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Word Count: 575
The major challenges for small to medium sized businesses to remain competitive in e-commerce include cost infrastructure and capability issues The costs may accumulate over time and evaluating the total cost of ownership TCO should be our first consideration This takes into account acquisition costs operations costs and control costs When these costs are identified we can make more accurate cost-benefit analysis Outsourcing any technical costs could result in cost savings and benefit in experience of the resource provider Turban et al p 629 The infrastructure includes content creation delivery and management The major categories are information about the company products services customers investor relations press releases enterprise resource planning ERP including warehouse management systems WMS customer relationship management CRM and web site hosting design promotion and information architecture Turban et al 2006 p 677 Attempting to cover all of these areas by a small to medium sized business could exhaust all resources or be impossible A small or medium sized business may not be capable of maintaining an e-commerce system by them The best action plan would be a competitive bidding process that would keep prices lower Value added ERP and CRM ERP is an integration of several software applications Classic ERP systems comprise modules for operations and corporate services A key ingredient of most ERP systems is the use of a single unified database to store data for the various system modules Wikipedia 2006 ERP systems also offer pre-integrated CRM systems Examples of packages commonly referred to as ERP systems include SAP Oracle with the companies it took over The Sage Group and the Microsoft Dynamics suite of ERP products Examples of modules in an ERP which formerly would have been stand-alone applications include Manufacturing Supply Chain Financials CRM Human Resources and Warehouse Management Wikipedia 2006 CRM focuses on the interfaces between the firm and its customers these include activities such as marketing sales and service The goal of CRM
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