Dickeson--Where Does e-Commerce Fit?
Thirty years ago, Peter Drucker taught us that there are but three things that must be managed for business survival: liquidity, productivity and tomorrow. Internet supply integration and partnering are increasing liquidity by reducing inventories that slow conversion to cash. If cyberbrokerage for print is advancing the liquidity cause in that respect (and it may be), then we must applaud. We must also learn whether the brokerage intermediary hastens or slows the collection cycle of receivables as a liquidity utility.
(By the way, does the broker invoice the customer and collect, then remit to the printer after deducting commission? Does the broker thereby delay the printer's liquidity?)
Several e-commerce companies now provide "white papers" on their Websites that are available by the mouse click, without the registration ritual. These are, for the most part, content-laden documents that enlighten about issues and subjects. The FAQ (frequently asked questions) literary device, if thoroughly and thoughtfully prepared, might also develop needed, basic information.
Until we can see more clearly how the Internet, as a communication resource, enhances the creative interactivity aspect of printing, I submit that the jury's still out for cyber-brokerage. But we'd better keep an open mind. At the speed that our business models are now shifting, we dare not do otherwise.
—Roger V. Dickeson
About the Author
Roger Dickeson is a printing productivity consultant based in Tucson, AZ. He can be reached by e-mail at Roger@prem-associates.com, by fax (520) 903-2295, or on the Web at http://www.prem-associates.com.