E-commerce within the South African electronic component distribution industry

Doctoral thesis OPEN
  • Subject: Electronic industries | Mobile communication systems

M.B.A. This dissertation looks at E-Commerce in the South African electronic component distribution industry. With this in mind, various questions were defined and these were used to help understand the current situation, determine the future that ECommerce should have in the industry and find a mechanism to go from the current to the future situation, the questions are as follows: Has the traditional electronic component distribution channel been made obsolete by E-Commerce? What does the South African electronic component consumer want from the distributor in terms of E-Commerce? Is the communication and information technology infrastructure in South Africa adequate for the needs of E-Commerce within the electronic component industry? What are the E-Commerce models and strategies? What form and scope should E-Commerce take within the electronic component distribution industry? The research will ultimately be used as a model to help determine the E-Commerce strategy of Analog Data Products (ADP). It will enable ADP to determine if it needs to implement E-Commerce and if so at what level. The research was done using literature review to determine current trends and to seek new insights. A survey was used to verify the findings of the literature review and fill in gaps of knowledge that the literature review was unable to answer. The literature review found that there are numerous E-Commerce models, of which most fall short when compared to a generic business strategy model. It was also found that E-Commerce could often be detrimental to business. The literature also found that there are deficiencies in bandwidth in South Africa. The survey results showed that respondents are happy with the speed of E-Commerce type media, it was therefore concluded that the electronic component distribution industry is different from the norm because of its high technology nature. The survey results also showed that respondents would like to make more use of their local distributor. This indicates that the traditional distribution channel has not become obsolete. However there is a desire for more E-Commerce type transactions. These transactions should be implemented as a complement to the traditional channels rather then replacing all types of conventional business. An E-Commerce strategy should include a thorough understanding of how E-Commerce affects the value chain, which in turn will show which aspects of the chain require E-Commerce as complements and which do not.
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