Giant B2B trading exchange corProcure has announced it is officially open for business, commencing many of the services promised to its 14 founding shareholders and numerous other customers since its establishment in July last year.corProcure now offers a range of electronic procurement services to buyers and sellers, including online purchase orders, purchase-order acknowledgments, order status information on request and real-time price checks on request. The company said it would soon be capable of handling advanced shipment notices and invoices.
The company is currently negotiating contracts between buyers and sellers of indirect goods, offering online auctions and reverse auctions, product catalogues, and various services required to connect supplier and buyer systems for online trading.
In an online chat forum with members of the Press, corProcure chief executive officer Len Ward said that, at this stage, the level of trading on the exchange is at a minimal level. He also said the number of buyers and sellers corProcure is servicing is by no means fixed.
When asked whether he was concerned over the failure of several B2B exchanges in the US, such as those opened by Dell and Chevron, Ward said corProcure would be taking a markedly different approach to those strategies that have failed in the past.
"There is evidence that some buyer-centric exchanges have experienced difficulties in attracting critical mass from the supply site," he said. "It may be that in these cases suppliers felt threatened. In our case we are discussing the benefits of supply-chain efficiencies with suppliers and buyers. We believe that this community approach, where all of our stakeholders influence market place development, will differentiate our model."
The founding shareholders of the corProcure consortium include AMP, ANZ, Amcor, Goodman Fielder, Orica, Pacific Dunlop, Qantas, Telstra, Australia Post, BHP, Coca Cola, Amatil, Coles Myer, Wesfarmers and Fosters. The exchange runs on software developed by SAP, Commerce One and Tibco, while PricewaterhouseCoopers is the sourcing and procurement service provider.
Photograph: Len Ward, corProcure CEO