The shifting world of E Business
Work in an organization gets done by using electronic linkages.
Business exchanges or transactions that occur electronically.
Today, much business takes place by digital processes over a computer network rather than in physical space. E-business refers to the work an organization does by using electronics linkages (including the Internet) with customers, partners, suppliers, employees or other key constituents. For example, organizations that use the internet or other electronic linkages to communicate with employees or customers are engaged in e-business.
E-commerce is a narrower term referring specifically to business exchange or transactions that occur electronically. E-commerce replaces or enhances the exchange of money and products with the exchange of data and information from one computer to another. There are types of e-commerce — business to consumer business to business and consumer to consumer. Companies such as gateway Amazon.com , 800 Flowers, Expedia.com and progressive are engaged in what is referred to as business to consumer e-commerce (B2C) because they sell products and services to consumers over the internet. Although this is probably the most visible expression of e-commerce to the public, the fastest growing area of e-commerce is business to business e-commerce (B2B) which refers to electronic transactions between organizations. Today, much B2B e-commerce takes place over the Internet. Large organization such as Wal-Mart, General electric, Carrier Corp, General Motors, and Ford Motor Company buy and sell billions of dollars worth of goods and services a year via either public or private Internet linkages . For example, General Motors sells about 300,000 previously owned vehicles a year online through Smart Auction Ford purchase a large portion of the steel it uses to build cars through e-steel.
Some companies have taken e-commerce to very high levels to achieve amazing performance. Dell computer pioneered the use of end to end digital supply chain networks to keep in touch with customers, take orders, buy components from suppliers coordinate with manufacturing partners, and ship customized products directly to consumers. This trend is affecting every industry, prompting a group of consultants at a Harvard University conference to conclude that businesses today must either Dell or be Delled. These advances mean managers not only need to be technologically savvy, but they become responsible for managing web relationships in the areas that reaches far beyond the boundaries of the physical organization , building flexible e-links between a company and its employees , suppliers, partners and customers.
The third area of e-commerce , consumer to consumer (C2C) , is made possible when an Internet based business acts as an intermediary between and among consumers. One of the best known examples of C2C e-commerce is based on auctions such as those made possible by eBay. Internet auctions have created a large electronic marketplace where consumers can buy and sell directly with one another, often handling practically the entire transaction via the Web. In 2003, an estimated 30 million people bought and sold more than $20 billion in merchandise over eBay. Another growing area of C2C commerce is peer to peer file sharing network. Companies such as Kazaa and Guntella provide the technology for swapping music files, video clips, software, and other files. Online music sharing , in particular has zoomed in popularity and although music companies and record retailers are currently engaged in a hearted battle with file sharing services, these companies are likely here to stay.
New electronic technologies also shape the organization and how it is managed . A century ago, Frederick Taylor described the kind of workers needed in the iron industry: Now one of the first requirements for a man who is fit to handle pig iron as a regular occupation is that he shall be so stupid and so phlegmatic that he more nearly resembles in his mental makeup the ox than any other type. The philosophy of scientific management was that mangers structured and controlled jobs so carefully that thinking on the part of employees wasn’t required – indeed, it was usually discouraged. How different things are today! Many organizations depend on employees’ minds more than their physical bodies. In companies where the power of an idea determines success, managers’ primary goal is to tap into the creativity and knowledge of every employee.