*SIM Paper Competition:* Competing Through EDI at Brun Passot: Achievements in France and Ambitions for the Single European Market
To differentiate its customer service, Brun Passot, a small French company specializing in the distribution of office supplies, developed a set of telepurchasing applications. In 1982, it launched Bureautel, a videotex-based service that allows customers to electronically place their orders. In 1986, at the request of its large customers, it developed a PC-based ervice, then in 1989 an advanced electronic data interchange (EDI) application linking customers to its supply information system. These services allow data on products availability, price lists, orders, acknoledgement receipts, delivery notices, invoices, and related bank payments to be electronically transmitted. Using ISDN, they also make it possible to look up the photos of the 12,000 products that Brun Passot markets. This article illustrates how a small-sized company has used IT to improve the quality of its customer service, shorten lead time and reduce management costs, as well as create new business opportunities in France. It also raises some issues related to the adoption and diffusion of EDI, and presents Brun Passot ambitions to use this technology as the ''trojan horse'' to expand its geographical coverage. The expected fall of mobility barriers within the European Community, leading to the formation of the single European market, presents for Brun Passot a unique business opportunity to further leverage its IT infrastructure and gain new markets.
|Author||Tawfik Jelassi and Olivier Figon|
|Keywords||Electronic data interchange, IT-enabled competitive advantage, single European market, strategic information systems|