Engineering E-Marketplace Will Go Live in October
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The new service will be named ec4ec (e-commerce for engineered components) and made available online to all companies that wish to participate.
Initially, ec4ec will be a small fish in a big pool, being used by its founding members -- but later attracting plant engineering and mechanical engineering companies from a worldwide market estimated to be worth a staggering US $800 billion.
Covering the full sourcing cycle, from specification and design right through to order processing, ec4ec will help companies to collaborate on designs while also providing them with the means to communicate with suppliers.
"This new engineering platform, together with our already successful chemical marketplace, cheop, is part of the mg strategy to realize the opportunities provided by e-business to increase profits and market shares," said Hornung.
Gisbert Ruehl, executive board member at German engineering firm Babcock Borsig, was equally optimistic, saying that the ec4ec marketplace will help his company achieve cost savings of over a hundred million deutschemarks (US $47 million) by 2001.
"In contrast to many catalog-based trading exchanges, this collaborative marketplace enables participants to purchase complex parts and obtain services that need significant collaborative engineering -- including the intensive exchange of technical specifications, CAD models and project data -- which is typical for an industrial company,'' said Ruehl.
SAPMarkets, the California-based subsidiary of European software giant SAP AG, will provide many of the e-business applications, including collaborative engineering and project management, tendering and auctioning, bulletin boards and maintenance of supplier directories.
SAPMarkets is currently working in partnership with Commerce One to develop a solution infrastructure named MarketSet to enable enterprises across various industries to collaborate via the Internet.