WebSphere Commerce Enterprise

Supply chain business model

A supply chain is composed of the enterprises that provide services to a business. WebSphere Commerce provides the architectural infrastructure to support supply chains that take the form of a private marketplace, as well as through supplier sites.

A private marketplace provides a forum for vendors to offer their goods and services for sale. Buyers enter this forum and select the appropriate goods or services after browsing through the available options.

The following diagram illustrates an example of a supplier forum.

Diagram of relationship between Buyers, the private marketplace and suppliers. Explanation follows.

In this example, the buyer enters the supplier's hub to browse and interact with the aggregated catalog in which products and offers from multiple suppliers are presented. The buyer can then select their desired offers or request quotes from multiple suppliers. The buyer also has the option of conducting business or procuring from online suppliers directly.

Supply chain stores

The supply chain owner may create stores for its suppliers. This allows buyers to interact directly with suppliers, for example, by submitting orders under prearranged contracts. Supplier stores can coexist with a private marketplace so that buyers have the option of purchasing directly from their suppliers, or select suppliers through the private marketplace.

The following diagram illustrates the types of stores that compose the supply chain sample.

Image showing the types of stores that can be found in the supply chain sample. Description follows.

The supply chain sample site contains a hub (supplier hub), and two asset stores (catalog asset store and supplier asset store). Notice that the supplier hub uses the assets that are defined in the catalog asset store. The suppliers are created by using the assets from the catalog asset store and supplier asset store.

The stores are indicated in the STORE table under the STORETYPE column as follows:
Supplier hub
Supplier asset store
Supplier hosted store
Note: The supplier hub owner defines the catalog taxonomy (for example, the category structure, and possibly shared products and items) that the suppliers will use in the catalog asset store.