Giantpot.com stirs up food industry

Giantpot.com, a Singapore-based Application Service Provider (ASP) for the food and hospitality industry, today announced the official launch of its B2B e-procurement portal.
Written by Ariel Tam, Contributor
Giantpot.com hopes to provide internal business process integration to the food industry and extend its solution across the value chain via the Internet.

SINGAPORE – Giantpot.com, a Singapore-based Application Service Provider (ASP) for the food and hospitality industry, today announced the official launch of its business-to-business (B2B) e-procurement portal.

With this move, over 300 user companies will begin online trading on the Giantpot.com network immediately.

Giantpot.com expects to have 1000 user companies by the end of the year.

The 24/7 e-procurement platform complements traditional trading methods of face-to-face, telephone and fax communication with an Internet-based gateway through which buyers and suppliers can meet virtually.

Food items like poultry and seafood, as well as non-food items like industry equipment can be traded online.

Giantpot.com, a member of HP’s Go-ASP Partner Programme, also offers Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)-enabled services, whereby users can log on to the B2B Web site by using either mobile phones or WAP-enabled Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs).

Giantpot.com encourages direct transactions between buyers and suppliers. Buyers and suppliers are free to network virtually, expanding their customer base. Using the Request for Quotation (RFQ) feature, buyers can solicit the best prices for their transactions.

End-to-end integration
Giantpot.com's end-to-end integration system is based on Sterling Commerce’s E-Business Integration technology.

"The uniqueness of the Giantpot system lies in its ability to integrate to backend inventory and accounting systems. Upon integration, details of transactions performed on Giantpot's e-procurement platform can be sent directly into the backend office systems," Peter Hsu, co-founder and chief operating officer, Giantpot.com, said.

Giantpot.com has formed strategic alliances with technology and service providers for the joint development of software solutions. Its partners include Hewlett-Packard (HP), Sterling Commerce, NCR Singapore, DTS Marketing, Hotel Information Systems, Wapjinni and DataTrack Solutions Pty Ltd.

“Providing an e-procurement portal for the industry is just the first step. More importantly, we are looking at using technology to simplify yet enhance the e-procurement environment for the food and hospitality industry by investing in the best technological features,” said Chris Tay, CEO of Giantpot.com.

“Our objective is to use technology for automation where possible so as to aid productivity and reduce costs. And there are indeed areas in the food and hospitality industry where technology can best rectify the inconsistencies,” Tay added.

System integration is Giantpot.com's key strength, Hsu averred. Most ASPs have a variety of licensed software that are offered to the users. Unlike these ASPs, Giantpot.com develops its own in-house software and also equips itself with licensed software to provide users with a suite of solutions. "As such, Giantpot belongs to a high breed of ASPs thriving on a business-to-business model."

Future plans
Giantpot.com recently became the first local ASP to penetrate the Japanese food and hospitality industry. The ASP will be working with its Japanese partners to establish their blueprint for the Japanese market. It is currently developing a localised software in the Japanese language, which will be ready in a couple of months' time.

Other countries on Giantpot.com’s expansion plans include Malaysia, the United States of America and the United Kingdom.

On the home front, the ASP is looking at extending their services to the local food and hospitality operators by providing a business-to-consumer (B2C) Restaurant Reservation System. Buyers, who are mainly hoteliers and restauranteurs, can take reservation to fill their empty rooms or tables to maximise sales.

Giantpot.com managed to raise S$1.5 million in March this year. It hopes to secure another S$5 million by the end of the year.

Giantpot.com expects to breakeven by the end of 2001.

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