This paper reports the initial stages of a research project investigating how UK-based organisations undertaking electronic commerce are seeking competitive advantage through the management of their e-operations. Success in e-business depends on the extent to which the dramatic increase in connectivity offered by the Internet can be harnessed to improve efficiency and effectiveness in managing business processes that produce and deliver goods and services. This requires the integration of operations management and information systems both within the organisation and with supply chain partners. Results from a cross-case analysis of seven companies (three manufacturers and four financial service companies) that have converted from bricks-and-mortar to clicks-andmortar are reported. These indicate that: (1) e-commerce investments are mainly driven by a fear of being left behind by competitors rather than a desire to improve business process performance; (2) e-commerce investments tend to automate rather than re-design existing processes; (3) e-operations are run as a discrete set of processes, with little or no integration between eoperations information systems and those of the bricksand-mortar operations; (4) there is a lack of formal performance measures for e-commerce investments; (5) legacy systems and a lack of industry standards are major encumbrances to information systems integration.
Barnes, David; Hinton, C. Matt; and Mieczkowska, Suzanne, "Managing E-Operations for Comptitive Advantage" (2001). ICEB 2001 Proceedings. 127.