firms in this survey in Germany. Differences are observable when asking about Extranet usage 
and the usage of call centers. Depending on the chosen definition, Extranets connect additional 
establishments of the same firm as wide area networks and can offer access to suppliers and 
customers. Given that most SMEs have only one establishment, the low diffusion of Extranet 
technology might be a consequence of the missing necessity to connect other establishments over 
wide area networks. To test this assumption a supplementary question about the usage of 
Extranet technology to connect additional establishments is needed, i.e. in addition to the 
questions about the functionalities of Extranets to allow access to suppliers or customers. 
Interestingly, the usage of electronic funds transfer (EFT) is higher among SMEs than among 
large establishments. This may be primarily due to the usage of online banking by SMEs which 
may also be viewed as a type of EFT, while large establishments use such personnel intensive 
and non automatic ways of transferring money less often. It should be noted that this electronic 
form of banking is widespread within Europe, but is not available, for example, in the US. It is 
fundamentally different and far exceeds what US banks refer to as electronic banking. The 
semantic meaning of EFT is therefore different for large establishments and accompanied by 
EDI transfer, rather than online transfer. Consequently, the two figures for SMEs and large 
establishments are not directly comparable and need to be interpreted cautiously. 
An additional remarkable difference between SMEs and large firms, the usage of call centers, is 
somewhat more complex to explain. While the differences between the industry sectors are 
explainable (manufacturing: product information; retail/wholesale: mail order business; 
banking/insurance: telephone banking), the difference between SMEs and large firms might be 
explainable by the personnel cost intensive nature of call centers which therefore are only 
available to large firms.  
TABLE 3  E Commerce Readiness by Size of Firm and Industry 
Total
a
Establishment Size
a
 Industry
a
Percent using: 
Small
b
 Large
c
Manufacturing Retail/  Banking/ 
Wholesale 
Insurance 
E mail 
100.0 100.0 100.0  100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
Website 91.8 
91.7 
100.0 
90.5 
92.0 
94.5 
Intranet 
84.4 84.4 84.4  77.8 
85.9 
88.8 
Extranet 
22.3 21.7 51.5  38.8 
15.9 
36.6 
  accessible by suppliers  
14.0 
13.6 
32.6 
27.4 
8.5 
28.5 
  accessible by customers 
11.8 
11.4 
28.7 
23.1 
8.4 
13.7 
EDI 
67.7 67.7 70.2  56.6 
71.1 
65.4 
Electronic funds transfer 
86.6 
86.9 
71.9 
94.9 
85.2 
77.2 
Call 
center 
30.3 29.8 55.7  26.4 
29.3 
50.6 
Notes:
a
 Results are weighted by the total number of establishments in an industry by size of firm.
b
 Small firms are defined as firms with 25 to 250 employees.  
c
 Large firms are defined as firms with more than 250 employees.  
Source:  CRITO Global E Commerce Survey, 2002 
Although Table 3 depicts a broad diffusion of e commerce enabling technologies, the survey 
offers no information about the intensity of usage, the impacts on traditional working processes 
or even the resulting efficiency. To analyze the character of e commerce readiness, a purely 
descriptive comparison is not especially useful. Consequently, a DEA model described in the 
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