Any discussion surrounding business will eventually spiral into the almighty dollar, as singular goal of a profit oriented business is just that, to orient itself to make profits. All discussions are moot until the bottom lone is justified. The profit potential of E-business has been proven throughout the spectrum of business. The most rapidly realized monetary gain is through operational savings.
In a recent survey conducted by financial consultants KPMG, ninety percent of North and South American executives polled indicated cost savings of two to five percent realized through just the initial implementation of E-business. This was primarily due to the optimization of sales and purchasing processes, which would be a boon for Caribbean businesses. The Caribbean has long been at a disadvantage due to the relative isolation of its member states. The high telecommunication tariffs in the region have amplified the fact that in, many cases, both suppliers and customers are in foreign countries.
E-business has reduced the cost and time span of basic communication, while stretching the marketing budget and offering direct customer access. Recent papers by Dr. Vijay Jog of Carleton University and The Canadian Electronic Scholarly Network found that the use of electronic media in the receipt and transmission of sales and supplier literature resulted in savings of twenty five to forty five percent over that traditional of methods. Supplier source and shipping is the lifeline of the region as well as its major channel to revenue.
Smaller Caribbean businesses did not have the resources to attend international trade fairs nor retain overseas brokers, so became encapsulated by the few suppliers and product channels they traditionally utilized. E-business, through the internet, has made possible equalization en masse for the small producers of the Caribbean. International online commodities brokerage houses have lowered purchasing costs and prices by consolidating orders into larger production runs and finding the most efficient delivery channel. Steel and raw cloth prices are outstanding examples.
Due to true competitive purchasing and bidding for the first time, prices fell for three straight years, despite inflation and rising world prices. The empowerment of smaller businesses through E-business practices such as this enabled the rise of the dominant garment and metal fabrication industries in the region. “Considerable savings in administration costs, such as bank charges, sales accounting, stationery, postage, telephone charges, computer systems, staff time and among others” can be achieved according to Close Invo Financial.
Indirect benefits, such as the availability of management reports and instant product sales information lead to better decision, making abilities. It is no coincidence that the three largest financial consulting companies, Earnst and Youge, Price Waterhouse Cooper and Deloit Touche Tohmatsu now require clients to possess electronic accounting packages of certain sophistication. The least utilized and potentially most significant prospective method of profit generation in the Caribbean is the support of E-business and E-commerce themselves.
An Internet economy study done by Cisco Systems and The University of Texas estimated the internet economy at eight hundred and thirty billion Unites States Dollars in 2001 and is growing at a project rate of fifty three percent annually. The majority of this is not sales, but the composition and maintenance of the electronic infrastructure. The most interesting concept of this economy is that the work can be done at any geographic location without affecting results.
The English speaking Caribbean is excellently poised to take advantage of this burgeoning market. Jansen Associates estimates the Asian portion of North American web development and program authoring in excess of one hundred billion dollars, revenue earned by mostly small companies of non-English speakers. It is interesting to note that five percent of this market is greater that the gross domestic product of the combined Caribbean.