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Retrieved from NationMaster.com E-Business refer to the any business process that depend on automated information system and which mostly done via web-based technology. Furthermore E-Business roles is help to enhance companies to connect their internal and external data processing system more efficiently and flexibly, allow to work closely with suppliers and partners, and gain customer satisfaction by satisfy their need and expectations.
According to Heidari (2009), E-commerce involves the process of buying and selling of product or service via electronic system such as internet and other computer networks. The activities such as electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems.
Shell used Notes based application named SIMON system support to both the upstream and downstream business relationships. Downstream business relationship involved distribution of chemical of the product (chemical) to the customer. SIMON system helps to forecast the inventory management on behalf of the customer. Meanwhile upstream business relationship involved the inventory management from customer to supplier. SIMON system helps to monitor the amount inventory in stock of at the customers' manufacturing location.
Shell Chemical deployed corporate extranet - Lotus Notes application (SIMON) in order to manage the supply chain management process also called as customer inventory management system. With Notes databases system, this allows customers to input consumption, forecast and inventory and the server. The server (customer purchasing department) will replicate changes to Shell's internal SIMON server. Subsequently Shell able to manage the customers' inventory and place order for the customer instead of waiting for the customers such as notified them that they were running low. This enable enhance companies to connect their internal and external data processing system more efficiently and flexibly, allow to work closely with suppliers and partners, and gain customer satisfaction by satisfy their need and expectations. Therefore in my point of view SIMON should be considered as combination of E-Business and E-Commerce.
Draw a table summarizing the before and after implementation roles for Shell and their customers (downstream side).
Before downstream (implementation of SIMON)
After downstream (implementation of SIMON)
Lot of manual
Time consuming transaction - time delay for customer from time of order to product ETA, re-orders took 2 weeks
Supplier required to maintain 'safety stock' level - it is costly to have extra inventory.
Miscalculation - lead to rush orders.
Insufficient billing - billing conducted per rail-car order.
Customer not satisfied as the stock delay.
Longer response time -involved lots of phone calls and faxes.
Flexibility between suppliers and customers - see the status of product shipments and reconcile product supply and demand.
Standardize business process - Able to work closely with customers and able to coordinating product requests with other suppliers
Stock management becomes more efficient - Supply altered to a JIT approach for stock control.
Customer has access to the notes system for account information.
Customer information (input consumption, forecast and inventory) replicated directly to Shell's internal SIMON server - Electronic purchases.
Response time improved.
Reduction in transaction cost (eg invoice and data entry/paperwork).
Reduce error sources.
Able to enhance cash flow though faster payment - one invoice generated monthly based on consumption figures not shipments.
Increase customer satisfaction.
This description of SIMON is explained from the Shell perspective. Using your answer to question 2, state whether you think the customer truly benefits, or is Shell transferring some of its workload to the customer?
In my point of views, the implementation of SIMON system brings benefit to both side- Customer and Shell.
For customer's perspective, this SIMON system helps them to:-
Stock management becomes more efficient - Supply altered to a JIT approach for stock control. Therefore customer can get their product on time/OTD increased.
Increase flexibility in the acquisition and delivery process as procurement method whereby SIMON help to forecast the level of inventory, forecast demand for inventory, and the shipment detail such as location, timing and quantity. With this system, the information replicated directly to Shell's internal SIMON server. This can ensure that they (customer) have enough products whenever needed as if they run out of product they possibly lost in revenues. It significantly manage inventories as shortage can severely disrupt the timely flow of work and have far reaching impacts, while excess inventory add unnecessary costs.
For Shell's perspective, this SIMON system helps them to:-
Provide details of customer product consumption, current inventory or product level and forecast demand for inventory. This will help in inventory management as it is costly to have extra inventory and to avoid too high 'Safety stock' level. With this system, Shell able to supply the correct amount to customer and use of JIT for stock monitoring and control. This also can help to avoid possibly lost in revenues.
Better response time which will increase customer satisfaction.
Reduce error and the inventory management become more efficiently due to SIMON system help to work closely with customers and able to coordinating product requests with other suppliers.
Reduction in transaction cost through input to transaction such as to deal with invoice and paperwork as employees delegated to customer supply management.
With this implementation of SIMON system this can increase value and saving to both parties in supply management process and also with this supply chain efficiencies and potential create competitive advantage.
Visit the Shell Chemicals web site (www.shellchemicals.com). How are the benefits of these facilities explained?
The benefit of these facilities such as:-
Far Cheaper and Much More Flexible than Print Advertising - The product and service detail available under section 'Products and Services'. Furthermore, it also consists of customer centre in order to guide and provide information to customer such as how to buy, customer service contact, customer lounge and so on.
Market expansion - Under section 'Customer Lounge' - B2B website that simplifies customers around the world to do business with Shell Chemicals companies online. Registered users can access the Customer Lounge via the link on the right-hand side of this screen.
Diversify Information Streams - Under section 'Sitemap', the user can get varieties of information such as responsible chemistry, innovation, product and services and about Shell Chemicals. There is additional link for each information in order the user to browse more detail.
Flexible Business Hours and convenience - The site can be accessed 24 hours 7 days 365 days conveniently. The user also can access to the information anywhere or at any point.
Add Value and Satisfaction - For example under 'Our plans for growth' section this emphasized on plan for growth such as detail on investing in existing assets and Options for future growth. In addition, under 'Shell Chemicals world ranking' emphasized on the achievement of Shell Chemicals. Therefore this helps add value and satisfaction to customers.
Two-Way Communicative Marketing - Under ' Contact us' section this enable to provide information such as sales contacts, corporate office phone number or address, product specific enquiry and detail of manufacturing location or service contacts.
Growth Opportunity - Under 'Who we are' section it describes on the history, purpose (objective), people, location and joint ventures details which illustrated the growth opportunity of Shell Chemical.
Shell Chemicals web site help to provide information to customer and supplier. This is effective ways in order Shell informing their others what Shell Chemical doing and potentially attract new customers.