A trading hub aimed at cutting supply chain costs for IT distributors and resellers launched last week, aiming to help arm them against competition from direct selling.
The Hyporium trading hub, the first of its kind in Europe, has so far signed up manufacturers Compaq, IBM, Oracle, Novell and 3Com. Distributors include Computer 2000, Computacenter, Logitek, WestCoast, Uniplam and InterQuad, with some 37 participating resellers including CAE and INS.
The hub allows buyers to visit IT resellers' Web stores online, input their requirements and obtain immediate, real-time price and availability quotes.
Nick Kandola, managing director of Hyperchannel, which developed the hub, said Hyporium would cut business to business transaction costs from around £50 each to £5 by eliminating telephone and fax expenses.
"This is the first time manufacturers and distributors have worked together to provide one standardised system for electronic trading," he said. "It saves resources for the reseller."
Graeme Watt, MD of Computer 2000, said: "We will be competing against Hyperchannel as we have our own ecommerce offerings, but a reseller can only use our site for Computer 2000 information.
"Hyporium gives resellers the choice through one medium. It can provide service to the customer with least cost to us."
Through Hyporium, resellers will be able to create a web store using real-time catalogues within 45 minutes.
"Resellers need not worry about integrating suppliers' information, and for the first year it will be free," said Watt.
Mike Jones, general manager of CCD, said: "It takes us one step closer to a true virtual warehousing model for the channel."
Hyporium plans to expand to six other European countries.
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