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Beaver Computer Consultants Limited - Consultants in systems engineering for business, mission and safety critical systems

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Your business and the role of your web site

 
The first step is to understand what type of web site you have currently got and what type of site you need to fulfill your business strategy. Our business analysis services are described elsewhere on this site and outline the process of business analysis. Web sites can be classified according to the role they fulfill, generally this follows an evolutionary path for many companies, though in pracice you'll need to consider mixing the functions of the site to achieve the business objective rather than treating the sites evolution in a purely linear fashion. Think of it as clarifying the channels that the site fulfils. Consider your site under the classifications are;
  • general presence which is the equivalent of a business card or magazine advert.
  • allow users to review service or product details, such as downloadable PDF formats, be able to look at FAQ lists and use the site to receive similar customer support materials as those traditionally requested by post or from call centres.  Requests from a visitor can be received by using using custom forms on the web site or by use of an email hot link embedded on a page of the web site - see our Contact Us Page for an example.
  • ability to make a transaction over the web site. This includes the normal customer-to-business or C2B, such as placing an order, forwarding to your premises, perhaps taking the order payments, but also includes the business to business or B2B activities such as secure electronic data transfer between businesses, replacing faxes and postal transport, of orders, bills of materials, goods received notes, product pricing, and placement of invoices, authorised payment transactions, and remittance notes, either between remote sites, or with your suppliers and customers. Just new mechanisms to do existing tasks.
  • integration of the web-site and computer and communication system's elsewhere in your business, for example on receiving orders checking inventory levels to confirm delivery times, triggering order for replenishment supplies and finding the best prices, co-ordinating with computer aided manufacturing systems, through to transport and distributions initiation and tracking systems. For service requests coming in via a website, a WAP phone or through a wireless device or net enabled product, service is initiated either remotely to perform diagnostics or to reload and reconfigure, or to dispatching service personnel within agreed service level parameters, taking account of personnel location, competency levels, spares holdings, and the likely problem. The systems will collect asset health data to identify problems before failure and use asset performance information to intelligently deliver products and services timely, without interruption, and through continuous improvement, meeting market needs.

Generally the more mature the type of site, the more personalised the information and services presented become, the larger the amount of information held on the site, and the methods of delivery to site users. Such evolution requires more sophisticated profiling and tracking systems and the web, internet, and communication systems become seamlessly integrated into the business, so shortening cycle times and reducing costs.

The first step then in our approach is to understand the type of site you have, where you looking to go to, and how your market works. This allows us to outline a simple business process model and map how this relates to your website, the services it offers, and your other computer, communications and other systems. The other related articles will assume your site is currently in the first or second category and will describe how you can start to evolve it.

Link here to return to Beavers main web site evolution page or here to read about how to help people your web site including how to get your site listed on search engines and directories, and how to get a high ranking for your site when web users make a search for your product or service.