BT's business e-commerce trading portal, MarketSite, has ballooned to include 42 suppliers in two months, with leading channel players set to join the scheme over the coming months.
The business-to-business site, powered by Commerce One, moves all of a company's channel operations online. BT claims this automation can reduce costs by up to 90 per cent. The site went live at the end of March and has been followed by a rapid expansion in suppliers to 42. But BT is now aiming to bring in distributors and logistics companies.
Boots and BT were the first companies to move their buying procedures onto MarketSite and BT is aiming to move 95 per cent of its suppliers by March 2000.
Eric Guiloteau, head of BT eBusiness, said: 'The average procedural cost of placing an order is £50 for an organisation. Through MarketSite, the cost is reduced to £5. This electronic procurement system can revolutionise the way the supply chain works - it is more convenient, and gives better cost control and cost reduction.'
He added that BT's aim was to move its entire supply chain into cyberspace.
Logistics companies Tandata and UPS have been signed up and a distributor is also being lined up.
Simon Scott, general manager of iGroup, the e-commerce division of Computacenter, claimed: 'MarketSite offers massive supply benefits. According to the OECD, electronically managing the supply chain frees up between £400 billion and £500 billion of capital worldwide. It also frees up time, allowing us to add more value.'
Jeff Smith, vice president of business development at Commerce One, added: 'We want to form the world's largest real-time dynamic Web trading community.'
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