e4marine Offers A Free And Open Web Solution

Friday, June 02, 2000
e4marine is a web/EDI B2B solution that relies on the strengths of not only its technical merit but the key strengths of the founding partners Unitor ASA, Visma AS and Umoe ASA. The service is designed to ensure shipowners, managers and operators with a completely free means of procuring the essential goods and services required for use onboard.

Unitor's experience in the world-wide provision of marine products and services, coupled with Visma's expertise in onboard maintenance and planning systems and Umoe's strengths in the marine and offshore business have combined to enable shipowners and operators to leverage cost savings throughout the marine supply chain.

The core application within e4marine provides a complete solution for the marine procurement cycle, from initial enquiry from the vessel to final payment of the invoice. With this initiative, Unitor and its partners are taking a major step in redefining how marine service will be provided in the future.

This service will be managed by a separate company. Income will derive from fees based on the members' savings; telecom traffic commissions; on-site promotion; site sales commissions and web hosting.

Examination of a typical marine purchasing transaction reveals up to 25 distinct steps costing approximately $150 in order to complete the exchange. Its makers claim that by utilizing the e4marine facility, customers can achieve cost savings estimated to be close to 70%.

One For All

Marine suppliers joining e4marine can also utilize Unitor's worldwide logistics and delivery infrastructure, which currently processes more than 200,000 transactions per year. Ultimately, this could mean that all requirements for the vessel could be coordinated and consolidated into one delivery, saving further costs and increasing efficiency for all parties.

Other benefits of supplier participation will include instant web trading capability; electronic catalogue availability and automated document management and processing, including electronic payment. Many suppliers can also achieve significant cost reductions in managing purchase orders by joining the new facility.

To ensure acceptance in the market, technical development of e4marine includes the latest in customer desired applications. These will in future include provision for alternative trading formats, such as reverse auction, quote serving and support for eService initiatives. Initially, e4marine will support spot purchasing and contract purchasing trading formats. Features such as product availability checking; tracking of orders; fleet management data and remote information access via WAP telephone and palm pilot technology have been included within the offer. Advanced security features protect all sensitive information within e4marine.

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