Disinter . . . What?

    July 24, 2000

Another new B2B buzzword? D I S I N T E R M E D I A T I O N

The first time I saw the term, I ignored it, thinking the writer was a journalist charmed with a new word. The next time I saw “disintermediation” was in an internet journal for Information Technology Specialists so I thought I had better pay attention, but still there was no definition offered. So I went to dictionary.com and looked up the term. Where I found the following:

“disintermediation Withdrawal of funds from inter- mediary financial institutions, such as banks and savings and loan associations, in order to invest in instruments yielding a higher return.”

Hmmmm. Doesn’t seem like it applies to this usage. OK so I hopped over to NetLingo.com and typed in the term to their search box “disintermediation” and got . . . nothing.

Let’s take a look at that new “buzzword” glossary at “Upside.com” where they say,

“Disintermediation: When the middleman gets cut out of the deal. This is what all the buzz is about. Arthur Miller predicted the whole thing decades ago with his portrait of Willy Loman. ”


Eureka! I’ve found it! We’re talking about removing links in the supply chain here! Supply chain as the course of a product from the supplier to the consumer!

1) supplier of raw materials
2) manufacturer of products
3) distributor or wholesaler
4) retailer at brick and mortar store
5) consumer purchase of product

Well I know this is website101 and not economics101, let’s look at the application of the term to web business and ecommerce.

What is happening is that the supplier is selling directly to the buyer online! No doubt this’ll lead to one of those social debates about the “value-added” segment of the economy where things are packaged, shipped, arranged on store shelves, priced and resold to the consumer from retail stores. But the change just won’t be stopped, whether or not you are opposed to the transition!

This is no small issue friends! Where do you fit in the supply chain? Is your link (pun intended) about to be added or eliminated?

Sony is about to follow powerhouse computer marketers, Dell and Compaq with a web-only marketing strategy! They announced this week that it was to be “Manufacturer to Consumer” or M2C for the electronics giant. They currently offer 250 products online and are ready to expand that to include their full line of over 2,000 products to be offered direct-to-consumer via the web! Read more about it at the following link:


I see the value of any company that makes delivery trucks rising very quickly, not to mention those already established big guys, FedEx and UPS. Anyone wanna place a large bet that we’ll see a distribution change more dramatic than anyone could predict in the next five years. I’m betting on WebVan to rule in the urban streetscape. Think they’re going to stick to groceries? NAH!

Envision this scenario: One nerd sees product promoted in an ad on his mobile phone, points and clicks, customers order made available for immediate pick-up from his choice of 10 outlet stores or delivered to his front door in 30 minutes.

How does that affect your business? Got Ya Thinkin?

Mike Banks Valentine operates SEOptimism, Offering SEO training of
in-house content managers http://seoptimism.com/SEO_Staff_Training.htm
as well as the Small Business Ecommerce Tutorial at
http://WebSite101.com and blogs about SEO at http://RealitySEO.com
where this article appears with live links to SMO stories, buttons, blog posts and examples.