SUBMISSION TO AUSTRALIAN TREASURY : REVIEW BEST PRACTICE MODEL FOR BUSINESS - BUILDING CONSUMER CONFIDENCE IN E-COMMERCE SUBMISSION BY: Benjamin ANSON Dear Sir / Madam, RE: EXPERT GROUP ON ELECTRONIC COMMERCE DISCUSSION PAPER NOVEMBER 2003 I refer to the above document and the current review of Australian E-Commerce. Several months ago Sydney Ports Corporation commissioned me to prepare a review on E-Commerce. Specifically, the report's main aim was to determine the advantages, benefits and or other of E-Commerce with regard to on-line communication within the port community of Sydney. This would include all transport, trade, freight and logistic operators; along with industry stakeholders and regulatory bodies. The report investigated current uses of E-Commerce within Australia and around the world on how other ports and or industry utilised E-Commerce for the purpose of transacting trade and communicating with other operators. Some key issues that may be pertinent to your Best Practice Model review are:- A There is little or no understanding on the application and effective use of E-Commerce within industry, nor the complete transport chain. Whilst many ports, particularly large cargo ports have their own EC systems, there is no standardise on-line system within Australia for all stakeholders. B Each port in Australia has it's own manifest system that requires the same ship visiting each port for example, to send in cargo manifests in a different format for each Australian port the ship visits. Duplication of manual data entry processes is common place resulting in errors of information, misinformation and potential mis-reporting of cargo itself - not to mention increased costs and reduced efficiencies. Existing communication formats are reliant on manual processes with much inefficiency occurring due to inaccurate procedures caused by people, not technology. C The lack of a unified set of standards and a consistent structure to manage the development and enforcement of EC initiatives on an ongoing basis is one of the key factors contributing to the inconsistent uptake of EC within industry. D There is neither clear leadership nor responsibility on behalf of industry with regard to EC issues and development. E Further more, the uptake of EC is hampered considerably due to the lack of a clearly defined and articulated masterplan that will unite stakeholders and inform industry on the application and advantages of EC. F Rivalry between operators often stands in the way of opportunities to collaborate and develop EC initiatives that will save time and money and allow independent competitors to enhance their overall performance. Successful industry business models (EC systems) overseas e.g. Finland, Malaysia, Chile have overcome the hurdle omnipresent in Australia of lack of co-operation and collaboration by stakeholders. Many decisions made by organisations installing their own communication systems are made with parochial views of "...their part of the transportation chain", without understanding the full extent of implications to others on their actions. Congruent with the above, the following three (3) points are major impediments to embracing EC by industry. 1 Lack of standardisation - existing systems are adhoc causing endless fragmentation of communication; along with barriers to trade by international organisations. 2 Collaboration amongst stakeholders - operators in the same industry need to put aside competitive differences and work together in a consultative process to develop systems that will enhance their respective industry, not create further fragmentation. 3 Leadership - governments have an important role to play as leaders and facilitators in this paradigm because the nation stands to become more competitive when individual stakeholders such as industry and peak bodies put aside their individual interests in favour of national imperatives. Existing fragmented approaches may not allow industry to achieve optimum results on its own. Current competitive forces may preclude any positive co-operation. Hence, both the government and the private sector's role in leading and facilitating these initiatives are very important. I am cognoscente that your review process relates to consumer sovereignty in E-Commerce. Whilst my comments above are taken from the body of work relating to EC in port communities and trade and transport in general, this may prove a good starting point to put standards in place and create consistency that ultimately lead to consumer confidence with regard to EC. I would be happy to provide further information and or recommendations from the EC Review. Regards, Benjamin Anson


Revised: S: 08:45 Sat 03/01/2004 Lon TW12 3HD
S: 09:05 Sat 03/01/2004 Lon TW12 3HD
Who: rs
Authorised: crh
Created: 09:05 Sat 03/01/2004 Lon TW12 3HD
By: mcs
Revision: adttkqsc.002
Original Page: adttkqsc
Change date: