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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • Mitsubishi's E-Commerce Services Go Full-Scale
  • July 24, 1998 (TOKYO) - Mitsubishi Corp.'s Internet-based electronic commerce services are now in full-scale operation, the company said.
    For example, 600 companies from 70 countries registered with an auction service for used construction equipment offered by the company. The company also receives and places orders and settles accounts with U.S. mechanical parts makers entirely via the Internet.

    Mitsubishi set up GUIA (http://www.guia.com/), an Internet-based auction service for used construction equipment, in May 1996 with cooperation from Electronic Data Systems of the United States.

    At the time the service was launched, the trading house did not expect much business. A company official said Mitsubishi does not expect the business to boom in the near future, and positioned it as just a part of its strategic moves in the future.

    However, with the number of companies that registered with the service soaring to 600 in 70 countries from 120 in 1997, it has grown into a big business.

    Under the GUIA service, Japanese manufacturers of construction machines distribute information on the sale of used construction equipment on the Internet, and users in other parts of the world such as Beijing, Bangkok and Jakarta place orders also via the Internet. The new service has paved the way for a more flexible distributed network for the used construction equipment market in Asia.

    Although demand for construction itself is stagnant now due to the currency crisis in Asia, an official at the firm's multimedia business promotion division said the entire construction business should pick up again once the Asian economy recovers.

    Furthermore, the company made its entire annual transactions of about 400 million yen (US$2.8 million) with U.S. mechanical parts makers Internet-based ones in May 1998. It receives and places orders and even settles accounts via the Internet using international electronic certification organization CommerceNet and JapanNet.

    The trading company's section that deals with shoe products also introduced an Internet-based system to manage its production process in January 1998. Under the system, the company can access its contracted factory in Taiwan and a transportation firm based in Hong Kong via the Internet and manage all orders, production and logistics entirely over the Internet.

    The new system has prevented the company from making mistakes in placing orders and causing a delay in production and delivery by managing customer information, the progress of production and the schedule of ships carrying the shoe products are loaded.

    (Nikkei PC 21)

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    Updated: Thu Jul 23 18:49:04 1998