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Local e-marketplace adds weight to backend services

Local plastics B2B portal, plasticscommerce.com seems to be taking the dot-com downturn in stride, serving more than 17,000 clients only about a year since they started. The next step? Add value.

Local plastics e-marketplace takes steps in adding backend features with partners

SINGAPORE - Less than a year after Plasticscommerce.com set up business, the company has already gotten more than 17,000 clients, according to CEO Ms Quek Mei Hsien.

And a number of them have gone to the B2B marketplace asking the company to aid them in their backend services to help with business.

In an effort to add to the value-chain of doing business with the portal, Plasticscommerce.com has tied up with Conduit, a New Zealand-based IT solutions provider. Together, the two companies will work at offering affordable B2B solutions over the Internet to clients involved in the regional and international plastics industry.

The solutions provided by Conduit are customizable to address multiple business processes, such as procurement, sales, service management and channel management.

The solutions can also be integrated with almost any back office system, claims Quek.

As the solutions are hosted on a web-based, ASP model, clients don't need to purchase their own software, but rather pay as they use the services.

The fees are dependant on the services that each client decides to use, and the revenue shared between both partners will also vary accordingly.

Conduit is a wholly owned subsidiary of Renaissance Corp., which is in turn listed on the New Zealand stock exchange. The B2B solutions provider has an extensive MNC client list, mainly of New Zealand and Australian origin, but little experience in the plastics industry.

Conduit CEO John Hayson said that the partnership ran in line with the company's strategy to develop alliances in Asia based on a blend of partners' domain knowledge and Conduit's own expertise.

The plastics portal has also recently signed up with local R&D institute, Gintic Institute of Manufacturing Technology to offer CAD conversion services over the Internet.

CAD conversion allows die, mold, and precision engineering companies to translate Computer Aided Design (CAD) files between 13 CAD and CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) systems.

CAD/CAM files are the traditional 3D formats that the manufacturing industry uses, and CAD/CAM software typically runs anywhere from US$10,000 to $500,000.

Clients wanting to use the service will be charged US$50 for the first megabyte, and an additional US$10 every Mb thereafter.

Upon completion of the conversion, clients are notified by email, whereupon their converted files can be downloaded.

Ms Quek said that the add-value services were sought after as a result of clients' feedback.