UK companies are ignorant of the true costs and benefits of Internet technology for linking with suppliers and improving service to customers.
This was the conclusion of a survey by market research organisation Aspect Consulting, sponsored by Internet software vendor Intelligent Environments, which interviewed 49 companies in the Times Top 1000 business-to-business sector.
Only 13 per cent of these companies have begun to use the Internet or extranets to improve customer service. Only one in four even believed Internet technology could help this function.
The survey found that over 30 per cent would wait at least two years before conducting business on the Internet and 10% would not do so at all.
"There is a need for businesses in the UK to wake up to the exciting commercial opportunities offered by the Internet. If they fail to effectively harness this valuable marketing tool, their competitors across the globe will surely continue to do so," said Steve Cuthbert, director general of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.
One-third of these companies had no idea what the cost of implementing an interactive Web application would be, while another third thought it would be at least #20,000. Of the two-thirds of organisations who had Web sites, most had no interactivity.
Roger Willcocks, managing director of Intelligent Environments warned that UK companies could be bypassed by international organisations that had set-up a virtual supply-chain using Internet technology.
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