About 60% of German companies procure the materials, components and goods needed for their respective production processes online over the internet. Only the Swedes are even more active in this respect: in Sweden 72% of all companies employing at least ten people carry out online procurement. These figures were calculated by the German Association for Information Management, Telecommunications and New Media (BITKOM) on the basis of data for 2007 provided by the European Statistical Office (Eurostat).
Online procurement is quite popular in most European countries. On average, 39% of businesses in the EU27 purchase online. Apart from Sweden and Germany online procurement is particularly widespread in Denmark and Great Britain (59% each), Austria (56%), Finland (55%), Belgium and Ireland (53%) as well as the Netherlands (41%). Italy ranks 13th in this list (29%). For France no data were made available.
In many sectors of the economy it is important to keep stocks to a minimum. In order to ensure smooth production at any time companies have to get completely networked with their suppliers. In the year 2007 almost 20% of all businesses in Germany were networked with other businesses in order to ensure electronic ordering or electronic order taking.