Master of Science (MS)


Renewable Natural Resources

Document Type



In an attempt to streamline the paper supply chain, paper industry vertical business-to-business eMarketplaces were established to help industry players to decrease inefficiencies in their supply chains, to minimize negative effects of economic cyclicality, and to achieve better visibility. eMarketplaces rode the hype of revolutionizing the way in which industries conduct business, citing the cost savings achieved by expanded market reach, operational efficiencies, aggregated purchasing, and finding the least expensive suppliers. Adoption of eIntermediaries has been lower than expected in the paper industry and many of the paper vertical start-ups failed when the economy softened and the bubble burst. This thesis examines the expectations, experience and role of eIntermediaries in the paper supply chain. eIntermediaries failed to fulfill paper suppliers expectations regarding key promises, such as improving cash flow, reducing cycle time, and reducing errors. None of the paper supplier respondents achieved the expected benefits from eIntermediary implementation. Overall paper suppliers lack commitment and trust for eIntermediaries. Paper buyer and paper supplier attitudes and expectations on eIntermediaries do not differ significantly. Both suppliers and buyers are concerned that using eIntermediaries would lead to loss of contact with exchange partners, but paper suppliers have a greater level of concern. Suppliers are most concerned with profitability, security of sensitive information, technical resources, costs, and the need to restructure established business processes in the context of using eIntermediaries. B2B exchanges seem to have underestimated the complexity of the paper industry and overestimated companies’ ability to adopt eCommerce. Organizational changes, changes in business processes, development of industry standards, and improvements in integration technology systems are all needed to capture benefits from B2B exchanges.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Richard Vlosky