To test the claim made in Proposition Four, the correlations between the number of e commerce 
applications deployed (e commerce deployment) and the positive impact or efficient use on the 
industry level (impact of doing business online) based on a Spearman significance test is 
provided (Table 26). For calculation only, the values for SMEs in four countries analyzed are 
considered (Denmark, France, Germany, and the US). The correlations between the number of e 
commerce applications used per firm in an industry in the rows and the efficiency increase, 
represented as positive impacts in the columns, are calculated. 
TABLE 26  Number of e commerce solutions deployed correlated with positive impacts and 
efficiency gains for SMEs in Denmark, France, Germany and the US 
 E commerce 
E commerce 
E commerce 
Internal processes more efficient 
Staff productivity increased 
.263** .397** .486** 
.474** .357** .390** 
Customer service improved 
International sales increased 
Procurement costs decreased 
Inventory costs decreased 
Suppliers coordination improved 
Competitive position improved 
Legend: ** p<.01, * p<.05 
Source:  CRITO Global E Commerce Survey, 2002; unweighted sample.
The survey data have shown that the diffusion of  state of the art  e commerce technologies has 
reached a high level. Analogous to the broad usage of e commerce applications, the importance 
of inhibiting factors in Germany was reported to be below the global average. This seems to be 
an excellent prerequisite for the implementation and usage of forthcoming technologies such as 
m commerce and location based services, web services and others to overcome former manual 
processes towards machine to machine based services or decentralized supply chain 
management to avoid bull whip effects.  
Although broad diffusion of e commerce technologies was observed, the intensity of usage must 
be widened to make additional manual fax or telephone based transactions obsolete. As stated in 
Proposition One, the close international trade connections of all investigated German industries 
is an important driver for the diffusion of standardized electronic transactions, especially to 
overcome language barriers. On the other hand, e commerce was overall not such an important 
driver due to the already competitive and efficient international market position of German 
enterprises when compared to the results of the global survey.

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