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Management And Business Context: Ecommerce

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Question:

Write about the Management and Business Context for Ecommerce.

 

Answer:

Introduction

The business world has become competitive and therefore for any business to remain relevant in this sector they have to be effective in their provision of services and goods to their clients in a satisfactory way. Some of the ways in which this can be achieved in the effective management of knowledge in the business environment as well as adoption of current ways of doing business such as use of ecommerce in the day to day activities. Ecommerce is cost effective and attracts a huge customer base thus increase in the profit margins.  It gives businesses like wesfarmers a vital opportunity to give their customers some convenience that is round the clock. If the ecommerce strategy is good it adds customer services that are excellent and a social media presence that is dynamic thus leading to higher traffic as well as better client satisfaction

 

Knowledge Management

Knowledge management in business is simply termed as the manner in which knowledge is managed. This is then extended to the management of organizational knowledge in which business value is created and a competitive advantage generated (Moensted, 2007).  It comprises of some of the processes that are needed to manage knowledge effectively. Knowledge management is an explicit and systematic way of building, renewing and applying knowledge in a deliberate way so as to ensure the organization survives in the long run.

This is because the core competency in many organizations is based on knowledge creation. Knowledge management is currently identified as the main requirement to any future successful enterprise and has been recognized rapidly by many firms as the major importance in terms of strategy (Companys and McMullen, 2007).   It’s one of the means used to achieve innovation in products and process as well as services. With this also comes effectiveness in decision making and the adaptation of the organization to any market for the creation of business values and generation of competitive advantage to any organization (Yates et al., 2010).   Therefore to successfully meet the demands of improving an enterprise performance such as wesfarmers organization then it’s very important to adapt an efficient process that is knowledge intensive.

To enhance business practices of wesfarm organization then some knowledge management success actors have to be adapted by the said organization (Moensted, 2007). There exists a crucial link between analysis of the success factors and the environment when it comes to organizational success. Once these factors are critically analyzed then core processes that are relevant to the success of knowledge management are well implemented. Several models have been used to identify various variables that ensure successful implementation of the knowledge management.

 


They include Daveeport et al., (1998), Ryan and Prybutok (2001) and Moffet et al., (2003). They were able to come up with some knowledge management success factors. These factors include shared knowledge, technology infrastructure, and balance in flexibility, or rather ease in the access of knowledge, organizational infrastructure, knowledge friendly culture, knowledge transfer by use of different information technology infrastructure, motivation of workers in the development and sharing of knowledge and management support and commitment from senior staff.

From a theoretical context several propositions have been made regarding the use of knowledge management in the success of any business and they include;

Training of employees is critical in the implementation of knowledge management in a successful manner (Tharon, 2010).  This training is important because once they are equipped with knowledge employees are able to adequately engage in various decision making processes of the wesfarmers organization. In this way the organization can meet its objectives easily. This is a good way of employee involvement which is a focal point of all other management fields. This is because it’s the most effective means of solving problems and improvement of processes in a total quality management way (Tharon, 2010).

Involvement of employees has proven to be one of the most effective and critical way of successful implementation of knowledge management. This involvement can be achieved by wesfarmer through formation of teams which have over the recent years proven to be more creative in making informed decisions and coordinate work with minimal supervision. With teams common objectives are easily achieved and they are currently the basic building blocks of nay organization (Ashok et al., 2011).

The spirit of teamwork should be open and trustworthy to ensure successful implementation of knowledge management; wesfarmers should work towards the elimination of bureaucratic controls and aim at creating a sense of freedom in which employees can easily be commit their talents and energies in the accomplishment of the organization’s goals. The employees who are empowered get autonomy i.e. freedom and independence in doing their work. They get a feeling of self-efficacy in which they are confident of completing their tasks successfully.

 


An empowerment of employee is another critical point in ensuring success in the implementation of knowledge management (Jack, 2010). The top leadership of Westfarmers should be actively involved in the knowledge management processes. They should then work towards empowering their employees with such skills related to knowledge management. Those leadership skills are quite essential to the middle level workers I the organization. The employee morale has also to be well maintained during difficult periods. This leads to the fifth proposition in which the top management leadership as well as commitment has to be visible for the successful implementation of knowledge management (Tharon, 2010). This can be achieved by wesfarmers via the utilization of different information technologies currently available.

An organization can easily manage and leverage its knowledge in a systemic way through storage of knowledge in computers. It’s therefore critical to have information systems and infrastructure in place for the successful implementation of knowledge management by Wesfarmers. The company needs to carry out performance measurement as well on its employees so as to ascertain whether knowledge management implementation process is successful. The culture there in is also supposed to be knowledge friendly and employees should be taught on peaceful coexistence (Ashok et al., 2011). Benchmarking should be Wesfarmers culture so as to enhance exchange of ideas, values and cultures for the successful implementation of knowledge management. Organization constraints should also be eliminated in the Wesfarmers structure for the proper utilization of knowledge management techniques.

Ecommerce

Wesfarmers can benefit a lot from possessing its own ecommerce site. Aside from selling physical products the company can still use this platform in selling digital products, doing consultations, scheduling appointments and it’s thus a solution that is flexible to any kind of business (Yates et al., 2010).  Adopting the use of ecommerce will influence the decisions made regarding purchases. Nowadays to decide on a purchase customers start off from online platforms where they make comparisons with other similar products and services offered. The website acts as Wesfarmers show room. The company needs an ecommerce that is well designed and can easily influence decisions on purchases (Moensted, 2007). The services and products should be showcased at their best with an aim of making purchases easy.

Adoption of ecommerce also taps into social media; many customers in the social world are turning to social Medias like twitter and face book to search for good purchases (Turoff et al., 2010). Through the use of social media Wesfarmers are able to raise the profile of their company to unimaginable levels thus encouraging traffic and sales. This gives room to forge connections with clients if the social media strategy is well thought and marries with some good ecommerce sites. Creation of YouTube channels filled with company products and services is also quite impressive to clients. This strategy is simple but has a way of connecting emotionally well with clients.

Ecommerce is very convenient- online shopping is very convenient and one cannot miss customers regardless of their busy schedule and therefore if Wesfarmers adopts this technology there is no doubt with better strategies in place their business will definitely grow (Yates et al., 2010). With ecommerce Wesfarmers can easily fit in their clients’ busy schedule and offer them the services and products needed at their convenient.  This convenience should be combined with a process for checkout which is quick, tracking of orders and being fats in shipping for it to win.

 


By use of ecommerce Wesfarmers can easily broaden their brand. Through this platform the range of services and products can be broadened getting more clients and diversifying sales.  Use of ecommerce also offers room for personalized experience. It offers many rooms for one to get more personal connections with their customers (Beugelsdijk, 2007). Wesfarmers can have an ecommerce site which provides room for customers’ comments and this helps them improve on service provision and delivery. This platform is therefore much more cost effective compared to traditional commerce.  The theoretical as well as conceptual approaches related to ecommerce are advanced in some terms such as marketing, diffusion, transaction cost theory, retrieval of information and the strategic networking (Companys and McMullen, 2007).  All these concepts explain the relevance of ecommerce for instance one needs to have some good marketing strategies to survive and feel the impact of ecommerce and the means of retrieving information should be effective and be done with much speed.

Conclusion

Both knowledge management and ecommerce are important issues when it comes to ensuring the success of any business. It’s therefore important for Westfarmers to heavily invest in these two sectors if they need to remain competitive in this business field. For instance it’s known that one may have some good knowledge regarding the growth or even improvement in service delivery by any company. However if such knowledge is not well managed it becomes null and void. Several strategies have to be therefore put in place to ensure successful knowledge management. The world of business is going digital and it’s therefore important for Westfamers to adopt ecommerce in addition to traditional commerce in doing business.

 

References

Ashok S., Azween A. and Alan G. D. (2011). “Usability Testing Methodology: Effectiveness of Heuristic Evaluation in E-Government Website Development”,ISBN 978-0-7695-4412-4, Proceedings of 2011 Fifth Asia Modelling, AMS 2011 Conference,pp.68-72.

Beugelsdijk, S. (2007). Entrepreneurial culture, regional innovativeness and economic growth. Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 17(2), 187–210.

Companys, Y. E., & McMullen, J. S. (2007). Strategic entrepreneurs at work: The nature, discovery, and exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunities. Small Business Economics,

Davenport, T., De Long, D., and Beers, M. (1998). “Successful knowledge management projects”. Sloan Management Review, 39(2), pp. 43 – 57.

Jack D. (2010).“Web Ecommerce Development: Defining Business Success in the Online Market “, December 2010. 28, 301–322.

Moensted, M. (2007). Strategic networking in small high tech firms. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 3, 15–27.

Moffett, S., McAdam, R., & Parkinson, S. (2003) “An empirical analysis of knowledge management applications.” Journal of Knowledge Management, 7(3), pp. 6 – 26.

Ryan, S.D., & Prybutok, V.R. (2001). “Factors affecting knowledge management technologies: a discriminative approach”. Journal of Computer Information Systems, 41(3), pp. 31 – 37.

Tharon W.H. (2010). “Design to Thrive Creating Social Network and Online Communities that Last”,pp36 – 41, 2010

Turoff, M., Van de Walle, B., & Hiltz, S. R. (2010). Emergency response information systems. In B. Van de Walle, M. Turoff, & S. R. Hiltz (Eds.), Information systems for emergency management. Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe.

Yates, D., Shute, M., & Rotman, D. (2010). Connecting the dots: When personal information becomes personally identifying on the internet. In Proceedings of the fourth annual AAAI conference on weblogs and social media Washington, DC.

Yates, D., Wagner, C., & Majchrzak, A. (2010). Factors affecting shapers of organizational wikis. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 61(3), 543–554. 

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