It is important to understand that the major products and services of the Cafe cannot be sold electronically. It would be naturally awkward to send a cup of coffee electronically or by courier service such as what the popular retail service is doing! Thus, the strategy that the Cafe may employ on the marketing aspect may include the following: a. Utilization of google’s power and other advertising companies on the web.. This is on the advertisement/promotion side of the business. These pay-per-click ads can be utilized to spread information on target customers using “relevant word” ads.
If one of the branches of Cafe is located in San Diego, people surfing the web in San Diego or searching for a “coffee shop” or “meeting place” will be redirected by the search engine to the site of the Broadway cafe. b. Customer feedback forms can be used to enhance the products and services of the company, making the customer feel they are important and highly valued. c. Creation of customer groups or forums within the cafe site for those frequent customers allowing them to personally feel the service, making them stay and return to the cafe in times they need it, or in times they are convinced they need it.
d. Customer reservation forms may as well be utilized by the Cafe in order to facilitate customer service that offered to its valued clients. Instead of calling or personally reserving for a meeting place, a cubicle, a room or at least a table for a desired number of individuals at a certain time, the customer may simply browse the Cafe’s various types of products and services that may suit that certain customer needs. e. Products and services availability is very important.
To assist the needed information in processing the previous services (in letter d) the Cafe must lay out its products and services in it ebusiness site outlining all possible choices that the customer may ask or may desire.. If it is feasible, the cafe may also offer delivery services to a limited distance from the branch, say for example, businesses in the second level/floor of the same building where the Cafe is located. It is however important to note that this strategy may violate the motto of the Cafe which says it is in the Cafe itself where people meet!
If the above are principles and strategies are implemented by the Cafe, it can surely gain from the advantages the online world offers. As what Harris, and Dennis (106) have noted “electronic links are also established with customers and suppliers to reduce costs and enhance relationships across the network” helping the Cafe to have market and product development, penetrate the market and diversify its products and services based on customers’ suggestions and feedback forms. III. Supplier Interaction
Using the electronic supplier interaction is one great way to reduce time, cost and effort that the Cafe may exert and expend in acquiring its supplies and raw materials from those suppliers. If the Broadway is a big Cafe chain, it may as well utilize the enterprise resource planning (ERPs) methods and softwares, which will help in the atomization of the supplies/raw materials provision from the suppliers to the Cafe even without so much human intervention and initiative, through automatic determination of the supplies/inventory level and generating orders.
In fact if ERP is employed, other aspects of the business including accounting and finance processes will be improved as well. However, assuming that the Cafe is not too big to utilize ERP, it can still make use and benefit the advantages that the electronic world offers. Though, it may require good supplier e-business interface as well The following are the modes in which the cafe may utilize its interaction with the supplier. a. Creating a suppliers’ interface within the cafe’s ebusiness site where suppliers may post forum, make questions, e-mail the Cafe’s proper personnel, and interact from the suppliers’ side.
b. On the other side, if the supplier itself has its own ebusiness, Broadway connect with the system (compatibility of possible software usage matters here) of the suppliers where the level of inventories and supplies from that supplier may be posted and when these inventories and supplies reach a certain amount/volume or level, the supplier may simply send these supplies and/or inventories without waiting an initiating order from the cafe. c. Creating billing and invoice forms for the suppliers will make the billing process fast, interactive and secure.
Billings through snail mails are so slow and may not be delivered correctly and promptly. Ebusiness solutions solve these short comings that the traditional mails/billing/invoicing processes have. d. Flexibility of payment options may be utilize. Supplier payments may be done electronically without delays and physical human involvement. This means no clearing days and time needed for check processing, no fear of physical check/money loss and other disadvantages of traditional payment methods.
If the supplier offers paypal, e-gold, Xoom, or other forms of online payment acceptance, this would really improve the payout processes as well as the security involved in payments. The above enumerations simply shows that even small scale businesses and suppliers may as well utilize the conveniences of the online and electronic world. If Broadway can properly utilize those mentioned options and processes, a positive result can be expected.