Downloads - empirica

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Downloads - empirica

e-Business in the chemical, rubber and plastics industry3.5 ICT for marketing and customer serviceICT, and in particular the internet, can be used in various ways to support marketingactivities, including the communication with customers, offering products for sale, anddeveloping new marketing strategies. The former e-Business Watch study on the CRPindustries (2004) concluded that these application areas would gain in importance in thissector (see Section 3.1). It was argued that ICT presented opportunities to companies inthe sector for "innovative, better focused marketing approaches to reach new customers,"but that the respective opportunities were "not yet exploited" at that time. 101 This sectionexplores whether e-commerce with customers is more widespread now. e-Businessindicators which were included in both surveys of 2003 and 2007 will be used to assessthe dynamics of the development since 2003.3.5.1 e-Commerce adoptionIn this section, the term "e-commerce" describes the sale of chemicals, rubber and plasticproducts over the internet or other computer-mediated networks. e-Commerce in theCRP industries is mainly business-to-business (B2B): manufacturers of chemicals, rubberand plastics products typically do not directly sell to end consumers, but to othercompanies; these can be users of CRP products in other industries (for example theautomotive and construction industries), but also wholesalers and retailers. Technically,companies can take different routes to e-commerce. Exhibit 3.5-1 summarises the mostimportant channels and platforms used and their specific characteristics.Exhibit 3.5-1: e-Commerce platforms used by companiesType Key characteristics Typical users in CRPindustryEDI (Electronic DataInterchange)ERP-to-ERPExtranetCompany websitePoint-to-point connection between twocompanies based on EDI standards;high set-up cost, because of repeatedcosts for every installation; efficientmeans for trade with regular customers,often involving frequent exchanges andlarge order volumesMost advanced form of electronic dataexchange – enables automatedprocessing of data from order to invoiceA sales portal on a company websitewith restricted access (typicallypassword protected) for customers.Functions typically include a wellstructuredoverview of the status of allorders a customer has placed and theirsupply fulfilment.A website with an online shop function,enabling any visitor to place an orderfor products offered by the company.Mainly used by large firms –widely diffused legacy systemdating back to the 1970s/80s.Mainly among large firms –see Section 3.3 on processefficiency.Mainly operated by largercompanies, often as a servicefor their SME customerswhich do not have their ownadvanced systems for dataexchange and managingorders.More popular in B2C e-commerce (e.g. retail); doesnot play a major role in theCRP industries. Websites aremostly used for companypresentations.101 e-Business Sector Study on the chemical, rubber and plastics industry, August 2004, Section3.1. Available at http://www.ebusiness-watch.org/studies/on_sectors.htm (2004b).80

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