Chapter 8: Financial Implications of BPV on Conventional Businesses
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Customer presence has other implications. Assuming that a professional
business environment means an office, which would you rather do: build buildings
to give your employees that space, or have your customers provide it when
needed? One important aspect of customer presence is the cost shifting that can
take place when the customer is actively involved in its own support.
The virtualized business has no problem achieving and maintaining customer
presence. Physical businesses will always be at a disadvantage in this area. In fact,
this expense usually is cut first, because it is perceived as discretionary overhead.
Virtual businesses understand that this is the point of business, and they build their
networked infrastructure around supporting it.
Improved Decision Making
Virtual businesses, as discussed in previous chapters, are very much into
actionable information. Physical businesses dwell on data. A virtual business
knows that it is data in context that matters, and it builds automation to facilitate
the generation of information that can be used to support decision making.
Decision making is why executives spend so much time traveling. They travel
to meet other executives, they travel to meet employees, and they travel to visit
customers. Every one of these exercises is to facilitate information acquisition to
support decision making. As we have discussed, this is inefficient and costly, not
to mention possibly dangerous.
Virtual business collects information directly from the source in near-real
time. Employees are right on the customer premises and are located everywhere
the virtual enterprise does business.
Networked infrastructure ensures that decisions can be made by the employee
on site and, if needed, supported and approved by executives located where they
need to be.
A virtual business can outperform a physical business because it is more
efficient. One of the chief efficiencies is the way in which it uses its people. Rather
than running a significant portion of the workforce ragged by placing data
collection and analysis responsibilities on its back, the virtual company makes
data collection implicit in operations and makes information generation a natural
extension of the business process.

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