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News - 28 October 2005
More people are doing it

If you're not using ecommerce you are missing out

The message singing out loud and clear from the latest report from the CBI is that e-business is the driving force behind successful companies. But some are missing out and need to do a lot more to catch up with the competition.

More UK companies than ever are using e-business technology to transform their businesses, according to a new report from CBI with the support of the Government. e-Business is helping companies to drive up commercial and operational value and deliver benefits to their customers and employees.

The new report from the CBI 'e-Value Matters', sponsored by DTI, confirms that we have reached the "end of the beginning" in the story of e-business in the UK, with automation of existing processes evolving into the more fundamental transformation of business practices.

Over two-thirds of companies are now engaging with their customers online. Around 68% of all businesses compared with 50% in 2002 are now engaged in some form of e-commerce. Half of UK companies now fully integrate their business operations with remote access technologies and teleworking. This compares with just 10% in 2002, when the CBI carried out its last e-business survey.

Companies now recognise the benefits these electronic processes bring to their employees. Ninety per cent see better internal communications, 83% improved IT skills and 67% a measurable increase in job satisfaction.

More companies than ever are managing electronic integration along the value chain, from suppliers through distribution to customers. Forty-five per cent of firms now transact online whether or not they have back office integration. And 16% consider themselves to be 'fully networked' compared with 6% in 2002.

There are positive signs of progress with the number of companies interacting electronically with their supply chain. Seventy-eight per cent of firms now make payments to their suppliers electronically, 58% process orders over the Internet and 51% schedule and track orders electronically.

The Business Forum has recently run a free event on e-commerce for retailers. The event was well attended and feedback from the delegates indicates the need for a more in-depth review of the systems available. If you are interested in taking part in a future event on e-commerce please contact Soozie Campbell via

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