Electronic commerce Vapour or Value - implications for industrial marketing in the health care industry -
Information technological changes have triggered the growth of electronic commerce technologies that provide companies with opportunities to redefine and/or refine existing business processes. `How will e-commerce change my business?' is a question that puzzles managers around the globe, across every industry. The main problem of the thesis was to investigate how electronic commerce can complement industrial marketing activities of a multinational company supplying capital equipment to the health care industry. Our case company, Getinge, is an MNC that manufactures and markets infection control equipment to this industry. We studied the problem from three perspectives: a macro-, micro and first and foremost a customer perspective. We found both drivers and impediments for introducing e-commerce into the marketing mix. The customer (hospitals) is the major impediment due to technical (IT status) and cultural (IT and Internet usage) reasons. Furthermore, product complexity, infrequent purchases and the nature of interactions and exchanges in the buyer-seller relationship are impediments. However, emerging industry actors (`dot-coms') are providing hospital buyers and suppliers with electronic- procurement and marketing opportunities, which will drive the e-commerce development in the industry. At present, we believe that electronic commerce, in terms of on-line selling of infection control equipment, is of limited value to Getinge and its customers. Realisation of on-line selling of consumables and less complex products, could although be possible in the near future. Nonetheless, the company could deploy e-commerce solutions for information exchanges in pre-sale and post-sale (marketing) activities. This can range from basic product-service information- and promotion to advanced on-line support.
Göteborg University. School of Business, Economics and Law
Masters Thesis, nr 2000:27