Starting out as a government and research network, the Internet became available to the public in the early 1990’s attracting millions of users. Since then, the Internet has become the largest and most important network. In 1998, the Internet had 100 million users; that number is doubling every year. The Internet has revolutionized the businesses of today. Instead of having physical stores, companies can sell their products right off of the Web.
There are millions of electronic businesses on the Web; some companies have been a huge success and some have been a huge failure. In order for an e-business to survive a company must understand the market in E-Business, the importance of E-Intelligence, understand the failure of other businesses, and develop an E-Readiness plan. Electronic commerce enables companies of all sizes and all market sectors to compete on the same stage. The Web slashes through the barriers of geography and time to reduce a company’s cost.
Terry Hiles, a e-businessman, says, \”With about 550 million potential customers using the Internet by the year 2000 the opportunities for electronic commerce will be massive, If you don’t wake up to what’s happening you’ll lose out to companies you’ve never heard of, based in countries you probably couldn’t pint out on a map, offering products you haven’t even dreamed of yet. How else will you be able to market 10% of the world’s population? \” Besides the vast market, e-commerce has other benefits. With a single virtual storefront instead of physical stores managing and supplying becomes cheaper and easier.
Also setting up a business is inexpensive on the Web. The barriers to enter the market are low; almost anyone can set up an e-business. However, this creates a more competitive market in which companies are forced to fine tune their profit margins and their product supply chains. One way to efficiently optimize product supply chains is to allow business users in external trading partners to tap into the internal closed-loop information supply chain. This reduces cost and increases profit margin by two companies working cooperatively and sharing business information.
Although starting an e-business might seem easy, many fail. Companies must realize the importance of e-intelligence in running their business smoothly. E-intelligence is a system that provides e-business information, applications, and services to internal business users, trading partners, and corporate clients. The system is fast and easy, and it provides companies with vital information on the consumers’ needs. E-intelligence offers a number of business benefits: 1. It moves e-business operations into a traditional business environment.
This provides the means to look at all corporate business operations and business information. 2. It provides accurate and precise business information that helps business users make a knowledgeable decision. Using this information, business users can analyze business performance in respect to competitors. 3. It aids e-business applications in dividing e-business customers to personalize the actual Web pages exposed. 4. It enables organizations to share information with trading partners by extending business intelligence outside of the corporate firewall.
It allows external and internal users to move between different systems by linking e-business applications with business intelligence. A business intelligence system can result in changes to back-office operation. This would include the creation of a new product or changes to product pricing. The output from a business intelligence system can also be used in front-office operations. Information can be used in such activities as marketing. E-intelligence is important in many aspects of running an e-business.
Many things can cause a business to go wrong, but there are ways to avoid a failure. Many failures can be avoided with the correct mix of systems and strategies. To avoid making the mistakes many others have made, it is important to realize where they went wrong. A major part of some businesses’ downfall is caused by the lack of competent back office systems and software to support their company effectively. There are some crucial points that some dot. coms failed to recognize. First, you cannot deliver goods to an e-mail address.
Secondly, a direct sales organization must deliver quickly and efficiently to compete with more reliable companies. Customers are relying on \”self service\” customer service that is faster and more convenient. Web sites can provide customers with a quick and convenient way to shop, but in order to provide a reliable service with repeat business, it is vital that goods are delivered on time. In the real-time environment of on-line direct sales, address management can be particularly effective. Before, companies would waste time and money by dealing with incorrectly filled out order forms.
Now, companies can incorporate an address check into order forms to ensure inaccurate addresses are rejected from the start. One of the hardest steps in turning a Web site into a sales outlet is getting visitors to register. New theories of permission marketing and viral marketing are constantly developing encouraging people to register themselves and friends. However, registration must be fast and easy. The Internet creates an intensely competitive market where organizations need to beadle to react spontaneously to change in the market.