A superportal of 14 of Australia's biggest enterprises was announced yesterday, but officials say the venture will account for little more than 1% of the nation's industrial expenditure.
The cross-industrial site, called corProcure, is the joint project of 14 Australian listed companies, including insurance company AMP, Australian Postal, ANZ Banking Group, Coca-Cola Amatil, Telstra, Foster's Brewing Group and mining giant Broken Hill Proprietary.
According to a statement issued to the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) this week, the project expects to spend over $A8 billion ($US4.7 billion) in inter-company purchases of indirect goods and services during its first two years of operation. Australian industry overall spends around $A300 billion annually on indirect goods and services.
Indirect goods and services are peripheral production costs incurred by companies, the ASX statement qualified.
The corProcure portal will be managed through a central office in either Sydney or Melbourne, a corProcure spokesperson said.
Details, such as how much the companies plan to spend on the project's integration and development, are not yet available.
It is unlikely that all participating companies will contribute equal resources to the project, and revenue distribution models have not yet been set, the spokesperson said.
However, the spokesperson said that in 45 days a formal operational agreement is expected to be reached between the 14 founding shareholders.
Most participating companies already had supplier-customer relationships in place, the spokesperson said. Other participants expect that Australia Post will take on the task of carrying out order fulfilment for the project, although Australia Post would not comment on its involvement in corProcure.
Officials say the site will be fully operational by the end of 2000.
corProcure hopes to have attracted more participants by this time, the spokesperson said, adding that the project was particularly interested in small and medium-sized enterprises.
"It's not just about the big end of town."
The project is currently looking to fill six full-time executive positions including a chief executive officer, as well as supporting staff.