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08:31 on Wednesday
7 March 2001

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Directors urged to lead the e-commerce revolution

L-R Naomi Langford-Wood, Neville Reyner, Brian Salter, David Jennings, Stephanie Smye, George Cox and Chris Everett

Company directors in Cambridgeshire have been urged to spearhead the electronic commerce revolution and develop global markets before larger competitors steal their customers.

Business leaders attending an Institute of Directors seminar entitled 'E-commerce without tears' were warned that their survival could be threatened by a major trader on the world wide web selling directly to their customers with products being delivered from local distribution points.

The threats and opportunities which e-commerce presented to business were explained by Brian Salter and Naomi Langford-Wood, two leading independent business and internet experts who have co-authored 12 books on the subject in the past two-and-a-half years.

Cutting through the jargon and techno-babble, they explained how to establish a web strategy and how to obtain more customers while providing a better service. They also explained that price competition between internet software suppliers gave small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) a competitive advantage over larger rivals.

"Small businesses can have an attractive and viable web presence for a fraction of the amount spent by the big boys only a few months ago," said Naomi.

"The savings in outlay can be offset against prices, making your goods more attractive in the marketplace and permitting customers to get what they want when they want it."

The seminar, held at the Garden House Hotel, Cambridge, was attended by the IoD's recently-appointed new director general George Cox, the former chairman of computer giant Unisys.

It was chaired by Neville Reyner, deputy chairman of the East of England Development Agency (EEDA), who announced the launch of a new E-Commerce Awards 2000 competition to encourage companies to adopt e-commerce business technologies. Cash prizes of 5,000, 3,000 and 1,000 will be awarded to the region's most successful firms who will be entered into a national final for the chance of winning 30,000.

The E-Commerce Awards 2000 are sponsored by BT and NatWest Bank and applications can be made via the website http://www.ecommerce-awards.co.uk/

February 2000




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