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E-Commerce Strategies that Make Sense

Simon Proops

Many companies in a wide range of industries can benefit from the use of the Internet either as a marketing tool or as a platform to support improved internal communications and consensus-building. However, many companies are not developing a robust e-Business strategy due to fear of change or other inhibiting factors.
In general, the Internet is a good tool for creating effective communication channels within the company and between the company and its business partners, such as customers and suppliers. It also lends itself to companies operating in market niches where established supply and communication chains have not yet emerged. Soon, the Internet will be a ubiquitous business tool, such as the telephone or fax machine.

The purpose of the presentation was to develop the participants’ understanding of the effect that e-Commerce is presently having on the reengineering of business processes. Simon discussed the impact that the Internet is having on today’s business environment, and how it can be used as a strategic tool to assist in the success of your company. Specifically, he covered the advent of the Internet as a business tool and the emergence of e-Commerce as the ‘hot’ topic of the millennium.

The outcome of the presentation was a methodology to help you develop an e-Commerce strategy for your company, which may be planning on starting to use the Internet, or expand its use. Using the tools and methodologies available on the Internet, combined with the best and most up-to-date business planning and strategy, Simon illustrated how your organization can reap the benefits of selling to online markets, discovering the hidden ‘true’ nature of your customers’ requirements,
and rationalizing supply chains using the Internet. Specifically, he covered:
1. Customizing products and services; the move towards ‘mass customization.’

2. Outsourcing to the customer

3. Understanding online markets and communities

4. Developing online applications; towards the ‘killer app.’

5. Developing websites which receive hits and registering on search engines

6. Creating sites which create and sustain user communities

7. Performing market research to help plan e-Commerce
This presentation was a distillation of the course that Simon has
designed for the E-Commerce program at the Business School at Humber
College. It illustrated how the leading e-Commerce companies use the
Internet to:
1. Build Customer Loyalty

– improve customer support

– add to customer convenience

2. Create New Products and Services

– research customer needs

– enhance existing technology to serve those customers

3. Enhance Human Capital

– manage corporate knowledge

– create internal communications channels

4. Optimize Business Processes

– streamline document transfer

– outsource via the ASP model

5. Reach New Markets

– develop and sustain online communities

– scan for business opportunities online

6. Realize Financial and Operational Cost savings

– rationalize administration

– search for the best price using online markets
Simon also illustrated how the Internet can assist in the operations of all the corporate departments of companies not yet reaping the rewards of the Internet. Ultimately, the presentation illustrated how the Internet and related technology have created a sea-change in the ways in which every company does business by changing the competitive environment for all companies. Those that keep ahead of the wave of technological change will succeed, while many may unfortunately fall behind.

To download a copy of his presentation, click
../assets/events/E-Commerce Strategies that Make Sense.ppt

Biography
As founder and CEO of Access Consulting, Simon Proops developed courses in e-Commerce for the Business School at Humber College, where he has taught for the past two years, as well as for Worldsites Network, to help them build their Asian markets for e-Commerce consulting services. Prior to his involvement with e-Commerce, Simon was inside sales representative for the Baan Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) product at Shiva Technologies, and worked on some of the major accounts, which included Revlon Canada and Para Paints. Simon also organized and led a joint industry, academic and government trade mission from the U.K. to the US in order to study ‘Agile’ manufacturing processes, and presented the findings to a cross-industry panel, which included Rover and British Aerospace. Simon holds an MBA from Warwick Business School in the U.K. He has presented on supply chain improvements using the Internet to the Golden Horseshoe chapter of CIPS and is a member of the Institute of Physics and the Canadian Professional Sales Association. Simon now devotes his energies to running Access Consulting, helping
companies realize the business benefits of Internet technologies. He is also a regular and founding member of Idea Café, an Internet based association of e-Entrepreneurs, and has been profiled online by TechRepublic.