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Knowledge Management And Ecommerce

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Discuss about the Knowledge Management And Ecommerce Strategy for the Rio Tinto.



In this post globalisation era, due to the growing as well as immense influences of all part of the market as well as the different commercial organisation within it, the knowledge management is becoming one of the main focuses on the management sciences. As contrasted to other managed resources, knowledge is often characterised as the perpetual regenerations so that along with the utilisation, knowledge is produced and helped any business organisation to grow their businesses. On the other hand, e-commerce provides a platform to the businesses to manage that knowledge’s in an effective manner. This assignment is intended to describe the importance of the knowledge management and e-commerce on the Rio Tinto which is one of the world’s largest mining and metal company.


Overview and importance of the contextual factors:

As stated by Fernandez-Lopez & Corcho (2010), knowledgemanagement is one of the processes for creating, share, utilise as well as manage the information as well as knowledge of any organisation. Knowledge management is one of the multidisciplinary approaches that mainly help any organisation to achieve their organisational objective with the effective utilisation of the knowledge.Knowledgemanagement mainly helps the management of any company to achieve different objective such as improving the performances, achieving the competitive advantage, facilitating the innovation along achieving integration as well as continuous improvement.

On the other hand, electronic commerce is the concepts that mainly describe the procedures to buysell or exchange goods and services through the computer networks by including the internet. In the present time, the modern electronic commerce mainly utilises the World Wide Web in at least one of the transaction life cycle though the user also utilises the other technologies such as email. After the globalisation, e-commerce became one of the effective tools that can allow avoiding the geographical barriers (Staab & Studer, 2013). E-commerce has a huge range of importance on the conduction of any businesses such as it facilitates the fasterbuying and selling process. It helps any organisation to access their potential customers with more easiness. The initiation costs of the e-commerce business are very less, and in some cases, it is not important to set up a physical company. E-commerce helps any business organisation to increase the quality of services and decreases the operational costs. However, e-commerce also has some limitation such as the e-commerce site can face the attack from any hacker that may cause harm to the company as well as their customers.

E-commerce organisations depend upon the knowledge management system of any company for facilitating their growth, managing the variable costs of the organisation and retaining the customers of the organisation (Sila, 2013). With the help of better and effective knowledge management tools, the e-commerce organisations can expand their businesses with more effectiveness. For example, any company can engage their customers for validating their products so that they can develop an effective catalogue for the company. E-commerce of any organisation recorded the buying behaviour and personal information of the customers when they buy something from the e-commerce site. After that, when any organisation want to know about their customer base then they can gather those data so that they can process that information and knows the requirements of the customers. This analysis can help the organisation to offer a product to the customers according to the previous buying behaviour of the customers, which in turns increases the loyal customer’s bases and improves the organisational performances (Balocco et al. 2010). Knowledge management is one of the continuous processes of the knowledge gathering, transfer as well as the application of the data so that by applying that knowledge, new knowledge can be generated that can help the organisation to understand the customer buying behaviours so that effective strategy can be developed to satisfy their needs.


The impact of the contextual factors on the Rio Tinto:

E-commerce businesses are underused in the case of the metal and mining sector compared to another sector. The main reason behind that is uniformity of the products comprises of this sector, the predominance of the middle and small, sized companies and the local focuses on the majority of the organisations. For facilitating the buying and selling of the metals from the big metal and mining organisationmainly, B2B e-commerce is utilised (Victor Chenet al. 2013). This is because;metals are not the thing that issold in smaller quantity so that customers cannot buy itdirectly from the organisation through the B2C e-commerce. However, a different business organisation can buy it from the metal and mining organisation and then make it usable to sell it to customers. Therefore, in this context, it can be said that Rio Tinto can utilise the B2B commerce to sell their product among the customers.

Effective B2B e-commerce along with the knowledge management solution can help the Rio Tintoto achieve an effective growth, and it also helps the organisation to meet the demand in the market as well as the demand of their customers. Effective e-commerce can help the organisation to identify the demand for different metal that they are generating that can helped them to produce those metal in the highest manner so that all of the market demand can be satisfied. By integrating the enterprise resource planning as well as another back-end system to support business, the B2B e-commerce can provide efficiencies to the Rio Tinto. The organization can build up an effective e-commerce for their organization by which their customers can order metal in online mode, which can help them to store the information regarding the customers automatically so that they can analyze the data in their near future and offer them product with some discounts according to their previous purchase behavior (Choi et al. 2011). This strategy can help the organisation to retain their exciting customer base. An effective B2B e-commerce can help the organisation to get a number of customers because with the help of B2B e-commerce and knowledge management strategy it is possible to make more customer facing catalogue pages according to the requirements of customers. This effective B2B e-commerce strategy can help the Rio Tinto to improve their brand's awareness’s with more effectiveness. Moreover, through the e-commerce, Rio Tinto can easily measure the impact of their marketing campaign that also helped them to develop the effective marketing campaign, which in turns can help to increase their sales (Rainer et al. 2011).


Major domestic and international contextual factors and its impact on businesses:

When any organisation operates in their home country, then their e-commerce structure became completely different than the e-commerce structure when they started to make their operation in the international mode because of the involvement of the tax rates as well as trade restriction. Along with that, in different countries, the government implements different laws andregulation that must be considered while develops B2B e-commerce businesses (Michaelidou et al. 2011). For example, in order to conduct the trade in the Australia, Rio Tinto should cover the guidelines of the Australian Treasury along with the Australian competition and the consumer commissions for the electronic commerce. On the other hand, in the general mode, Rio Tinto must follow the guideline of the international consumer protection and enforcement network.

For expanding the e-commerce business in the other country, it will be effective for the Rio Tinto to follow divisional organisational structure instead of other organisational structure. This is because this organisational structure is effective for the organisation that has a different product line and operates in a different country (Qu et al. 2015). In order to expand the e-commerce business in another country, developing a B2B e-commerce website for the Rio Tinto is not sufficient. Along with that, development of effective supply chainin that country is also necessary. The main product of the Rio Tinto is iron ore, bauxite, copper, aluminium, gold, coal, diamond, uranium, borates etcetera, therefore, to supply this product in another country an effective supply chain need to be created. This is because; metals are very costly in nature so that for avoiding the financial losses, they have to create an effective exporting and importing strategy (Thatcheret al. 2011).

In the Australia, Rio Tinto already has an established e-commerce market so that they can easily maintain and improve their businesses by conducting email marketing strategy with the help of knowledge management. In the email marketing, Rio Tinto must provide several offers and discounts for their existing customers according to their previous purchasing history so that they can keep their existing customer base (Hoang et al. 2010). On the other hand, they can expand their market by following an effective entry mode. It is important for the Rio Tinto to attract different business organisation of another country in which they want to expand their businesses so that they can get an efficient market for selling their product. However, to sell the product in another country, exporting is from Australia is not enough, they can create a joint venture with other metal and mining organisation in that country to satisfy the need of the customers (Ranganathan et al. 2011).



From the above discussion, it can be said that implementing the B2B e-commerce strategy is not easy, different law and regulation must be maintained for creating an ethical trade. Moreover, in order to attract customers and retain new customers, an effective catalogue of the organisation must be developed in the way so that it can satisfy the need of customers. Along with that, it is important for any organization to implement some proper ecommerce strategy in the home country and different international country so that it can attract customers in both the region. However, implementation of effective ecommerce strategy is not sufficient to attract customers in other country, for creating huge revenue in other country it is important to develop an effective supply chain so that Rio Tinto can make their product easily available to their customers.


  • As Rio Tinto is one of the Metal and mining organization so that in order to increase the number of customers to them it is important to create an effective look and feel in their websites. It is very much important for them to show their actual potential through different images shows in their websites so that it can motivate different business organization to buy metal from them.
  • In order to avoid any kind of issues regarding the hacking and secure the sensitive information, it is very much important Rio Tinto to implement some security mechanism in their websites.
  • Rio Tinto can implement one effective big data analytics tool to analyze the data regarding customers more effectively. Moreover, implementing the big data analytics in the ecommerce websites can help the organization to analyze their sales that helps them to calculate their total percentage of profit so easily and helps them to develop some effective strategy to increase their sales.


Balocco, R., Perego, A., & Perotti, S. (2010). B2b eMarketplaces: a classification framework to analyse business models and critical success factors. Industrial Management & Data Systems, 110(8), 1117-1137.

Choi, J., Yi, S., & Lee, K. C. (2011). Analysis of keyword networks in MIS research and implications for predicting knowledge evolution. Information & Management, 48(8), 371-381.

Fernandez-Lopez, M., & Corcho, O. (2010). Ontological Engineering: with examples from the areas of Knowledge Management, e-Commerce and the Semantic Web.

Hoang, H., Tran, P. C., & Le, T. (2010). State of the art of semantic business process management: an investigation on approaches for business-to-business integration. Intelligent Information and Database Systems, 154-165.

Michaelidou, N., Siamagka, N. T., & Christodoulides, G. (2011). Usage, barriers and measurement of social media marketing: An exploratory investigation of small and medium B2B brands. Industrial marketing management, 40(7), 1153-1159.

Qu, W. G., Pinsonneault, A., Tomiuk, D., Wang, S., & Liu, Y. (2015). The impacts of social trust on open and closed B2B e-commerce: A Europe-based study. Information & Management, 52(2), 151-159.

Rainer, R. K., Prince, B., & Watson, H. J. (2014). Management Information Systems. Wiley Publishing.

Ranganathan, C., Teo, T. S., & Dhaliwal, J. (2011). Web-enabled supply chain management: Key antecedents and performance impacts. International Journal of Information Management, 31(6), 533-545.

Sila, I. (2013). Factors affecting the adoption of B2B e-commerce technologies. Electronic commerce research, 13(2), 199-236.

Staab, S., & Studer, R. (Eds.). (2013). Handbook on ontologies. Springer Science & Business Media.

Thatcher, J. B., McKnight, D. H., Baker, E. W., Arsal, R. E., & Roberts, N. H. (2011). The role of trust in postadoption IT exploration: An empirical examination of knowledge management systems. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 58(1), 56-70.

Victor Chen, J., Chen, Y., & Paolo S. Capistrano, E. (2013). Process quality and collaboration quality on B2B e-commerce. Industrial Management & Data Systems, 113(6), 908-926.


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