During the 1990s the “information age” spawned a new breed of enterprises devising business models unheard of previously. One aspect of this changing business environment has been the trend in disintermediation observed in many industries. Where many recent papers see disintermediation as a phenomenon related to online transactions, this paper defines it more broadly as the removal or a weakening of an intermediary within a supply chain. This paper attempts to explain why disintermediation of distributors/import agents often occurs at the growth phase of a product's lifecycle, highlighting possible opportunities and outcomes for distributors threatened by disintermediation. The paper uses a downturn in a company's fortune to illustrate the case and to provide a potentially generic analytical tool for small distributors that will almost inevitably face a conflict of interests with their suppliers, which leads to disintermediation pressure.
Mills, J.F. and Camek, V. (2004), "The risks, threats and opportunities of disintermediation: A distributor's view", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 34 No. 9, pp. 714-727. https://doi.org/10.1108/09600030410567487
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