Britain may fall behind in electronic commerce if manufacturing industry fails to grasp its full implications, according to Richard Pell, marketing manager at Norgren, the pneumatic control and automation company.
Many manufacturers are reluctant to use the internet to its full capacity, Pell warned. `A lot of people see e-commerce as online brochures. We’re making a call to British industry to say come on, there is so much more to it than this,’ he said.
Norgren has recently introduced online purchasing for its customers, and claims it is the first in the pneumatics industry to do so. This will help the company increase the loyalty of its customers, said Pell, by making it easier for them to buy goods. It may also enable the company to take customers away from competitors, he added.
The company is also using the internet in other areas of its business. `Intelligent products’, which can alert users to problems with a machine, can now be linked to the internet, for example allowing customers to check machines at a factory in China without leaving their desk in the UK.
`E-business is much more than just buying online; that’s just the tip of a very big iceberg,’ said Pell.