Table of Contents
The need to evolve3
First steps in the decision process4
Moving from ERP to business4
Supply Chain and distributers5
The role of distributors to Brady6
How Brady works with distributors online6
Disadvantages of distributors6
Demand: direct selling to the end customer7
Benefits of direct selling to the customer online7
Trends in selling direct selling to the customer7
Potential problems in Brady’s direct selling online8
Importance of direct selling online in the future8
Analysing the case of the Brady Corporation, it is shown that the internet and information systems have brought many conveniences to Brady, its distributors and customers. The internet also provided Brady with the opportunity to bypass intermediaries to sell directly to the customer. Nevertheless, Brady focused upon end customer service by keeping their distributors and leveraging their technological capabilities to better serve the needs of both their customers and distributors. In concurrence with Porter (Porter, 2001)the internet can be used a complement to traditional business activities and distribution channels. Introduction
Technology should only be used where it truly adds value to the customer (Faisal, 2002). Numerous high profile cases such as Boo.com demonstrate that where the focus is not enhancing customer service, technological development and changes often prove to be unsuccessful or disastrous (Amjad, E-Business and Distributed Systems Handbook, 2003). From the Brady case, it can be seen that when Brady reviewed technological changes, they analysed the impact on the various stakeholders and particularly its end customers. As Dave Hawke, vice president of the graphics group says: “You can spend a lot of dollars in building and promoting functionality that customers really don’t care about. We need to think about the value to the customer...” One of the challenges for organisations today is to continue to add value to its service offering that fulfil and exceed customer expectations (De Chernatony, 2001). This report will evaluate how Brady attempted to add value through its eBusiness strategy. Firstly it will be discussed how Brady was able to use technology to improve its service offering to its distributors and subsequently selling directly to its customers. Following the discussion of the importance of distributors and direct selling to customers, this report will conclude by drawing together the main lines of thought articulated within this report.
Milwaukee-based Brady Corporation manufactures and markets a wide range of identification and materials solutions, including high-performance labels, signs, tapes, printing systems, software, and label-application and data collection systems. Its catalog of 50,000 products—sold into such segments as manufacturing, electrical, electronics, and telecommunications—runs the gamut from workplace signs and labels to bar-coding equipment, printers, and industrial tracking software. A key distinguishing characteristic of its product line is the high-performance nature of many of its sign and identification products, which are often deployed in such demanding environments as petrochemical plants, clean rooms, and jet engines. One of Brady’s key competitive strengths is the global nature of its business model, evidenced by the fact that nearly half of its $546 million in revenues comes from nearly 100 countries outside the US. Supporting its global business strategy is a broad network of manufacturing, warehousing, sales and service operations located in Europe, Asia/Pacific, Latin America, Canada and the United States. This set of global...