The power of the Internet

September 2003
Management Services;Sep2003, Vol. 47 Issue 9, p22
Academic Journal
The development of the use of the Internet in business has shown a need for a further rethink in the way in which companies operate. An interesting fact that has emerged is that electronic commerce has put retailers back into the position that they occupied before department stores and supermarkets came into being. Internet companies are subject to Darwinian style competition which will promote companies with well designed interfaces and eliminate others. Online customers will base their decision to do business with a company as much on intangibles as on product and price features. Customers want to communicate with a company only when they choose to and through the channels that they prefer to use. The power of the Internet as a technological development ranks with the introduction of electricity, the internal combustion engine, nuclear power and the computer itself. The real potential of the Internet is in cutting costs. IBM has reduced its purchasing costs by £4 billion in two years by using online procurement. To make the most use of the Internet, on needs to rethink the whole business and all of its relationships, not just with customers but also with suppliers, employees and even competitors.


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