The perceived benefits of an e-service in the mining industry among potential clients : -a case study for the project
Information technology (IT) has developed and spread and the internet is now available in nearly every corner of the world all the time. It is adequate to say that we are entering an information economy. E-business is an important business tool, which is reflected by the emerging presence of the internet. Furthermore, the Internetworld says that in accordance with a development plan from the European Union it should be possible to carry out all government business electronically in 2010. But, already in January 2008, the state authorities shall be able to send and receive e-invoices. The project "E-service for safe mining projects" is one of the projects within the government owned Vinnova programme Innovative development of cross-boundary public e-services. This thesis is written on assignment for that project, taking on the role of a consultant.
Companies can through the internet easily find business over boarders, geographical or other, and there is money to be earned in new markets. To do this companies have a need to know their potential customers, their needs and wants. The purposes of this thesis are to explore the perceived needs for the "E-service of safe mining projects" and the benefits it could bring to its potential customers. By considering the customers potential needs with the aid of a theoretical lens this thesis also aims to make suggestions to the company of what to consider in the development process of this e-service and discuss how their desires could be met by the e-service.
The theoretical chapter begins with explaining the concepts of services and e-services. Cravens and Piercy's model for determining product-markets and Zeithaml's et al gap model are used. The study is done using semi-structured interviews of four different interest groups for the e-service. There were three researchers conducting the interviews together.
The conclusions of the study are that to satisfy the customers is not very easily done. Customers of today often have high expectations of the quality of the service and they want the service provider to know their needs and wants. What could be helpful for this e-service is that because it is semi-public service the potential customers may consider it a public service instead of a private service and thus the expectations will be lowered. The generic need is the "need to get the right information" and there are a number of specific perceived needs adherent to the potential customers. Also recommendations are given to the project.
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