Sojitz Corporation


Website to Be Established for Equipment and Materials Procurement for Factories

Jan. 29, 2002

TOKYO(January 29, 2002)-- ITX Corporation, KOBE STEEL, LTD. and Nissho Iwai Corporation will establish 'tradefield', a website to provide online support for the procurement of equipment and materials used in factories. 
'Tradefield' is a new, unconventional site which makes advantageous use of both Web-EDI, which promotes information sharing and improves purchase operations by means of digitization, and Marketplace, which provides new business opportunities through borderless trading. 

The aforementioned companies set up an 'eMarketPlace Project Team' within the ITX Corporation, and have been studying business realization. 'Tradefield' will carry out verification services between buyers and suppliers, at no cost, from January 28 to the end of April, and plans to commence full-scale service in July in concurrence with the new company establishment. Approximately 10 major buyers from various industries such as steel, chemical and engineering, and approximately 100 suppliers will become involved in the verification service, and such service will be carried out limiting the business scope to two items - pumps and valves, and general processed goods (vessel manufacturer, steelwork, etc.). 

Most of the equipment and materials that factories purchase are general purpose and custom-made products (hereinafter collectively called 'specified products'), and there was a tendency for purchase operations for such specified products to be expensive and time-consuming, and that suppliers were fixed. 
'Tradefield' will realize efficiency in purchase operations by standardizing and simplifying the operation process - from the selection of specified products /manufacturers to obtaining estimates and purchasing. In particular, 'tradefield' will build a supplier product database to make the selection of specified products more efficient, which will allow buyers to instantaneously search for products that comply with their specifications. Moreover, disclosure by approximately 100 suppliers will not only expand buyer purchase range, but will also increase competition among suppliers, resulting in an approximately 10% reduction in buyer procurement costs. Also from the viewpoint of suppliers, their operation process, from giving estimates to selling, will be standardized and simplified in the same manner as that for buyers, which will lead to business opportunity creation on the Internet. 

For processed goods trading, 'tradefield' will liaise with Internet processed goods business owners and various organizations. For the verification system, 'tradefield' will liaise with NC Network Co., Ltd. and Kansai Economic Federation (Kankeiren), and by the approximately 60,000 processed goods manufacturers registered with these organizations bidding on offers advertised on the website, business opportunities will be created with new buyers. 'Tradefield' plans to provide this as an ASP service, which will be available at a lower cost than in-house Web-EDI construction or Marketplace, which is based on a metered billing system. 

The domestic market for equipment and repair parts is estimated at approximately 50 trillion yen, and that for equipment and materials for factories, which is one intended 'tradefield' market, is expected to be 5 trillion yen - 10 % of the market total. Following pumps and valves, 'tradefield' will sequentially increase the number of items handled, and will also establish a comprehensive e-purchase service, including various support incidental to business such as distribution, assurance and finance. 

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