Australian Business On-Line (ABOL) is making sure its 4000 members will be able to take advantage of online trading using Tradehub.
Members of ABOL include large companies such as BHP and Boral, but most are small to medium enterprises (SMEs). ABOL started life as an industry association providing information online.
CEO John Murgatroyd saw the emergence of electronic commerce as an enormous opportunity to provide a service to members.
He said he saw his role as ensuring SMEs were not disenfranchised and that as e-commerce took off they had the opportunity to grasp the technology. To this end he formed the e-commerce operation called Tradehub, which will be officially launched at the end of this month.
"We may be the new kid on the block but we have the best sneakers," Murgatroyd said.
Tradehub was developed using a simple model that connects customers and suppliers with intelligent messaging systems and automatic payment facilities. The model streamlines the supply chain by making ordering faster, reduces inventories and automates payments.
"When we were developing Tradehub we scoured the world for the best technology products.
"As well as the best technology, of equal importance were the companies that would partner us to develop the e-commerce business. ABOL formed strategic partnerships with Frontec -- a Nordic applications messaging company which provided the core component, namely the intelligent messaging system -- and IBM," Murgatroyd said.
"Tradehub, IBM and Frontec have put in a joint bid for a Victorian government tender to provide an e-commerce solution and we are on the short list of four suppliers."