The Institute for Supply Management™ (ISM) and Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) announce the release of the latest ISM/Forrester Research Report On eBusiness, a first-of-its-kind report that tracks online activity for both manufacturing and non-manufacturing organizations. The primary finding of the new Report indicates that the percentage of direct materials purchased online surpassed the percentage of indirect materials purchased using the Internet for the first time since the fall of 2000 when this Report was developed. Survey respondents spent an average of 11.7 percent of their total direct materials spend using the Internet in Q2 2003, up 1.7 percent from Q1. Indirect materials spending remained flat at 11.0 percent.

“For the first time, companies purchased more direct materials using the Internet than indirect materials. Large companies that procure more than $100 million per year also increased their use of online auctions,” said Edith Kelly-Green, spokesperson for ISM and vice president and chief sourcing officer for FedEx. “Two of the main concerns keeping survey respondents from wider adoption of the Internet surround the lack of supplier enablement and integration with internal and external systems.”

Kelly-Green continued, “Respondents cited the following as barriers to Internet adoption:

  • Most of our suppliers (99 percent) do not have B2B capabilities
  • Not all suppliers are ready to participate
  • To use most Internet services, we would need to input data to both our MRP system plus the suppliers’ systems; for that reason, we choose not to use supplier services
  • Lack of software integration capabilities between our company and our suppliers.”

“All companies agree that the Internet continues to grow in importance, with 42.3 percent of large-volume purchasers saying that the Internet was very important to their purchasing strategy in Q2 — an increase of 10.7 percent from Q1. These same purchasers made significant or dramatic changes to their procurement processes in Q2 as well, with an increase of 6.3 percent to 22.7 percent,” said Jennifer Chew, senior analyst at Forrester.

Other Key Findings

  • Supplier collaboration increases. Despite the limited capabilities of their trading partners, 60.6 percent of companies collaborated with suppliers online in Q2, an increase of 1.5 percent from Q1. Furthermore, 93 percent of companies that collaborated online either increased or maintained their level of collaboration during the past three months.
  • Online marketplaces attract more non-manufacturers. 36.1 percent of non-manufacturers purchased through online marketplaces in Q2, up 4.4 percent from Q1. In addition, 15.1 percent of non-manufacturers increased their usage of online marketplaces, while only 1.5 percent decreased use.
  • Online RFP usage is on the rise. 61.8 percent of companies used the Internet for RFPs (request for proposal) in Q2, a drop of 4.0 percent from Q1. Despite the overall drop, 27.5 percent of companies increased their usage of the Internet for RFPs, 4.7 percent more than in Q1.
  • Large companies are using more eProcurement tools. In Q2, 41.9 percent of companies used an enterprisewide procurement tool, a 1.8 percent increase over Q1. Additionally, 12.5 percent of large companies used the tools significantly more than the previous three months, compared with 7.3 percent in Q1.

For the Report On eBusiness, ISM and Forrester Research received survey replies from supply management executives from both manufacturing and non-manufacturing organizations. To understand the difference in online behaviors of these organizations, the Report analyzes three areas: the results of all organizations; the comparison of manufacturing and non-manufacturing organizations; and the comparison of organizations that procure more than $100 million on direct and indirect materials per year with those that purchase less than $100 million per year. To track the adoption of different activities over time, ISM and Forrester created the eBusiness Adoption Momentum (eBAM) index. To find out more about the eBAM index, and to see the complete Report, go to or to

The ISM/Forrester Research Report On eBusiness, developed in fall 2000, measures the adoption of Internet-based procurement. ISM and Forrester Research developed the survey jointly and issue the Report every three months in a manner similar to the monthly ISM Report On Business®.

About ISM

The Institute for Supply Management™, established in 1915, is the world’s leading educator of supply management professionals and is a valuable resource for decision makers in major markets, companies, and government. ISM has provided a rich history of economic data for over 67 years on the U.S. economy with its Manufacturing ISM Report On Business® and the PMI. Since June 1997, ISM has also been publishing the Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®. Both surveys can be found at

Information concerning the quarterly release of the ISM/Forrester Research Report On eBusiness may be obtained via the ISM Web site at or to and the Forrester Research Web site at under “Press Releases.”

The next release of the ISM/Forrester Research Report On eBusiness will be October 15, 2003.