B2B initiatives cannot be ignored - Data Pro

Johannesburg, 25 Jan 2001
Read time 2min 10sec

The digital economy, and buying and selling online, is becoming an intrinsic part of everyday life - including for businesses - with 64 out of 100 business executives surveyed revealing that their companies have already established an on-line marketplace, either on their own or through partnerships.

While this survey, conducted by Aurther Anderson, covered just over 100 executives at large and mid-size companies in the USA, Douglas Reed, MD of leading Internet Service Provider (ISP) and network integrator, Data Pro, believes it is a "sign of things to come in SA".

"We might be lagging US trends. But what happens there ultimately happens here. With e-business this delay may be less because very few companies can afford to risk economic isolation by not adopting an e-business strategy to become part of the new digital economy - and part of the new global village."

Not only are an increasing number of companies devising online strategies, including business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce ventures, but one out of three executives surveyed see digital marketplaces as crucial to their overall business-to-business strategy - especially among retailers purchasing wholesale goods.

"So far, one of the main advantages of the Internet is corporate purchasing," said Reed, "which is seen by 50% of US executives polled as a means of staying competitive in the short term. Recent research also shows that almost 66% of companies now purchase from digital marketplaces, while this figure was less than 50% a scant six months ago."

Reed said e-procurement is tagged as one of the main immediate benefits garnered from embracing the Internet and e-business strategies. "The B2B marketplace just cannot be ignored. By harnessing the Internet, efficiencies can be vastly increased, as well as providing a significant cut in company overheads.

One of the biggest fears, however, remains a reluctance to commit the kind of money that is required to adopt these e-business strategies, including e-procurement initiatives. "Not enough companies look beyond the capital investment and see the massive benefits that can be derived. Speed, containment of time-intensive activities, and greatly enhanced customer service - as well as finger-tip control over enterprise operations - are just a few of the advantages of B2B initiatives," said Reed. "Performance and turnaround times are going to be critical factors in the new economy."

Editorial contacts
BE Agency Bryn Evans (012) 667 1910
DataPro Data Pro (011) 809 1500
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