Standard Chartered has launched B2BeX, a Web-based trade finance platform and online marketplace for suppliers, buyers, transport and logistics companies.
B2BeX enables the different parties in the trade process to exchange documents and data with each other, including purchase orders, confirmations, shipping instructions, and letter of credit applications. The platform features a range of trade-related services and offers online access to a network of 20 companies from the shipping, insurance, catalogue and other trade-related lines of business.
Andrew Charlton, Standard Chartered’s group head of product sales and management, says the system gives the bank an opportunity to become more intimately involved with the supply chain activities and core business of its major customers. "B2BeX moves us beyond being a provider of trade finance solutions to being a facilitator of trade," he says.
B2BeX features a product catalogue where buyers and suppliers can post and source products, in either a public or private community, and then re-use the data in sending requests for quotes, purchase orders etc, all the way through the entire transaction.
The linking of documents and data facilitates more efficient business analysis and management of all supply-chain related activities, says Simon Atkinson, group treasurer of Woolworths Group PLC, a major retailer based in the UK and an early pilot user of the system.
He adds: "B2BeX also standardises electronic documents and this, together with the modular design, might, in future, encourage us to introduce our other trading partners to the system.”
Chung Nan Industrial Supplies Company, a Hong Kong–based trading company, claims to have used the platform to reduce internal paperwork processing costs by 40% and save thousands of dollars in late fees.
Richard K Y Chu, executive director, says: "B2BeX is a major step forward for Chung Nan and a real service to customers."
Mike Witthoft, managing director of Five Star Enteprises Ltd, another Hong Kong-based trading company, says the firm is making active use of the B2BeX catalogue services and trade document manager to post product profiles, send and receive quotes, purchase orders, invoices and packing lists.
"In just two months, we had moved about three-quarters of our suppliers onto the B2BeX platform," he says. "We now look forward to rolling out B2BeX to our entire trading community."