By Ryan Skinner (email)
This is the fifth part of the ten-part FoIS series that I introduced last week, presenting the results of a unique survey about Internet use in the shipping industry. The survey was created by this blog, together with ShipServ for its Connect10 conference earlier this year.
For those interested in receiving the full responses in a .pdf report after the full series has been published, send me an email requesting it.
The fourth question of the survey was:
What's slowing the shipping industry from doing more business over the Internet?
As many respondents have adopted the practice of doing business over the Internet, these responses might be best interpreted as their hindsight. What were your greatest fears or obstacles? Even if the arguments for greater efficiency, speed and performance via e-commerce are sound, the transition is not as easy as flipping a switch.
"Lack of understanding" as the leading response indicates that knowledge of how to best do business on the Internet is a significant hurdle for many in the shipping business. "Lack of trust" could indicate that security issues remain strong in buyers' and sellers' minds. Or it could indicate that the industry still prefers to do business face-to-face and inherently doesn't like to forge relationships online.
"Lack of benefits" and "Lack of tools" indicate that the respondents feel like there are obstacles to implementing Internet-driven business processes within their organization. In other words, not all companies may be prepared for the changes that the new processes would entail. The Internet is yet another enabling technology and the biggest challenge is changing the way we do things.
- Lack of benefits is seldom cited as a hurdle preventing companies from doing e-business.
- Education and information are probably the greatest hurdles to broader e-business implementation in shipping.
Do you have comments to the question, the results or the analysis? Share them below in the comments field!
Tomorrow what I call FoIS (the Future of the Internet in Shipping) continues with part six, in which we see how respondents answered the question: "What do you see as the greatest value of doing business over the Internet?"