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CASE STUDY: BBC The BBC is a good example of a business that has successfully used the internet in a number of different ways to help it do business. The BBC is a Public Corporation which means that is owned by the government but is run independently and is expected to make a profit. The BBC uses the internet for procurement of goods and services required in the running of the business. The organization uses a web-based purchasing system has enabled an increasing range of suppliers to provide online catalogue content to enable buyers across the BBC to select from preferred sources at contracted prices. Orders are sent electronically, in many cases directly into the sales order systems of our suppliers. Using the internet to procure goods like stationary is common in many businesses today, however the BBC also uses the internet to procure services (e.g. catering). There are a number of benefits of e-procurement for the BBC: it allows suppliers to submit tenders (bids) for the supply of things like catering services for film crews quickly and securely. BBC employees who work in offices all over the country can assess tenders with physically being in the same place at the same time. It is more efficient because it eliminates the need for paper, print and distribution which takes time and is more expensive. The BBC also uses the internet to enhance its sales through This was established to complement the BBC’s retail stores which offer goods and services produced by the organization. The online shop allows customers to purchase, DVDs, and audio products directly without the need to go to one of the BBC’s physical store. Goods purchased through the online store are dispatched within 24hours (if they are in stock) and are delivered between 1 and 3 days after ordering by the Royal Mail or a courier service. The online store also has special exclusive offers not available to the BBC’s physical store customers. The benefit of the online store for the BBC is that it eliminates or greatly reduces many of the costs associated with physical stores like rent, store fit-outs and labour. The BBC has a large and extensive website ( that allows customers to find out information about its services. For example customers can view BBC program guides to find out what time programs will be shown on TV and about new programs that are coming up. Customers can also access large amounts of information in the news ( and weather ( sections of the website. This benefits BBC customers because it allows them to access information anytime, anywhere.

CASE STUDY: Crowd on Tap Crowd on Tap is a new online business that was started in 2010 by Australian Nick Lally and his business partner Matt Barker. Crowd on tap is a crowdsourced creative design agency run from London. The site offers creative design services to individuals, groups and organizations including logo design, website design and video design and production. This business is different to other design agencies because instead of employing its own designers, Crowd on Tap invites designers around the world to submit their designs in response to briefs uploaded to the website by Crowd on Tap’s clients. Once a brief has been uploaded to the Crowd on Tap website, a competition is opened and the designers are invited to submit their design bids by the competition deadline. When the competition closes, the client then chooses the design they like best. This method of outsourcing work to a large group is known as crowdsourcing. During the early planning stage of the business when Nick and Matt were still developing their idea, they needed to conduct some research into the creative design crowdsourcing market to identify what competition (if any) they faced in the market. Their research revealed that there were already successful businesses operating that offered crowdsourced creative design services similar to their own business idea. Further research was then conducted by Nick and Matt to find out more about their competitors like: How exactly does their service and website work? How long do the design competitions last How much do they charge their clients for submitting a brief? What customer services do they provide Nick and Matt commissioned a website developer to build their website and one of the things they decided to build into the site was a blog. The blog allows Nick and

his partner to post information that can help to influence potential Crowd on Tap clients and designers. A good example of the blog’s ability to influence potential clients is a post that appeared on the blog just after it was launched titled ‘Should You Use Free Logo Design Software to Create a Logo?’. In the post Nick explains the limitations and disadvantages of using logo design software while at the same time identifying and explaining the benefits of Crowd on Tap’s crowdsourcing model: ‘The reason why it is always recommended and advisable to hire a professional and experienced logo designer is that they know how brand identities are created. They know how a design should be created. They know what colors should be included and will be appropriate for a particular business model. Software can't tell you all these things and, thus, software is unable to replace the experience of a skilled and creative designer’

CASE STUDY: Ripcurl Rip Curl is a highly popular international surfing equipment and fashion manufacturer, with over 3,000 employees across the world. The company was founded in 1969 by Doug Warbrick and Brian Singer in Torquay, Australia, where the company still has its head office. Doug and Brian were keen surfers who wanted to support their lifestyle, and decided the best way to do so was producing surfboards. Nearly 40 years on, the company is an international success story. As Rip Curl grew across the world, it became increasingly more difficult to get hold of people from different continents and time zones. Brian Singer discovered Skype, and introduced a global company initiative for all employees to communicate using Skype for all text, voice and video communications. Standard Skype IDs were created as a matter of course for all staff, and now Skype is the sole internal communication vehicle, be it from across a room, across a beach or across the world. Rip Curl's designers and manufacturers are often located in different parts of the world (Australia, Asia, California, France...) meaning different time zones and different languages. Skype's free video calling facility is regularly used to show designs, corrections, suggestions, patterns and ideas. Dummies and drawings are placed in front of web cams to show off new designs and to request changes, leaving no room for misinterpretation, while saving on international travel or lengthy written and verbal explanations. Also, fast file sharing means everyone on a conference call can be sure to have the right document in front of them at the same time - and again, it's all free. Skype is used "on the go" by Rip Curl. Staff members attending surfing events and competitions can keep in touch with the office for free from their laptop, immediately updating their colleagues by sharing files, images and video. As previously mentioned, Rip Curl straddles different time zones. Skype's presence means everyone can immediately see when their colleagues are logged on to their computer, meaning no wasted calls or lengthy voicemails to people who are in bed.

Rip Curl is all about "The Search" - for the next big wave, the next cool surfing hot-spot and the newest and best way of doing things. Skype means Rip Curl can take advantage of their teams' creativity and immediacy without having to worry about complicated processes and systems. Another way that Ripcurl has made good use of the internet is through its website . The purpose of the site is to promote Ripcurl’s environmental projects and activities to help save and protect beach and coastal environments in Australia and around the world. A website is good way to create a positive Public Relations (PR) message with customers because the internet has such a large potential audience and it has a global location. The Rip Curl planet website’s purpose it to communicate a positive message about the business to its customers. The website includes videos and articles about what the different projects Ripcurl is involved in and what the business is doing to reduce its impact on the environment.

We have a strong determination to be environmentally responsible and encourage our crew to participate in achieving this.


CASE STUDY: Thorpe Park Thorpe Park is a theme park located in Surrey just outside London. It was built in 1979 on the site of a gravel pit which was flooded to create a man-made lake. Thorpe Park is owned and run by the Merlin Entertainments group which also owns the London Eye, Madame Tussaud’s, Legoland Windsor and Alton Towers. Customer service is extremely important to Thorpe Park as the customer experience is central to the success of the Business and its bottom line. Thorpe Park wants its visitors to have a positive experience which will encourage customers to return to the park in the future. Thorpe Park offers a range of customer services through its website The website contains a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page that answers many common questions visitors to the park need answered, for example information about opening and closing times. Customers can also give feedback via email to Thorpe Park by clicking on the ‘contact us’ link. There is also a link to the BBC’s weather site to help visitors plan their visit. Customers who require accommodation can also book park admission tickets and accommodation packages through the website:

In 2010 Thorpe Park successfully used the internet to promote its newest attraction the Saw ALIVE Horror Maze. Before the attraction was promoted through conventional media like TV and print, Thorpe Park ran a viral

marketing campaign in which teaser video clips were uploaded to to create a ‘buzz’ (see below).

Thorpe Park also sponsor links on search engines like This ensures that whenever someone types in Thorpe Park into a search, the Thorpe Park website is always the first result to be displayed (see below).

Case studies  

Internet case studies

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