Hampered by integration and cultural issues, most enterprises are still waiting to reap benefits from business-to-business exchanges, according to a new study by Giga Information Group Inc. and Booz Allen Hamilton.

More than half of the 60 companies surveyed for the study reported that the exchanges have not met expectations so far, said Andrew Bartels, Giga vice-president. In addition, one-third of the enterprises surveyed reported that exchanges “only somewhat” met expectations, Bartels added.

“The exchanges by and large have taken some time to get going,” he said. “Companies now realize that exchanges are not panaceas and that hooking up to them is not exactly ‘plug and play’.”

Still, Bartels noted that there still is “a great deal of hope and indeed expectations that exchanges will deliver benefits moving forward.” Companies expect to tap exchanges to make inter-business transactions and collaboration cheaper, easier, and more effective, according to the survey.

In addition, companies expect to conduct the bulk of direct and indirect materials spending through the exchanges within three years. Enterprises hope the exchanges will eventually reduce the costs of goods, the buying and selling processes, collaborative development, demand planning and forecasting, and logistics.

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