E-COMMERCE - Dotcom's Dilemma
As 2001 dawns, which dotcom companies will survive and prosper?
BY CAROLINE MILLER
It has been an interesting ride to say the least. In 1999, the graphic arts industry saw the dawn of the dotcoms. The industry was inundated with a variety of Web-based solutions that offered new efficiencies and time savings.
However, the adoption of dotcom solutions—whether it be e-procurement or e-production—has been slow. The hesitant adoption rate, coupled with the devaluation of technology stocks last April, has left many in the industry wondering if the dotcoms will survive in 2001.
Already we've begun to see some consolidation with the purchase of printconnect.com by httprint.com, as well as the movement of some companies to restructure their business models such as Impresse.com, which recently launched its Marketing Resource Management solution.
Part of Impresse's restructuring process has been to move away from a transaction-based pricing model in favor of a software licensing price structure, says Lisa Cleary, vice president of marketing for Impresse.
"The transaction-based pricing model—although, as a business model, it seems like the way to go for an ASP—required people to change a lot of their business processes. It was a much more of an investment on their side and on our side in training all the people using the product, as well as their suppliers. It was much more amenable for us to move to a software licensing model," Cleary reports.
This movement away from the transaction-based model to licensed software was the result of feedback Impresse received from its Fortune 1,000 clients. While the companies were happy with its print e-procurement solution, they were asking Impresse to develop solutions that brought efficiencies further up the creative process, she explains.
So, for the past year, Impresse has been building a collaborative execution engine which complements the existing collaborative procurement engine that now handles all of the upfront processes from the creative process to the spend process. This makes sure that marketing dollars are well spent while introducing process efficiencies that help lower overall costs and decrease the amount of time required to manage marketing programs. Impresse will continue to offer print buyers and printers e-procurement offerings, but it will be combined into its overall MRM offering. "It's not just about printed materials, but all of the marketing services involved in a marketing campaign" states Cleary. "We will be managing the whole breadth of a marketing campaign."