Seminar 2 April 2004

The importance of e-fulfilment and e-logistics for the European industry was reflected by the high-level representation and enlightening discussions at the 2 April e-Thematic Seminar in Berlin, Germany.

The seminar was dedicated to the views of the industry, and 40 European enterprises discussed their concerns about future problems in the logistics sector regarding the implementation of e-solutions for both B2B and B2C activities. Companies such as UPS, Merlin.pl, ShipServ, Ahold, Neckerman, Unilever and S&H presented their e-logistics solutions and EC representative Mr Wolgang Hoefs had the opportunity to benefit from first-hand information to be used in defining the EC’s future research work programmes.

The main conclusion from the seminar was that there is still some way to go before the industry can unlock the full potential of e-business. System integration and standardisation is still lacking some important aspects and stand-alone solutions make it less attractive for the customer or consumer.

Participants learned that to make a successful e-solution, "difficult" clients which are demanding short response times, small quantities or new payment methods must be serviced, or else any potential fulfilment problems might negate business opportunities. To deliver these expectations, industry is confronted with issues such as high costs, high expectations to the front office presentation (i.e. website), process automation, cross border obstacles and limited time slots - while we as customers demand competitive prices and speedy delivery even if we are only buying one book or CD.

Programme, list of participants, presentations and photos from the seminar are available here.

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