Following the global e-business trend, Asian Sources has enhanced its scope by evolving from an established trade magazine and CD-ROM publisher to an e-commerce enabled info-mediary and supply chain solutions provider.
The 28 year old company has accomplished this evolution with its Asian Sources Online Web sites which provide product, supplier and trade information and with its branded e-commerce solutions software, eTrade.
“Before all we could do was match making – introduce buyer to supplier – now we have the opportunity to make sure the marriage is a success,” said Paul Mottram, Asian Sources’ vice president for corporate sales and marketing.
Asian Sources has apparently been making money off its online services which very few companies – let alone Asian companies – are doing.
Despite the Asian downtrend, in 1998, the company earned US$15 million from its interactive media business (Internet and CD-ROMS), according to Mottram, with US$25 million expected in 1999 in the same category.
“Asian Sources Online has not only enhanced existing business, it has increased our scope in terms of new customers and getting deeper into the whole process of international trade,” said Mottram.
The Web site is a sourcing tool for importers of manufactured products from Asia and contains product and supplier information, editorial features, product reviews, country reports, trade show coverage, links to trade association, and more information.
Asia Sources most significant movement into the e-commerce field was the development of its eTrade software, a suite of software the provide solutions for electronic data interchange (EDI), order transactions, and other supply chain management needs.
Mottram described how such services brought Asian Sources’ customers to the Internet, “Three years ago, less than one percent had access to the Internet. Now, 99 percent are electronically enabled.”
Two other products that are tied into the Asian Sources Web site include Excess Stocks, which allows customers to post excess stock anonymously, and private buyer catalogues, a free dedicated Web site for individual buyers that suppliers pay to advertise in.
Seventy one buyers have signed up for the private electronic showrooms including such corporations as Compaq, Dell, Canon, Walt Disney, Office Max, Alcatel, Epson, and Hitachi.
“The idea is to develop it into a value added service,” commented Mottram. “Its free for a limited time.”