SMEs lack skills for online business

16 March 2006
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16 March 2006 | Rebecca Ellinor

Small businesses are missing out on lucrative public and private-sector contracts by failing to do business online, CIPS has found.

Fewer than four in 10 small businesses (37 per cent) tender for contracts online, despite the majority (73 per cent) of the 167 SMEs surveyed having the technology in place.

Eighty-two per cent were unaware of how to tender for government business online, even though every local authority will soon be required to buy goods and services that way.

Helen Alder, CIPS senior e-procurement specialist, said SMEs were "blunting growth" through a combination of technophobia, fear of change and lack of skills and investment.

But there were positive signs, she said, as 82 per cent have bought goods and services online for their own business and more than a quarter plan to tender online in the next year.

Online users cite speed, savings, reduced paperwork, increased customer satisfaction and increased productivity as benefits.

Visit www.cips.org for the full findings.

SMmar2006

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