UK firms miss out on internet

UK manufacturers are failing to realise efficiency and sales opportunities offered by the internet, a joint IBM, Institute of Manufacturing and government report says. The report, e-manufacturing – harnessing the power of the web for manufacturing, says that efficiency ranked ninth on the list of 10 drivers pushing internet use. The top driver was `visibility’. […]

UK manufacturers are failing to realise efficiency and sales opportunities offered by the internet, a joint IBM, Institute of Manufacturing and government report says.

The report, e-manufacturing – harnessing the power of the web for manufacturing, says that efficiency ranked ninth on the list of 10 drivers pushing internet use. The top driver was `visibility’.

Of the 200 UK companies surveyed, 94% had access to the internet and 77% had websites. However, only 33% used it for sales, 27% for purchasing, and 13% for collaborative design.

In Germany, 33% of firms use the internet across the supply chain. UK firms are holding back because of security concerns. But Mark Smith, technical director of web developer RMR Design said: `Paying by credit card over the internet is much more secure than handing your card over in a restaurant.’ He added that intranets between suppliers and manufacturers are also `extremely safe’.

Despite their fears, 66% of UK firms have plans for electronic commerce, and 59% hope to use the internet in supply chain integration.