Eastman, SESAMi.com take lead in e-marketplace for chemical industry in Asia

Singapore, 10 February 2000 --- Eastman Chemical Asia Pacific Pte Ltd and SESAMi.com have announced a strategic alliance to pioneer e-commerce for the chemical industry in Asia.
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Singapore, 10 February 2000 --- Eastman Chemical Asia Pacific Pte Ltd and SESAMi.com have announced a strategic alliance to pioneer e-commerce for the chemical industry in Asia.

Under the terms of a memorandum of understanding, Eastman will become the first tenant on SESAMi's chemical portal and implement SESAMi's web-based e-MRO (maintenance, repairs and operations materials) solution at all its plants in Asia. Both companies will collaborate to leverage Eastman's knowledge of the chemical industry, its needs and opportunities and SESAMi's solution development capabilities and IT infrastructure.

"The Eastman - SESAMi.com partnership will jumpstart Eastman's regional e-commerce drive from Singapore in line with our corporate objective of leading the chemical industry in e-business. This compliments our position to be the first chemical company in the world to offer online e-commerce capabilities," said Alfred A Voskian, president and managing director of Eastman Chemical Asia Pacific Pte Ltd. In July last year, Eastman became the first chemical company in the United States and Canada to offer online e-commerce capabilities.

SESAMi.com chairman Lee Kwok Cheong described the partnership to pioneer a chemical industry dedicated e-commerce portal as part of the company's vertical portal strategy. "Together with Eastman we will offer the benefits of business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce to the doorsteps of enterprises in the chemical industry in Singapore and the Asia region. We will continue to work closely with industry leaders who aspire to be Internet market makers to develop Internet market opportunities and niche e-marketplaces," Lee added.

First in the region
SESAMi's chemical portal - a first in the region - will provide a comprehensive on-line catalog, auction services, information services and e-procurement for both direct and indirect goods and services.

"The portal creates value for Eastman by reducing search and information transfer costs and enhance matching for buyers and sellers. It is a win-win for both buyers and suppliers as they have more choices and these value drivers will grow and increase as more players enter the portal," said Voskian.

"We are pleased to collaborate with Eastman in e-commerce for the chemical industry in Asia. Eastman is a progressive and Internet-savvy global chemical company. Eastman will provide the domain knowledge and expertise while SESAMi will contribute the technology and implementation expertise. Together, we will shape and develop an exciting dynamic portal that best serves the e-commerce needs of the chemical industry," said Poh Mui Hoon, managing director of SESAMi.com.

SESAMi's web-based e-MRO solution will streamline and automate the purchasing processes at Eastman's plants in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore. Items to be purchased through the system include gaskets, pipes, fittings, motors, valves, uniforms and compressors.

Through SESAMi.NET, a full-service, real time B2B electronic commerce portal operated by SESAMi, Eastman will be linked to its suppliers and service providers in Asia enabling its purchasing personnel to source for new materials and obtain the latest prices and stock availability in real-time. SESAMi's end-to-end e-procurement solution automates Eastman's entire supply chain and links to banking institutions and logistics providers.

With the implementation of e-procurement at its plants across Asia, Eastman will conduct all procurement tasks from the desktop and in real-time, with improved turnaround in service and delivery from its suppliers. This solution will enable Eastman's procurement personnel to concentrate on higher value-added activities such as contract negotiation, inventory optimisation and strategic sourcing resulting in lower costs, improved productivity and reduced procurement cycle time.

The global chemical industry is estimated to be worth US$1.6 trillion and a major portion of this business will be done on the Internet in the future. According to Chemical & Engineering News, the petrochemical industry alone will account for US$180 billion in e-commerce transactions by 2003.

US-based Forrester Research projects that annual B2B e-commerce is projected to soar from US$43 billion in 1998 to US$1.3 trillion by 2003.

About Eastman Chemical Company
Headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, USA, Eastman manufactures and markets chemicals, plastics, and fibers. The company has over 15,000 employees and had 1999 sales of US$4.59 billion with Asia Pacific operations accounting for US$486 million.

In the Asia Pacific, Eastman operates three manufacturing plants in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore. Eastman Chemical Hong Kong Ltd, a complex organic chemicals plant produces cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Practices) custom pharmaceutical intermediates; Eastman Chemical Malaysia Sdn Bhd, a copolyester plastics plant in Kuantan, Malaysia; and Eastman Chemical Singapore Pte Ltd, oxo chemicals and derivatives complex on Jurong Island. A fourth plant, a joint venture, Nanjing Yangzi Eastman Chemical Ltd in Nanjing, China to produce Eastotac hydrocarbon tackifying resin for adhesive manufacturers is currently under construction and is expected to be completed by late 2000.

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E-commerce for the chemicals and plastics industry

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