Tool sells e-business to bosses

The UK Council for Electronic Business (UKCeb) has launched an e-business assessment tool to help companies gain senior-level...

The UK Council for Electronic Business (UKCeb) has launched an e-business assessment tool to help companies gain senior-level support for their e-initiatives.

The Electronic Business Assessment Tool (eBat) was jointly developed by organisations including the Department of Trade & Industry, Rolls Royce, BAe Systems and PA Consulting, with the aim of helping companies match their e-business strategy with their key business aims.

Norman Schofield, a director of UKCeb, said, "eBat was developed to help organisations to determine a relevant e-business strategy and to achieve improvements in business performance.

"Getting senior executives to think about e-business strategy and understand all the issues is very difficult, and that is what we are seeking to address."

Designed to suit an extended manufacturing enterprise environment, eBat is an analytical software tool which requires the participation of a company's board in a number of facilitated workshops. The process identifies specific e-business elements to support the current business strategy, while highlighting any existing weaknesses in technology and skills.

More than 45 UK companies have used the process to date.

One company to benefit from eBat was Eaton Aerospace. With plans to extend its operations into Europe, Eaton was looking to transform a peripheral unit of the business into a core element. "eBat was crucial for enabling us to have a uniform direction for the project and gaining the understanding and full support of the management," said Tim Thexton, Eaton's business development manager.

"It was important because it was a structured way of getting senior management support and because it removed the emotional side of the decision-making process."

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