British Aerospace plans to convert its Year 2000 Internet site into a system for electronic trading as part of a policy of profiting from its millennium compliance efforts.
The manufacturer said that it was likely to undershoot its £90 million compliance budget.
"Wherever we can, we're using Year 2000 activity for business benefit," said Stephen Ling, director of the company's Year 2000 programme.
The Internet site is jointly run with Rolls-Royce and the Society of British Aerospace Companies. It allows suppliers to post details of their Year 2000 project progression.
More than 750 of BAe's suppliers are required to make progress reports every six weeks at the site.
In return for disclosure, BAe offers advice and software tools to help defuse the millennium time bomb.
The site will next year become the basis for an electronic trading system to handle orders for engineering components, along the lines of the US car industry's ANX project.
"We can use this initiative to drag our industry into the Net age," Ling said.
BAe's target for millennium compliance is the end of June, but some systems will not be ready by then. Ling said this is to allow further enhancements alongside Year 2000 work.
For example, a number of web sites will move to a common operating system, VMS 7.1 on Vax machines, as part of the millennium programme.
Solutions for all Year 2000 problems with BAe products had been found by the end of last year, Ling said.
"On the Airbus products, the only Year 2000 issue was on the customer entertainment system," he said.
BAe is one of 30 firms in which Computing holds stock. We will be asking questions at these companies' annual general meetings to promote Year 2000 awareness across the UK.
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