It is important that you do not limit your business to a single provider in any part of the business. For example, you do not want to get into a situation where a supplier of raw coffee beans is a bottleneck to order fulfillment. For this reason, you want to have multiple bean suppliers as well as a way to locate new suppliers at a moment's notice. Further, the status of coffee bean suppliers is always changing because of economic and environmental shifts. Your application must adapt quickly based on the following:
Changes in coffee bean suppliers (new suppliers as well as those that go out of business)
Changes in companies that can fulfill your shipping needs (small companies that grow into an ability to fulfill the large orders as well as large companies that become bottlenecks)
Shifts in the number of coffee beans that you need to keep your business growing
The first two requirements affect your ability to deliver on your value; the final factor affects your ability to continue the aggressive growth curve that you set forth in the company's vision statement (see Chapter 2, "Introducing the P.T. Monday Case Study"). Web Services with a robust service directory implementation can help facilitate the type of dynamic application you need to adjust quickly to the changing business environment.
A service directory helps your application by giving you a single, Internet- based location to look up services using standardized search and listing criteria. For example, companies must list their information using standardized business codes. This requirement helps you locate potential partners quickly from thousands of companies that will eventually post Web Service implementations for use by partners or potential partners .
This ability to locate partners in a service directory can help potential partners find your business services as well as allow you to locate potential partners. Ideally, a restaurant that needs roasted coffee beans could simply locate your roasted coffee bean listing in the service directory, bind to your Web Services, and determine if you can fulfill their needs.
In today's world, the process of finding a new supplier uses phone books, customer calls, and contacts made at industry trade shows. Increasingly, businesses turn to the Internet to locate information on potential suppliers. With Web Services, computers rather than people locate suppliers and place orders.