A senior industry figure has given himself a target of two years to set up one common standard for business practises for vendors, distributors and resellers.
Fadi Chehade, co-founder and chief executive of RosettaNet, has recently set up the international e-commerce initiative to drive more business across the net.
Speaking at the CyberChannels conference, he claimed this cannot happen unless companies have one set of standards.
To drive this belief, Chehade has been released by his employers Ingram Micro, where he was vice president of its customer information services group, for two years to put a working standard in place before the first quarter of 2000.
'The channel is inflexible and has no standards. We need to talk to each other,' Chehade said. 'We are fragmented in our ways of delivery and this is making us slow.'
He added: 'Is it reasonable that manufacturers can't find their inventory?
A manufacturer needs to know where its components are every second. Everyone has different systems. The industry has proprietary ways which are expensive to set up and maintain.'
Chehade said Ingram used more than 150 manufacturer forms, which he claimed were the same as C2000, and estimated product misalignment wasted up to four per cent of a distributor's turnover.
'We are part of an industry that doesn't share the same part numbers,' Chehade argued. 'There is a different part number for every different partner. And yet we have all the tools and technology to solve these types of problems.'
RosettaNet is a non-profit organisation which is working with a number of companies, including Hewlett Packard, IBM, GE Capital, Cisco and Microsoft.
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