Department of Commerce predicts online purchases nationwide via the Internet and private networks will grow from about $200 million in 1995 to nearly $5 billion by 1998.

  • Understanding Security Issues Members Only Content
    The explosive growth of the Internet has caused security and privacy issues to come to the fore. What many would consider private or sensitive information is being made increasingly available through search tools and services. A purchaser who provides information on the Internet cannot always be assured that it will not be made available to external interests.

  • Contracting Online Members Only Content
    Because it is a relatively new and fast-growing medium, many legal issues concerning electronic commerce are being determined from day to day. In addition to security and privacy, issues being considered include:

  • A Step-by-Step Guide to Implementing Electronic Commerce Members Only Content
    The issue with electronic commerce is not "if," but "when." It's safe to say that eventually many, if not almost all, purchasing and supply management operations will migrate to the Internet and intranets. Therefore, purchasing and supply management must determine how, and at what rate of implementation, it will work with internal staff and customers, external customers, and suppliers to achieve an efficient and effective system of electronic commerce.


James T. Parker, C.P.M.
James Parker is director of purchasing with the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, where he is responsible for the procurement of over $100 million in goods and services annually. He is a member of the National Association of Educational Buyers (NAEB), the NAPM Nonmanufacturing Business Survey, is member and past chair of the Utah Procurement Council, and served as chair of the Utah Procurement Policy Board. Mr. Parker has been published in NAPM's Purchasing Today™, has held officerships with NAPM—Utah, Inc., including president, and has taught college level courses in purchasing and materials management. He currently serves on the faculty of the NAEB Purchasing Institute, and as chair of the 2002 Winter Olympics Procurement Advisory Group. Mr. Parker has a bachelor's degree from the University of Alabama and a master's degree from the University of Arkansas.

  • Business Week, August 26, 1996, "Has the Net Finally Hit the Wall?"
  • Clarmont Technology Group Report, "Clarmont Intranet Study: Impact on Silicon Graphics," 1996
  • Communications of the ACM, June 1996, "Electronic Commerce"
  • Devel, Jay. Spinning a World Wide Web Page (, University of Utah 1996
  • IDT, June 1996, "CyberCash: the Net is money from Secure Electronic Commerce"
  • NAPM InfoEdge, November, 1995, "How to Use the Internet and Other Online Services"
  • Purchasing Today™, April 1996, "Achieving Use Not Abuse"
  • Purchasing Today™, August 1996, "Spinning Your Web"
  • Network World, September 16, 1996, "Internet Health Report: Condition Serious"
  • Wall Street Journal, September 16, 1996, "Fighting Back"
  • WebDev Conference, October 1996, "Proceedings" (

  • Cook, David. Launching a Business on the Web, Que Publishing, 1996
  • Hoffman, Donna. Internet and Web Use in the U.S.: Baselines for Commercial Development, Vanderbilt University, 1996, (
  • Karpinski, Richard. Beyond HTML, Osborne/McGraw-Hill, 1996
  • NAPM Purchasing Today™, February, 1996, "The 21st Century Purchaser"
  • NAPM Purchasing Today™, August, 1996, " More Bang for Your Byte"
  • Pfaffenberger, Bryan. World Wide Web Bible, MIS Press, 1996
  • Shipley, Chris. How the World Wide Web Works, ZD Publishing, 1996
  • Wright, Benjamin. The Law of Internet: EDI, E-mail and Electronic Commerce, Revised, second edition, 1995

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