Gaithersburg, MD July 25, 2001 The Department of Natural Resources and Environment (NRE) of the Australian state of Victoria has completed a pilot program that created one of the largest managed online marketplaces Down Under, according to an announcement from solution provider GE Global eXchange Services.
The project brought more than 100 suppliers online into a searchable e-procurement catalog. Implemented by GE ecXpress Australia, a joint venture company of GE Global eXchange Services (GXS), the pilot has been fully operational since December 2000.
All of NRE's 4,000 staff in 200 locations now have access to the catalog, and are able to purchase a range of goods and services through the marketplace. With the pilot completed, NRE will now move the project into full implementation, with at least 1,000 suppliers expected to join the marketplace in the next 12 months.
Supplier enablement has been key to the success of the marketplace, according to John Byrne, e-business manager at NRE. "A lot of rural SMEs [small and midsize enterprises] don't have the expertise to go online, but now they are getting a chance to join the marketplace. We have suppliers of everything from stationary to cleaning and from employment services to local florists who are already online and doing business with NRE."
Dean Ireland, CEO GE ecXpress, said that the marketplace could be made available to other government departments and to private companies.
Victoria is Australia's second largest state by population, and its capital, Melbourne, is the country's second largest city, with a population of approximately 3.5 million.