Definition

The elimination of intermediaries in the supply chain, also referred to as “cutting out the middlemen.”


Information

The network economy was initially hailed by many as a way to eliminate intermediaries, enabling a direct path from producer to consumer. This might have been a misjudgment of the nature of intermediaries and networks.

Intermediaries survive by adding value. If changes in the marketplace renders an intermediary’s role less valuable, then the intermediary must adapt. If not, the old intermediary will often be replaced by a new, more valuable intermediary.

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Related Terms

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Articles

Sidestepping Disintermediation
ClickZ (February 4, 1999)

Saffo: Leave That Middleman Alone
Wired (April 17, 1998)