A Xerox survey predicts that technology will drive the profitability and development of Europe’s industry over the next five years.
According to European manufacturers, e-business, knowledge management (KM) and customer relationship management (CRM) programmes are the key tools that they will be using to increase the profitability of their companies over the next five years. A survey just released by document company, Xerox, predicts that adoption of CRM will rise to 90% and KM will rise to 82%.
In general, European companies do not believe that the Euro will have significant impact on them: easier entry to key markets is seen as a Euro benefit. When the survey was conducted, before September 11th, companies were divided over whether a European recession loomed: the UK, France and Italy expected growth and Germany and Spain expected stagnation or recession.
Two in three manufacturers expect to be doing up to half of their business online in five years time; another 30% believe that they will be doing 21-50%. Online customer payments and ordering is set to rise to some 50%. Britain is odd man out here: while respondents from the other countries surveyed expect e-business to reduce prices of products and services, British respondents disagreed.
KM and CRM to grow
More than eight out of ten respondents believe that they will have a KM programme in place within three years. Almost half that have a KM strategy are supported by advanced IT systems.
More than six out of ten industrial businesses surveyed already have CRM strategies in place; a further three in ten expect to implement one within three years.
The survey, Documented – The Xerox Industrial Business Survey 2001, polled over 500 top managers across a number of sectors in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. According to Olivier Groues, senior VP of world-wide industrial business at Xerox, because the company’s solutions are intimately involved with information management, Xerox needs to understand how far European business will embrace the new technologies.