BIS was provided with an additional ISDN line, purely for Internet access, and a BT Internet account. The Marketing Manager mainly used these. He utilized the Internet extensively during late 1997 as part of the re-engineering project. As such, searches for suppliers, IT consultants and educational material (regarding BPR) were the major activity. A Web site was also developed to try assisting with the broadening marketing strategy. Web access also allowed searches for product information and on competitors and their wares. The Web site went live on October 97. Membership of the electronic trading opportunities (ETO) system BT Sextant that was implemented in the latter stages of the project was also provided. This was to enable BIS to use the Internet as a medium to disseminate and collect useful information that may lead to sales opportunities and/or more efficient purchasing on a global basis. BT Sextant has been linked to ETO-gateways around the world including the United Nations’ ETO-System. The e-banking link with Midland Bank was not incorporated into the project, as it already existed.
BIS currently have numerous customers in South Wales, many of whom place low-value orders infrequently. As with many SMEs, the core profitable business for BIS
is with a few customers who generated large-value orders on a regular basis. This approach works well but it does have associated problems when exchanging information with a large number of customers. As such, BIS is keen on the idea of steering their customers to a revamped Web site, which has back-end order processing capabilities. However, this technology would not just be restricted to the order process, but may also provide a platform for payment exchanges as well as the ability to distribute other information easily (for example, delivery status).
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