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The eProcess Edge: Creating Customer Value and Business Wealth in the Internet Era

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Learn how to combine new technology with business processes to increase revenue and boost profits through relationships and repeat business.

It's time to stop talking about the Internet economy and start managing it! eCommerce has changed business as we know it. No hype,it's reality. New companies,new competition,new customers. . . all challenge existing business rules. The emerging new economy,however,has fundamentals about customers,relationships,service,and brand. Customers ...

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Overview

Learn how to combine new technology with business processes to increase revenue and boost profits through relationships and repeat business.

It's time to stop talking about the Internet economy and start managing it! eCommerce has changed business as we know it. No hype,it's reality. New companies,new competition,new customers. . . all challenge existing business rules. The emerging new economy,however,has fundamentals about customers,relationships,service,and brand. Customers matter in eCommerce and gaining their trust and repeat business building relationships are critical for success. How does a company create an eCommerce business based on relationships? What must it do to achieve the right balance between vertical operation and virtual integration? What should be on the executive agenda for eCommerce? The answers can be found inside The eProcess Edge,from thought leaders Peter Keen and Mark McDonald.

Keen and McDonald have identified the approaches and steps necessary to create wealth through raising efficiency and combating commoditization found on the Web. It's not about just knowing what to do; it's about knowing how to implement processes,and turning innovation into execution. This book is a practical roadmap that shows managers and technology decision-makers exactly how to improve their processes and capabilities,gain the competitive advantage through relationships,and help their companies build wealth. Revealing the advantages of eProcess,the authors show how to combine new technology with business processes to generate faster revenue growth and greater profits through relationships and repeat business.


Provides a practical roadmap to improving and automating business processes.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780072126266
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional
  • Publication date: 6/16/2000
  • Series: Leaders Series
  • Pages: 300
  • Product dimensions: 6.24 (w) x 9.33 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Meet the Author


Peter Keen is the founder and Chairman of Keen Innovations and has servedon the faculties of Harvard, MIT and Stanford. In 1994, he was profiled byForbes magazine as the "consultant from Paradise." In 1988, he was namedby Information Week as one of the top ten consultants in the informationtechnology field. His research, writing, education and public speaking allfocus on helping firms make a management difference in their deployment ofinformation technology as a business resource and on bridging the gap inunderstanding, language and planning between business decisions andtechnology choices. A prolific writer, Peter Keen is the author of manybooks that have strongly influenced the business-technology dialogue,including The Process Edge: Creating Value Where It Counts (1997) whichlooks at business processes as invisible financial assets and liabilitiesto be managed as a portfolio of capital investments targeted at increasingshareholder value. Peter and his wife Sherry live in Fairfax Station,Virginia.

Mark McDonald is an associate partner and director of the Center forProcess Excellence at Andersen Consulting. During his 11 years at AndersenConsulting, he has been a leader in developing approaches for processdesign in eCommerce, business integration, product development and rapidapplication development. Since 1996, Mark has published on Internetdevelopment in leading magazines and journals. Mark leads the eProcessinitiative within Andersen Consulting involving more than 60 eCommerceprojects and companies. He frequently speaks on eCommerce and relatedtopics. He works with Global 1000 and start-up companies around the world.He has a Master Degree from TrinityCollege, and a Bachelors from ColgateUniversity. Mark and his wife Carolyn live in St. Charles, Illinois withtheir two children, Brian and Sarah.

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Read an Excerpt


Chapter 1: From Internet Innovation to eProcess Execution

Innovate or die! That's the command to all businesses for the era of Internet eCommerce. The past four years have seen a surge of new Web companies, new business models, new alliances, new services, new technology, new brands, new pricing schemes-well, new everything-that have entirely changed the fundamentals of competition. But the Internet as yet amounts to only 1 percent of the U.S. economy. Look back on what that small percentage has already created and then look ahead to when it will be just 3 percent and on again to its becoming 5 percent. Maybe eCommerce will level out at 15 percent, as Amazon's founder, Jeff Bezos, believes, but even that relatively small figure means a continuing and urgent transformation for all businesses. The choice today is not whether to innovate, but how to innovate. As for when to do so, the answer is "now" and "do it fast." In the Internet era, businesses do not have time on their side.

But the command is incomplete. Yes, innovate or die. But also: Execute or go broke. As many Internet companies are finding out-and the market is telling them by bidding down their stock prices-the gap between innovation and execution is a tough one to close. An innovative business model, an innovative Web site, and innovative marketing get a company into the competitive game. Execution keeps it there; it is the basis for sustaining a competitive advantage in electronic commerce.

Execution rests on process excellence, just as it always has in "bricks and mortar" business. Quality management, coordination, procurement, inventory management, scheduling, organization, customer support,operations, logistics, finance, and marketing-all these traditional aspects of process excellence remain vital to eCommerce success. They are what lie behind the Web site and turn it from technology to business. Processes are what happen after the click at the Web site.

Here are just a few obvious examples of where process rather than Web site makes the competitive difference:

Retailing The winners generate high repeat business through their attention to building and sustaining trusted relationships, and by ensuring first-rate inventory management and fulfillment of orders. The losers attract customers through promotions, large discounts, and payments to such portals as Yahoo! and AOL, and then lose them through late delivery and poor (or no) response to queries.Financial services The winners offer multiple channels for customers to choose between managing their own account on the Web, contact over the phone, and personal and immediate response to problems. The losers offer just transactions at a low cost with no relationship differentiation.Manufacturing The winners maintain superb end-to-end logistics management-procurement, supply chain relationships, inventory management, credit and financing, distribution, and customer account management-that enables them to operate with half the working capital and half the overhead of their average competitor. The losers are in a permanent catch-up mode.Travel services The winners provide new pricing processes, customized offers, cross-selling, and impeccable fulfillment of orders. The losers are going out of business fast, with the words "travel agent" beginning to stand for "office space to rent."
The losers often have Web sites that are the equal of the winners in terms of design, prices, ease of navigation, speed, and information resources-all the features associated with ".com" (dot-com). What they lack is eProcess: a strategy for leveraging the Web site through meticulous attention to the business processes that create the customer relationship. This strategy does more than just handle the online transaction-it transforms the company's operations and economics.

eProcess is primarily a matter of first prioritizing and then sourcing processes, using a combination of:

  • Software to convert what used to be done by people into an interaction at the Web site
  • Electronic links to partners, either to out-task functions such as shipping or financing to a best practice partner or to insource a new capability that adds to the relationship
  • People, workflows, and software that provide exceptional handling of the situations that make or break the consumer/business relationship
The easy wins in electronic commerce are over. It's hard, hard work to add execution to innovation. Achieving that creates the eProcess edge.

The eProcess Strategy

eProcess determines the nature of a company's capabilities and its core competencies for electronic commerce. It is the strategy by which a company:

  • Prioritizes the process capabilities it must invest in to build its eCommerce relationship base-its value network. The value network is the source of competitive edge, not the enterprise as an isolated island in an ocean of Web sites. Think of the value network as all the resources behind the "click" on a Web page that the customer doesn't see, but that together create the value in the customer-company relationship-service, order fulfillment, shipping, financing, information, brokering, and access to other products and offers. An "island" Web site may in appearance look just like one that has a wide and strong...
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Pt. I Defining the eProcess Edge 1
Ch. 1 From Internet Innovation to eProcess Execution 3
Ch. 2 Why Process Matters 33
Ch. 3 Redefining "Process" for the Internet Era 59
Pt. II The Relationship Imperative 87
Ch. 4 Value Networks: Targeting eCommerce Relationships 89
Ch. 5 Defining Relationships: Touch and Texture 111
Ch. 6 Valuing and Sourcing eProcess Capabilities 137
Pt. III Delivering eProcess Results 167
Ch. 7 Embedding Business Rules in Software 169
Ch. 8 Out-Tasking and In-Sourcing 195
Ch. 9 Be Exceptional: People Plus Process Plus Technology 225
Ch. 10 Managing an eCommerce Business 237
Conclusion 269
Notes 277
Bibliography 285
Index 289
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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2000

    Best practitioners guide for Building eComm business

    This is the first book the I have read that talks about what people need to do to implement an eCommerce Business. I use the term business explicitly because many books talk about technology (XML etc) there are few books that talk about how to apply technology to business. The book does this by talking about the sourcing options and their implications. THose options include: embedding business rules in software, outtasking, and being exceptional at handling the exceptions. The book then goes into the implementation details related to each of these areas which I found particularly helpful. If you are interested in eCommerce and are dissapointed by the lack of a good eCommerce Business book this is the THE ONE FOR YOU. This is the best one I have found so far, one that is guiding me and my company as to how to think through the issues of the commerce side of eCommerce.

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