A web of risks – and rewards

There’s more to e-commerce than glorified mail-ordering without the catalogue – especially when it comes to business-to-business transactions. The Government’s strategy on e-commerce, delivered by Tony Blair earlier this week, is a good start, promising a campaign to create that famous `buzz’ around internet trading, to prompt net-shy companies into action. But the strategy missed […]

There’s more to e-commerce than glorified mail-ordering without the catalogue – especially when it comes to business-to-business transactions. The Government’s strategy on e-commerce, delivered by Tony Blair earlier this week, is a good start, promising a campaign to create that famous `buzz’ around internet trading, to prompt net-shy companies into action.

But the strategy missed a chance to focus on manufacturing, where e-commerce presents a threat and an opportunity. For vendors of low specification commodity products, it will intensify foreign competition; for specialists in sophisticated engineering services, consider the opportunities afforded by a truly interactive site, where parts can be assessed via on-line simulation with links to localised support and expertise: the opportunities are endless.

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