IBM tells suppliers to get e-savvy

IBM New Zealand is asking suppliers to become e-business savvy if they want to continue doing business with the vendor.

IBM New Zealand is asking its suppliers to become e-business savvy if they want to continue doing business with the vendor. In a statement to its customers, the vendor is asking them to send orders and invoices electronically.

"To illustrate IBM's commitment to its global procurement, the ability to receive and issue invoices electronically will be a prerequisite to becoming a new supplier to IBM and a primary consideration in determining which suppliers IBM will continue to conduct business with," the statement reads.

The vendor adds: "While you are not required to use the forms exchange solution, we are pleased to offer the use of forms exchange free of charge through to December, 2000. At that time we will re-evaluate the programme and notify you of any changes."

IBM's Auckland-based spokesperson Jason Dykes did not comment on what will happen to those suppliers who do not comply in time, except to say it is in the interest of the suppliers to embrace the e-business revolution. "We are an e-business company and we would like those organisations we work with to adopt it as well," says Dykes.

Auckland-based Sealcorp, which is an IBM distributor, welcomes the move. Sealcorp product manager Mark Heppleston says placing orders directly online in Singapore will save both costs and time. "It is a good idea and it will also help our customers, who can go online themselves and get all the product information they need," says Heppleston.

Heppleston says, however, that there will be times when the fax will still be used. "There can be exceptions to the rule and IBM is very helpful."

The move is part of IBM's global strategy, which has embarked on a long-term strategy with both internal clients and suppliers, says Dykes.

In the first half of this year, IBM procured $US16.4 billion in goods and services over the Web - a cost saving of $US121.5 million over $US3 billion procured online during the same period in 1999 with a cost savings of $110 million, according to the vendor.

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