The Swift Towards Electronic Commerce

A whole new process has been born, and this is not only the result of the technological evolution, but also the result of market and societal factors, which constitute a highly competitive business environment where the customer has the choice. Electronic Commerce (EC) is the outcome of the fast changes occurring in the telecommunication marketplace, as every company that desires to be a part of the future must try to find ways to renew its offers and produce innovative services while focusing on customer satisfaction. Under this notion, telecom corporations have to work under increasing pressures to produce more and faster, using fewer resources.

Few innovations in human history encompass as many potential benefits as EC does. The global nature of the technology used, the low cost production, the opportunity to reach hundreds of millions of people with a single effort, the interactive nature of the medium, the variety of possibilities, and the resourcefulness and rapid growth of the supporting infrastructures-especially the Web-result in many potential benefits to organizations, individuals and the society in general. These benefits are just starting to materialize in some countries, but they will increase significantly as EC continuous to grow. It is not surprising that some maintain that the EC revolution is just “as profound as the change that came with the industrial revolution.”

Electronic commerce has a number of benefits. First, EC expands the marketplace to national and international markets. With minimal capital outlay, companies today can easily and quickly locate more customers, find the best suppliers in the industry and the most importantly suitable business partners worldwide. For example, in 1997, Boeing Corporation reported savings of 20% after a request for a proposal to manufacture a subsystem was posted on the Internet. Second, electronic commerce allows reduced inventories and overhead by facilitating “pull”-type supply chain management. In a pull-type system, the process starts from customer orders and uses just-in-time manufacturing. The pull-type processing enables expensive customization of products and services, which provides competitive advantage to its implementers. Other benefits of e-commerce include improved image, improved customer service, new-found business partners, simplified processes, compressed cycle and delivery time, increased productivity, eliminating paperwork, expediting access to information, reduced transportation costs, and increased flexibility.

Since the Internet is not owned by anyone and its regulatory authority is still debated, it is considered by many to be the only medium that is still truly free. Therefore, not the same costs exist, compared to the mediums of radio, television, or publications. Thus, it is possible that EC can act not only as a selling system that management needs to view the advent of a sales opportunity, but also as the medium with which purchases are made. Telecommunication companies can use the Web in order to directly communicate with resellers and provide them with the needed information about the products that have been purchased; which saves both time and expense in terms of the way that enquirers are made and orders placed. At the same time, EC can increase employees’ productivity by 100%. Since less time would be spent for filling-in paperwork, employers will spend the extra time to find new customers, increasing their personal sales volume and direct their efforts in better servicing the already existing customers thus increasing the level of satisfaction and reduce the switching effect.