GTZ Sri Lanka EIP - Developing Commercial Information Products 2001

    The Enterprise Information Project (EIP) encourages Sri Lankan enterprises and associated organisations to use commercial business information services (BIS) to enhance their competitiveness and create business opportunities. Early on, the project helped four partner organizations establish information 'desks' and a network to supply clients with BIS. Although the demand and willingness to pay for processed, timely information among clients was high, mechanisms to turn existing data and information into market-oriented information products was missing, commercialization was fragmented, and mechanisms to reward staff for selling and providing information services was insufficient to explore existing market potentials.

    Consultants helped EIP partner organizations systematically develop their information products and mechanisms for commercialization and supported staff in identifying and introducing mechanisms to turn existing data and information into commercial information products and in developing standard information products for different sectors and market segments.

    Recommendations for additional changes included training staff to take over specific sector responsibilities. This had long been under discussion, but had not been carried out, resulting in a lack of expertise in creating information products for specific market segments and inefficient handling of customer requests. By creating sector specialists to follow the entire process through - from client request to product assembly and delivery - the organizations could build needed sector expertise and increase their outreach. And, rather than dealing with customers on a daily basis as they had been doing, management could take on the central roles of coordinating, motivating, and managing the business.

    Another suggestion involved making products like the Bulletins on Business Opportunities and Trade Contacts, which covered many sectors and offered general, not very useful information, sector-specific. In addition, much of the information offered was unprocessed, often undocumented, and held by consultants whose salaries were based on monthly turn-over. The organizations had to train staff to systematically document, process, and maintain the available information so they could provide comprehensive, market-oriented, and commercially viable BIS.

    The attached report details the consultancy.

    Associated Activities and Documents
    Market Assessment
    »GTZ Sri Lanka EIP - Desk Study of Business Information Services Market 2000
    Programme Design
    »GTZ Sri Lanka EIP - Improving Business Information Services, 1999