+ some elements of 
Supply Chain Management are also included
last updated 2005 May 15
some changes added 2013 Feb 12
INTRODUCTION Why do we talk about Intranets and Extranets in this course?

When we first discussed Intranets and Extranets in this course in 2002, 2003 was mainly a topic for medium and large sized companies that use internet features internally (called intranets).

As more and more SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) respond to the Competitive and Technological Environment infleunces of the Information Age, Intranets and Extranets are increasingly being used with SMEs as they appreciate the cost savings and greater efficiencies.

Secondly, as more companies develop B2B e-commerce and e-business situations with suppliers and business partners, intranet functions are shared outside the company (which is what an extranet is) to facilitate greater efficiences in sharing information and processing activities.

In this course it is not intended that you learn in depth about the technical aspects of an intranet and extranet, rather, you should be trying to understand the business aspects and find some way to incorporate the advantages of an intranet and extranet into the enterprise you might become involved within the future.

. The section on Intranets and Extranets in the Deitel textbook is a very short - but they do have a good summary of the basics:

"An intranet is an organization's internal network that uses the TCP/IP protocols of the Internet"

"An extranet is an intranet that is accessible by authorized external parties who are not members or employees of the organization"
WTGR adds, this external access is facilitated by use of a password that allows you to get through a protective firewall

from Turban's book, Chpt 7, Intranet and Extranets
What is an Intranet What is an Extranet
"An Intranet is a corporate LAN that uses Internet technology and is secured behind a company's firewall. Links various servers, clients, databases and applications"

Access to Intranets is usually strictly controlled within a corporate group

Intranets are most often found in

  • banks
  • IT companies
  • manufacturing companies
  • large retail companies
  • service companies (ie, travel, hotel)
"An Extranet (extended Intranet) uses TCP/IP protocol to link Intranets over the public Internet. Many Extranets have protected areas "Virtually Private Networks" (VPN)

Access to Extranets is quite open and allows for independent groups to collaborate - usually parts suppliers to a big manufacturer

Extranets are most often found in

  • IT services
  • Computer companies (hardware)
  • financial services
  • travel
  • manufacturing
  • professional services
  • real estate
of an
The major functions that an Intranet can provide
  • corporate / departmental / individual web pages
  • database access
    • for better information about customers
    • inventory
    • assets and resources
  • search engines and directories
    • for companies handling massive quantities of text documents
    • eg. insurance and banking companies
  • interactive communication
    • chatting, audio, videoconferencing
    • in order to save costs
  • document distribution and workflow
    • very helpful in organizations were more than one person handles a file
    • eg. government agencies, eg. licensing agencies, health offices etc.
  • groupware
  • telephony
  • integration with electronic commerce
    • internet based sales have to be processed
    • processing can be economized with intranet structure for order fulfillment
    • eg.
  • extranet
    • geographically dispersed parts of the organization
of an
Information that is most often included in Intranets
  • corporate policies
  • corporate procedures for caring out complex actions with many variables
  • timetables for people and events
  • scheduling information
  • directories
    • people
    • names, tel contacts
    • titles and functions
  • departments
    • part of reducing duplication of activity
    • enhanced use of existing resources
    • departmental "evangelism" (common in large organizations)
  • Human Resources
    • benefits and services to employees
    • performance evaluations guidelines
    • employment equity information and guidelines
    • stock information
    • intra-corporate employment opportunities
    • educational information
      • corporate training programs
      • schedules
      • descriptions, curriculum, participation forms
  • product catalogs
  • purchase orders
  • manuals
  • to enhance capability of service technicians 
  • to empower wholesalers and retailers
  • services
    • travel services
    • in-house services , eg. printing
  • archives
    • text, stories, documents, records
    • images (eg. for a newspaper)
    • video clips (eg. for a broadcaster)
Chain Management
The reason we have this insert about Supply Chain Management is because SCM (since 2003) seems to be growing as one of the biggest applications for employing intranets and extranets.

Before we go into much detail about how intranets and extranets can contribute, we need a few points about the basics of what SCM is and how it is critical to the success of companies in a competitive globalized marketplace.

Supply-Chain Management as explained in the FAQ of the 
Center for Electronic Commerce atthe University of Texas
formerly listed at

Q. What is supply chain management?
"A supply chain is a collection of inter-dependent steps that, when followed, accomplish a certain objective such as meeting customer requirements. Supply-chain management is a generic term that encompasses the coordination of order generation, order taking, and offer fulfillment/distribution of products, services, or information. Numerous, independent firms and customers are involved in a supply chain (e.g., manufacturers and parts suppliers; parcel shippers, senders and receivers; wholesalers and retailers). The WWW and extranets (connected intranets) have  shown a great potential in linking and managing these entities into a virtual organization."




The 1997 book by Prof. Kalakota of the University of Rochester and Prof. Whinston of the University of Texas, is out of date by 2006 but you should know it was widely used in 1998, 1999 and 2000 because it was one of the first e-commerce books to be available for use in teaching e-commerce. The chapter on intranets and supply chain management was written very well and the material remains useful for use to review.

In 2000, and then in 2001, the biggest hype in E-business was B2B opportunities. One of the features that facilitate B2B is company intranets and extranets which are accessed by other affiliated companies, or companies that are in a strategic alliance

Intranets are private computer networks built with standard Internet technologies. Access to these networks is restricted to an authorized group of users, usually within a company or a department of a company. Access privileges to select parts of the intranet can be extended to external vendors and suppliers to form what is known as an extranet.

Intranets and Supply-Chain Management

Keeping with the theme that one of the biggest applications of e-business for a company, is in the category of saving costs - one of the biggest areas in which to save costs is cutting expenses from the materials gathering and components purchasing area: essentially your supply chain.

What you need to appreciate is that Supply Chain Management has been practiced before the internet - with the internet, we have the technological ability to enhance the information exchanges that are part of the supply chain.
emails with Dr. Whinston regarding "permission to quote" are filed in the permissions binder October 2006
Industry activities to deal with enhancing effectiveness of Supply Chain Management "What has changed is the need to quickly share and disseminate information across the supply chain"
- this follows a shift from product orientation, to sales orientation to market orientation.
Pull versus Push Supply Chain models 
p. 288 Kalakota
- will be explained by WTGR on the blackboard with a diagram

- Pull based models require a lot of information about the customer
- the trend has been away from Push based systems to Pull based systems
Managing Retails Supply Chains 
"ideally electronic commerce should provide retailers with an integrated system for planning and controlling all business processes in the supply chain stretching from suppliers to consumers" p. 304 - Kalakota

Elements of Supply-Chain Management p. 290 Kalakota and Whinston
    • Planning Systems
    • Execution Systems
    • Performance Measurement Systems
    • Integrating Functions in a Supply Chain
emails with Dr. Whinston regarding "permission to quote" are filed in the permissions binder Oct. 2006
Supply-Chain Management

Planning Systems

  • Planning Systems
    • means having the right product at the right place at the right time
    • requires being able to obtain good "order information" from the customer
    • POS - Point of Sale data gathered at the retail terminal is part of this
    • Demand Forecasting (cause you can't have some products ready instantly)
      • allows you to be more competitive in supplying things 'faster'
      • customer demand triggers order movement up the supply chain to the raw material supplier
    • the trend has been away from Push based systems to Pull based systems
Supply-Chain Management

Execution Systems

  • Execution Systems
    • facilitate the physical movement of goods and services through the supply chain
    • focus on operational efficiency
      • entails finding new ways to streamline day2day operations
      • reduce costs
      • improve productivity
    • need for cross functional integration
    • execution systems are basically the way you do things to make sure everything done the right way 
Supply-Chain Management


  • Performance Measurement Systems
    • keeps track of how things are going well, or poorly
    • necessary to evaluate good and bad results in a specific way so you can make changes
    • relates to GOPST in the sense that some of your Objectives cannot be identified as having been accomplished unless you have a way to measure your sales
    • most often this means talking about some specific accounting or financial software package that gives performance numbers
Supply-Chain Management

Functions in a 
Supply Chain

  • Integrating Functions in a Supply Chain
    • the key thing about integrating is getting all the key functions to work together
    • the key functions are
      • Managing Information about demand
      • Managing the flow of physical goods
      • Managing the manufacturing process
      • Managing the money