Revolutionary B2B portal for the printing industry

Singapore, 31 May 2000 - Xponet.com, a Singapore-based developer of business-to-business e-commerce solutions,announces the launch of a vertical Internet application for the printing industry.
Written by Joe Rebeiro, Contributor
Singapore, 31 May 2000 - Xponet.com, a Singapore-based developer of business-to-business e-commerce solutions, announces the launch of a vertical Internet application for the printing industry.

Xponet.com will connect print buyers and print sellers in a secure environment via the Internet. Through the portal, XpoPrint, all of the service providers involved in the printing supply chain will be able to call for quotations, collaborate to better manage their customers, share information pertaining to specific projects, streamline the various tasks and monitor the fulfilment processes.

For the customer, XpoPrint delivers significant economies in time to procure and manage a printing project.

While for the print vendors, they will have an immediate advantage in being able to communicate with all of the other parties in the supply chain, from design houses, advertising agencies and pre-press specialists through to post-printing suppliers such as binders, direct mail houses and logistics services. This will free their professional resources to focus on core business competencies.

The portal also offers the printers a ready pool of business accounts they can tap, thereby reducing their own need for expensive sales and marketing activities. Through XpoPrint's corporate database, printers will have access to company logos and histories of earlier print jobs. Reprints will be facilitated efficiently and consistently as printers are able to access the definitive corporate identity files thereby maintaining integrity, wherever and whenever the job is done.

Is there a technology portal for Asia?

Speaking at the launch of Xponet.com, Chief Executive Officer, Mr Vincent Toe, said, "some print vendors have already adopted software solutions to automate different processes within the design, procurement and production processes. Today, with the availability of Xponet.com's web-based solution, the entire supply chain can be automated and we are confident that leveraging these new efficiencies will deliver an exponential improvement in service for the customer".
Inefficiencies in the traditional printing model
The traditional process of designing, procuring and producing a print order requires extensive collaboration between multiple vendors as well as significant investment of time and professional resources by the print buyer to manage the process.

US-based print research firm, CAP Ventures, estimates that for every $1 paid by a print buyer to a print vendor, there are a further $5 to $8 of additional costs. These expenses result predominantly from the high degree of industry fragmentation causing production delays, reworks, late fees and shipping costs.

One-stop-marketplace solution
XpoPrint hopes to both attract and retain print customers through its robust print management solution. Leveraging the worldwide accessibility of the Internet, XpoPrint streamlines all of the complex, labour-intensive tasks that go into commercial printing from project specification, quoting, proofing and production management to reporting and billing.

Through automating these processes, tangible benefits to the buyer include increased productivity; reduced purchasing costs; shorter lead times; reduced error rates and on-line tracking. The customer would also have tighter control over the entire process.

"An e-hub is the ideal communication platform for the printing industry which is large and fragmented and involves coordination between multiple parties, some of whom are even in different countries."

- Vincent Toe
Chief Executive Officer

According to Vincent Toe, "From the initial development of the creative ideas, which requires a highly interactive forum between customer and design agency, through to the technical specifications that need to be shared with the printer, paper suppliers and any post-print vendors, streamlined communications is vital. By leveraging the power and availability of the Internet, XpoPrint is a highly affordable solution which will effectively deliver a one-stop-marketplace to the customer".

XpoPrint was offered to the market on a trial basis in April and has since signed up more than 1,000 accounts and revenues of S$200,000. These include big-name operators such as Bowne, Warburg Dillon Read & Associates, BBDO, AXA Life, ST Electronics, as well as the local operator of Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, subsidiaries of Tricon Restaurants International.

Synergy of domain expertise
Xponet.com was established in March 2000 by seven partners with complementary domain knowledge - Technology, Finance, Internet and Print. Since its inception, the company's technology division, XpoTech, has developed a global b2b technology platform.

Xponet has indicated that their technology is also applicable to industries other than print too. With customisation, the platform can power b2b exchanges which will enable buyers of any product to benefit from more predictable pricing, real-time information on availability as well as better control over the procurement process itself.

According to Vincent Toe, "there are inefficiencies in many vertical markets, and through our underlying XpoTech technology, we will be able to develop industry-specific e-hubs that will meet the needs of different groups of buyers and sellers".

Pricing and Availability:
The XpoPrint portal is available immediately to both print buyers and print sellers. There is no up-front cost for registration although a percentage commission is charged to the print seller for any transaction which is concluded using the portal. To register or for more details, visit the website at www.xponet.com.

About Xponet.com
Xponet.com Pte Ltd provides Internet-based b2b electronic commerce solutions for business resources. Xponet.com network enables buyers and suppliers to streamline and automate transactions on the Internet. The Xponet platform also enables organisations to reduce processing costs and improve productivity by automating the procurement cycle and linking end-users throughout an organisation with internal approvers and financial systems.

Its easy-to-use Internet web site provides business customers access to products, a network of business services and a broad menu of business content. It plans to become a leading, one-stop Internet destination for business customers -- a place where they conduct their b2b transactions, build relationships with customers, suppliers and colleagues, and conduct business-related research.

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