by Lorraine Cosgrove Ware

Increase Profit and Output: Trade Online

Jun 01, 20022 mins
BPM Systems

During the next 10 years, e-business will boost the U.S. economy’s output and increase the production of goods and services by 15 percent, according to Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research. Companies will move 27 percent of total U.S. trade?or $6.9 trillion of goods and services transactions?online, and they will benefit from reduced transaction costs and more efficient markets because of more timely pricing, inventory and demand information. Currently, only 5 percent of total U.S. trade?or $910.6 billion?is transacted online, according to Forrester Research. Companies that work now to link disparate internal processes, expand their trading partner connections, and build or rely on standards-based applications stand to increase profitability, improve customer responsiveness and break ahead of competitors.

Definition E-business productivity

Incremental efficiency gains derived using online technology to coordinate business activities that will have the greatest positive impact on financial services, telecommunications and utilities sectors.

Best Practices

Examine your existing processes. Make improvements and adjustments before you move them online. If your procurement process requires many levels of approval, moving that online won’t change much, explains Steven Kafka, former research director of business trade at Forrester Research. Instead, change your business rules or process to manage by exception, like lowering authorization requirements for purchases under a certain amount.

Require visible executive involvement. Build a team of both IT and business unit leaders to head e-business projects. Meet regularly to evaluate progress and assess the effectiveness of changes made. Don’t assume you got it right from the start.

Pilot a Web services project this year. Start building your e-business foundation now by focusing on one internal business process (such as distribution warehousing or demand forecasting) and one trusted business partner. Document and learn from the technical and business processes.