Singapore’s Marine Industry faces strong competition and challenges in the global arena, especially from fast emerging countries such as China and Vietnam where labor costs are much cheaper. Companies of the marine industry are increasingly under pressure in a fast changing business environment to make their operations lean and profitable. Innovativeness in seeking improvements and responsiveness to market changes are essential for gaining sustainable competitive advantage. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) can play a considerable part in a competitive strategy. E-Commerce could be of a useful tool to achieve competitive advantage, in cost reduction, product differentiation in term of quality service and responsiveness to customer requirements.
Michael Porter’s model of five forces of competitive rivalry help firms identify threats to its competitive position and make plans that may include IT and e-Commerce, to protect or enhance that position. E-Commerce offers new ways to manage supply chains, enhancing manufacturing logistics and distribution systems, and linking business partners in a seamless business-operating environment. It also helps to automate business transaction (buy and sell products and services) and flow of information between organizations on the internet. The Singapore Marine Industry would need to seek continuous improvements in all areas of their operations as well as in e-Commerce techniques in order to achieve sustainable competitive advantage.
Ong, Pock Keong and Yunus, Kathawala, "Achieving Competitive Advantage in Singapore Marine Industry through E-Commerce" (2003). ICEB 2003 Proceedings (Singapore). 73.