eReadiness Audits

From e-mail and internet access through to online ordering and CRM, e-business is now an established part of the way British companies work. The question is though, how much difference can it make?

Silica Associates offer a service, primarily to small & medium sized enterprises, to perform an audit of existing use of technology and offer advice on how to best maximise it and explore & exploit other e-business opportunities. The areas reviewed for potential use include :

  • Creation of an extranet to share information & files within the company
  • Video and data conferencing to avoid gathering people together from different locations
  • Storage and retrieval of data
  • Using relational databases to make better use of diverse but connected information
  • Implement workflow management software to ensure correct sequential processes are followed
  • Use of Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) to work more flexibly
  • Setting up a wireless office
  • Exploiting online marketplaces by banding together with other small companies to cut costs with group discounts
  • Exploiting online tendering and online Auctions
  • Exchanging orders and invoices electronically with suppliers, using Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), for more efficient and faster payment
  • Creating a website to market goods or services
  • Using email and SMS (short message service, i.e. text messaging) as a marketing channel
  • Setting up the website to receive payment for goods or services
  • Providing support and guidance on the website to pre-empt customer queries, e.g. stock availability, support cover, delivery times, contact details etc…
  • Using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to build a picture of each customer’s habits and motivations to allow the service to be tailored to meet their needs

The process effectively constitutes of:

  • Confidential one-to-one interviews with relevant personnel within the company (at the most 2 hrs)
  • In-depth research involving literature & document reviews and web research on potential new e-business opportunities and use of technology by competitors
  • A formal report, issued within a week, detailing findings and recommendations from 0 to 12 months and subsequent advice and guidance on implementing preferred recommendations

The report will be structured with the following headings:

  • Background
  • Current use of technology
  • Industry analysis
  • Online Competitors
  • ePlanning recommendations for the future – 0 – 3 months / 4 – 12 months
  • Non-ePlanning recommendations for the future