Identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably is undoubtedly one of the main challenges of companies.
The phrase “more and more customers buy services and not products,” means to create value not only achieved with the product specifications, it is necessary to provide a combination of complementary services that make the whole “more desirable”; services that are directly or indirectly transferred to the product.
Manuals, answers to queries, technical information, referrals, training, efficient claims management and post-sales support, are just some examples of the services that customers demand and should even be provided before the sale is made. Companies should invest money from the start without even knowing whether the transaction will be implemented and therefore if they recover.
On the other hand, sellers, business agents and distributors also require additional services; brochures, market research, sales manuals, technical information, compared with competitors, current campaigns, price lists, availability and lead times, and many more.
Thus, in today’s world, each product must be accompanied by a knowledge base that adds to the value generated by it and in some cases is worth more than the product itself, especially the closer be a “comodity” is. The existence of these knowledge bases, which are a key asset of companies, is one the most important for a sustainable competitive advantage, something much less “copied” pillars of the product itself and as it should be distributed, but traditional distribution channels not contemplated.
This scenario becomes even more complex if we place in the international context in which they must play their match Uruguayan exporters; where such training is needed on the characteristics and ways of selling our product to business agents that are in Mexico, getting channels Argentina feel more supported working with our products with others, help account executives they are in Chile to differentiate and compete against local products or provide security to end customers in Spain so that they are supported and do not feel that the presence of our company depends only on the local dealer.
In this context, the existence of formal knowledge base and the ability to distribute them globally becomes a critical success factor to compete in the world market, which can only be saved through the intensive use of technology, as is evidenced by the behavior of companies in the developed world.
However, the result of research by InnovaAge, derived from the workshops of strategic thinking with leading companies, projects to implement corporate portals and opinion polls on the market show that most companies not only Uruguayan They have no technological infrastructure to distribute their knowledge, but in most cases the knowledge or if this even formally expressed in some way, and the best of them resides in the head? Employees, if they have not gone.
In this framework, the end result, if the company achieves good initial penetration in a market quickly is “overtaken” by demand and a situation that could be successful becomes a limited business for lack of capacity, reality which often leads to failure, especially because funding must constantly come from the results of operations in Uruguay in general, a smaller market.
The solution then lies in the intensive use of technology applied to business and exploiting potential for communication and integration that provides global Internet.
A first approach to these solutions, mainly due to the reasonable relationship between investment and benefits, corporate portals represent the Internet. They are software solutions developed specifically for this purpose, aimed at the acquisition, management and distribution of knowledge to specific audiences depending on their preferences and business rules, all through a website.
The Corporate Portal a company housed in its e-business servers, could this training hundreds of clients in Latin America and Europe, while providing information about a new product to distributors in Brazil, presents the new incentive plan for executives Sales in Chile and helps a business agent in Central America to be submitted to a public tender, all this cheap and efficient way.
By using Internet portals businesses can provide services simultaneously to customers, Business Partners and Employees anytime and anywhere, regardless of schedules, geographies and quantity applications without modifying the profile of business costs, saving significant sums communication and integration and becoming more efficient operations, both domestic and international.
In short, in this article we aimed to present the importance of the implementation of technology in conjunction with the use of Internet, especially for those companies wishing to enter the international market and where, although the extent and variety of available techniques is very extensive, in our opinion, the proposed solution represents one of the most reasonable ways to start.