GE Launches Digital Marketplace

General Electric (NYSE: GE) subsidiary Global eXchange Services (GXS) Monday announced the launch of Express Marketplace, a Web-based emporium open to any Internet user. According to GE, companies will have the ability to establish immediate, low-cost supply chain collaboration using only a Web browser.

“The key benefit of Express Marketplace is that it allows companies of any size, in any location, to bring new efficiencies to their supply chain process using only a PC with a Web browser. No other hardware or software is needed,” Bob Brooks, GXS vice president of marketplace solutions, told the E-Commerce Times.

“The opportunity to find new trading partners on a national or global basis is another big plus, especially for small or mid-sized companies,” he added.

Host of New Services

Express Marketplace services include a selection process allowing for electronic requests for quotations and reverse bidding; procurement through buy-side catalog access and procurement workflow; materials forecast and purchase order status tracking, and settlement of the deal by turning purchase orders into invoices, routing orders and adjudicating complaints.

Additional service components and functions will be introduced on a continuing basis, the Gaithersburg, Maryland-based GXS stated.

Their Service, Your Infrastructure

In a statement released Monday, GXS explained that “Express Marketplace compliments standards-based transaction services, as well as supporting integration with ERP [enterprise resource planning], CRM [customer relationship management] and legacy enterprise systems,” and can be operated using a company’s existing IT infrastructure.

Buyers and sellers will be invited to join Express Marketplace at no cost and will be able to benefit from certain free services. Other, as-yet-unidentified services will be fee-based, according to GXS.

Express Marketplace is also available to the 100,000 trading partners presently involved in the GXS supply chain network. GXS currently processes over 1 billion business-to-business (B2B) transactions per year, amounting to about $1 trillion (U.S.) in goods and services, according to a company statement.

Banking on B2B

Although General Electric would not disclose the extent of their investment in the new venture, it reportedly spent “hundred of millions” of dollars forming the GXS unit. GXS was formed in March when GE split GE Information Services to tap into the lucrative B2B Internet market which Forrester research predicts will generate $2.7 trillion in revenue by 2004.

GE Global eXchange Services operates one the largest B2B e-commerce networks in the world, with a presence in 58 countries. The company is a part of GE Information Services Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the General Electric Company, U.S.A.

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