Hendy Cowan

Hendy Cowan


    New kit makes e-commerce easier

    3/11/2000 9:00 AM

    Help is at hand for the thousands of businesses that are not yet using e-commerce and are not sure how to get started.

    Commerce and Trade Minister Hendy Cowan said a new information kit aimed to help take the myth and mystery out of electronic business by providing a step-by-step explanation of exactly what is involved.

    The package includes six easy-to-read Guides to Electronic Commerce to take readers through the main issues associated with e-commerce.

    The guides, prepared by the Department of Commerce and Trade, cover key topics such as the benefits for business, what’s involved in getting started, ideas for doing things differently, and technology options beyond the Internet such as BPAY, smart cards and call centres.

    Launching the guides today, Commerce and Trade Minister Hendy Cowan said businesses that failed to come to grips with new work practices and technologies would inevitably put themselves at a disadvantage.

    “The Internet and e-commerce are helping businesses to do things better, faster and cheaper,” he said.

    “This includes communications, business promotion and accessing new markets right through to tendering, bill-paying and receiving payments electronically.

    “Online businesses can save thousands of dollars each year on transaction costs alone, such as cheque and bank fees, postage, stationery and administration time.”

    Mr Cowan said research compiled by the National Office for the Information Economy showed that at June 1999, 77 per cent of WA businesses were using computers, but less than 40 per cent were connected to the Internet.

    “These figures show there is a good degree of business readiness, but that many have yet to make the move to accessing the Internet,” he said.

    “As well, many of the firms with Internet access have yet to utilise e-commerce in areas such as online sales and product ordering.”

    Mr Cowan said the challenge for Government was to overcome obstacles that prevented businesses from using e-commerce.

    “This includes addressing any underlying concerns and increasing business confidence in use of the Internet by providing clear information on what is available and how to take advantage of it,” he said.

    The guides can be obtained at libraries, Business Enterprise Centres and Telecentres across the State, or by calling the Business Assistance Gateway on 9481 2525 or Freecall 1800 199 251 or email gatewaywa@commerce.wa.gov.au. They can also be accessed on the Internet through the Electronic Commerce Centre at http://www.ecc.online.wa.gov.au

    Media contact: Peter Jackson (Minister’s office) 9222-9595
    David Brewtnall, Department of Commerce & Trade 9327 5666 –
    has graphics available