Global E-Business Essay

Pages: 18 (5821 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 18  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Business

Global e-Business: Business Consultancy

Owning a business can be a serious challenge, as can moving that business into new markets - especially if those markets are international in nature. For purposes of this paper/report, the business is a well-established organization, but being a business consultancy company it is operated from the home of the business owner. That means there is no specific brick and mortar location other than the home-based business location of the owner of the company. The market for the expansion will be international. With the advent of the internet and how strongly it has been used for business in recent years, there should be no problem working online and getting businesses in other countries to respond to that, as opposed to requiring the consulting to be in person. That does not mean that there will not be any travel required, ever, but only that the majority of the work can be done online. Despite this, the consultant must be willing to travel if needed, because some consultancy issues may be too complicated to handle over the internet. An effort will be made to avoid this.

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Because that is the case, the business has to make the most of the technologies offered to businesses that work primarily on the internet today. Within the e-business landscape, there are several themes to be addressed. The knowledge of these themes is important, because companies need to be able to use all of their available resources in order to ensure that they market themselves correctly and please their customers. If the customers are not happy, they will not be back. They will also often tell others that they are not happy, and they will be very clear as to why that is the case. Companies that get bad reputations really struggle, and those bad reputations can occur quite quickly and easily when there are other countries and other cultures involved. Misunderstandings are prevalent for businesses that have not done their research and that are not prepared. These misunderstandings cannot always be avoided, but it is possible for those who are interested in other cultures and in offering consultation to businesses in those cultures to avoid most understandings.

Essay on Global E-Business Assignment

Customer Management

The management of customers is one of the most significant aspects of any business (Amor, 1999; Beynon-Davies, 2004; Nissanoff, 2006; Seybold, 2001; Sinisalo, et al., 2007; Timmers, 2000; Tcakz & Kapczynski, 2009). With an e-business, customer management is both easier and more difficult, largely depending on which aspects one is considering. For example, it can be much easier to communicate with customers quickly and clearly. Email and other online communications are nearly instantaneous, and it is possible to video chat over the internet so that issues can be seen and discussed in real time. With that being the case, there is less room for error in communications (Westfall, 2010). Each company or person that is getting involved with another company or person in another city, state, or country can benefit from e-business and the way it is conducted when it comes to communication. When companies and customers are able to easily communicate, more gets done, thing get done more quickly, and if there are misunderstandings it is easier to sort them out. That can stop them from becoming larger and more problematic.

Of course, there are also problems with e-business to some degree. While communication may be better in the sense that it is faster and can be more frequent, it can cause issues because there is little to no face-to-face communication (Amor, 1999; Sinisalo, et al., 2007; Timmers, 2000). Emails and other types of messages where a person cannot hear tone of voice or see facial expression can easily be misunderstood. Additionally, being able to communicate online can lead a company to make the assumption that online is the only way it needs to do business (Eisingerich & Kretschmer, 2008; Kotler, 2009; Westfall, 2010). Without having a more personal relationship with its customers, and without meeting them in person where and when it is required, necessary, or would be helpful, companies can miss out on important clues that they could otherwise use to better manage what their customers need and want. Companies that can relate to their customers often bring in (and keep) more business than they would if they were far less interested in proper customer service (Amor, 1999; Chaudhury & Kuilboer, 2002; Gerstner, 2002; Graham, 2008; Gurevych, 2007).

Managing customers is about more than just communicating with them, however. Their orders must be processed, their information must be stored and analyzed, and their questions and concerns must be handled in a timely manner. If those things do not take place, the customers can miss out on a good experience and they may not even get what they need. The business can also have trouble, because customers who are not satisfied will have no problem providing that information to others - including prospective, future customers of the business. E-business can provide great opportunities to manage customers and take care of them, but it can certainly also be a slippery slope if the business is not set up and established correctly when it comes to how to treat customers and how to manage them. Customers need access to the business, especially if it is a consultancy, because the customers may have questions that they need answered quickly in order to continue moving forward. E-business can provide customers with that kind of fast service (Eisingerich & Kretschmer, 2008; Tcakz & Kapczynski, 2009; Westfall, 2010).

Supplier Management

It is not just customers that have to be managed. It is also suppliers. Any business that sells goods will have at least one supplier of those goods (Amor, 1999; Kelly, 2005). When it comes to a consultancy business, there will not be as many suppliers because the business is selling a service instead of a product. Still, there are suppliers of the products that are used by the business itself - most notably the computers and software the company uses to contact and work with its customers and clients. To manage suppliers correctly, a system for keeping careful track of them and any inventory they provide is necessary (Amor, 1999). That allows the business to continue to work with customers without running out of something or falling short in a particular area. If the company has a problem, it has to know that it can reach a supplier quickly and efficiently in order to get that problem corrected.

A suddenly non-functional computer system, for example, can put a severe strain on a company that conducts the vast majority of its business online (Gerstner, 2002; Graham, 2008; Gurevych, 2007; Seybold, 2001). With that being the case, the company must have a well-established supplier it can contact in order to get good information and a new system as soon as possible. Suppliers who can provide back-up systems are important, because a company that does business online really cannot afford to be unable to conduct business for a period of time. It does not take long before a company's customers will go elsewhere if they cannot get what they need efficiently and quickly (Graham, 2008; Westfall, 2010). Additionally, potential customers who have questions or want to discuss something with the company will also leave quickly if they do not receive a response. E-business is something that is generally expected to be conducted in a short amount of time. If response times are not rapid, people go to a competitor from whom they can hear back fast.

While not all customers are that impatient, and not all businesses need suppliers that are available 24/7 and ready to help them at a moment's notice, that is becoming increasingly important in a culture that appears to be moving faster and faster. E-business has changed the way businesses interact with their suppliers, and because of that the companies that need supplies of any kind have generally come to expect them at nearly a moment's notice. Before there was e-business, it was understood that getting things took time. Businesses were aware of that, and so were the customers and potential future customers of those businesses. Technology has changed the interaction of customers, businesses, and suppliers in such a way that everything is expected nearly instantaneously (Kelly, 2005; Miller, 2002; Nissanoff, 2006). This is both good and bad, of course, since there are still limits to what suppliers can offer and how quickly the desired help or items can be provided to the business - and then to the customer.

Getting Found by Potential Customers

The most significant thing a consulting e-business can do to boost sales and grow its customer base is to get itself found by those who want to work with it. That includes suppliers and organizations that may help it get established, but it mostly applies to customers. Getting found used to involve simple things like an ad in the phonebook and a flyer that got mailed to the neighbourhood. Now… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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