PracticePeople In PracticeHeadstart: E-business – A month in the life of: Visitalocal.com.

Headstart: E-business - A month in the life of: Visitalocal.com.

A month overseas[QQ] While not much progressed on our visitalocal dotcom venture in January, we’ve spent much of the month using our knowledge on the internet area doing e-commerce consultancy. The company we’ve been working with, Prestige Purchasing, specialises in reducing costs through rationalisation of the supplier base and implementation of e-commerce.

Our work with Prestige Purchasing has sent us overseas for much of January and on this project our focus has shifted from using the internet to generate new revenues, as with visitalocal.com, to using it as a means to reduce and monitor costs. With a simple e-commerce application, clients can reduce internal processing costs in, for example accounts payable and general ledger, and at the same time implement and measure supplier deals more effectively.

Advice won deal

An e-commerce solution can sit like any other application on users’ desktops, with items being compared, selected, authorised and processed immediately on-screen. Implementation of e-commerce helps secure lower prices and better contract terms through better management information and control, while at the same time introducing a bureaucracy-free control and authorisation mechanism for different levels of staff and order items. Having presented a plan demonstrating they can reduce costs of $5.7m (#4m) within 18 months they won the deal!

So while we’ve not spent too much time on visitalocal, we’ve still been working on other areas of business that the internet can positively affect.

Nick went to Penton’s m-commerce world show at Olympia and was amazed at the speed at which this sector is growing with the show now covering all three floors. While all the usual suspects were there it was interesting to see the number of new companies emerging into this market. We are still sure that visitalocal.com product will find a home in this sector.

What’s next?

As we mentioned last month, our plan for the next few months is to continue with our business consultancy, while we wait for the dotcom market to settle. We are also using the visitalocal business model and applying it to traditional marketing channels, and securing marketing deals with some of the major pub and restaurant chains.

Further information: enquiries@visitalocal.com

– Visitalocal.com’s Geraldine Calpin and Nick Silk won last year’s Accountancyage.com/Businessincubator.com competition.

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