Home Latin America II 2000 Getting the Job Done – The Creative Force Behind E-Business

Getting the Job Done – The Creative Force Behind E-Business

by david.nunes
Sergio Antonio RodriguesIssue:Latin America II 2000
Article no.:15
Topic:Getting the Job Done – The Creative Force Behind E-Business
Author:Sergio Antonio Rodrigues
Title:Vice President
PDF size:20KB

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Article abstract

All the creative force behind the e-Business and the new economy based on a few pillars… The value of the ideas New ideas, new opportunities and new ways of doing business are rewarded on the Web. For example, the first consumer-to-consumer (C2C) barter portal, NoMoney, was recently launched in Brazil. A nineteen-year old student who attracted a US$ 750 thousand initial investment from non-professional investors in support of his idea founded NoMoney. After only a few weeks of operation and a small marketing investment, less than US$ 50 thousand, the site has 2,000 subscribers and has closed more than 100 deals between internauts throughout the country. Based on the value of the last shares sold, the site is now worth US$ 4 million. NoMoney’s success is based on the idea that, on the Internet, swapping or bartering items, with no money involved, is more natural and imposes fewer barriers than selling or auctioning goods. This C2C initiative, as it develops, may very well create a new way for companies, as well, to do business by eliminating monetary and financial transactions in certain situations. The Internet is likely to stimulate the growth of economic mechanisms based on principles that we can not yet predict.

Full Article

Speed Companies considered Internet “old-timers,” pioneers such as Amazon.com, faced big obstacles while learning how to do business on the Net. The problems were of all types, technological, logistical, high operational costs, but today they serve as a benchmark for companies starting to do business in the virtual world. Bad decisions are part of the game, but when being first can be the same as scoring a winning goal, even bad decisions are often better than none. Even the best Internet companies make mistakes, they are just faster to correct them than most. Speed, willingness to innovate and readiness to correct mistakes have a much higher value today on the Net than with traditional businesses. Most important of all is the ability to innovate and offer new services to the customer, to get them and to keep them. Technology Technology is the key infrastructure element of a virtual business. An efficiently designed technological architecture that serves one customer can serve a million, without hurting profitability. Scalability mistakes, lack of availability, security issues and problems in handling massive transaction loads force additional investments in hardware and in software re-design, and take their toll reducing profits. “In order to survive, virtual businesses need to integrate the systems which meet demands of the external world, with the systems that handle its internal operational processes…” Technology also drives another key, virtual world, success factor – integration. In order to survive, virtual businesses need to integrate the systems which meet demands of the external world, its customers and suppliers, with the systems that handle its internal operational processes: payments, order processing, procurement, manufacturing planning and the like. This enables and optimises a value chain permitting collaborative development of new products and integrated planning of market demands. Investments in technology, well spent, bring returns in cost savings. Oracle recently announced US$ 1 billion in cost savings that resulted from applying its own e-Business applications internally. Technology investments can have a big impact on the business and in the market place. At the end of last year, Ford and Oracle announced the first on-line marketplace to integrate the automotive supply chain, the AutoXchange. The first step of this initiative was to facilitate Ford’s purchasing process. Each year, Ford’s purchases nearly US$ 80 billion in goods from its more than 30,000 suppliers. Initial savings, just by introducing a new nine-hour competitive bidding cycle in the purchase system should reach US$ 20 million. The next step will be to leverage the returns by including collaborative design and integrated product planning in the system, bringing the companies in the automotive supply chain into the process. Fulfillment Logistics is another vital factor in the infrastructure of a virtual business. The successful closing of a transaction on the Internet depends upon the quick, error free, delivery of the purchased goods. Significantly, new partnerships are announced every day between Internet businesses and logistics operators. In Brazil, Grupo Martins, one of the largest businesses in the country, owners of a fleet of 2,500 trucks, has announced a new company dedicated exclusively to handle the logistical requirements of “dot coms.” Grupo Martins estimates that its Intecom division will have revenues of US$ 180 million per year within five years. Human Resources The lack of human resources, trained and ready for the new economy, is already one of the most important factors retarding the growth of e-Business. In Brazil, Oracle foresees the need to increase its staff by 50% to meet the dot com project demand. In addition to the lack of available resources in the market, there is the problem in training new recruits and re-educating existing staff. The rate at which old business paradigms are broken and the rapid advance of the technology have already shown that formal training, based on structured courses, classrooms and instructors, are totally inadequate to meet the demands of e-Business. In the dot com world, this educational profile is becoming a rule throughout the organisation, from the CEO to the analyst. Self-training techniques are widely used and the traditional methodology for project development is giving way to the re-utilisation of resources, incremental development and the capacity to adapt to a continuously changing environment. This new organisational paradigm replaces hierarchical structures with a virtual, project centred, organisation that puts together complementary competencies to make decisions and deal with customer needs. In the new economy, productivity is closely related to understanding the “knowledge network” of the company and of the market. Successful professionals in the e-Business world understand and browse on this net, and become a sought after node of the chain. The Future Today As globalisation gets stronger, the Web must be mastered to compete. Organisations must be adequately structured to bring scalability and reliability to their Net business. Conclusion Internet business opportunities are huge. Brazil, it is estimated, generates US$ 50 billion of the world’s US$ 7.3 trillion in e-Business by the year 2003. The pillars for e-Business success are the technology, logistics and human resources. An inadequate technological architecture puts profitability in danger. Traditional educational strategies, skills and human resources organisation no longer apply in the dot com world. Self-training and a project-driven, cellular, organisational structure seem most suitable for the virtual world. E-Business not only changes the way of doing business, it changes the way people do their jobs, live their lives and interact with others around the world.

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