B2B Takes Flight

Airlines and aerospace manufacturers form Cordiem B2B exchange

WASHINGTON (PRNewswire)  March 7, 2001  Mammoth companies are joining forces. It happened in the automobile industry and now it's happening in the aviation industry. Nine global airlines and three aerospace manufacturers have united to form Cordiem, LLC, an aviation B2B exchange and application services provider that is jointly owned by buyers and sellers.

Cordiem builds on the previous efforts of AirNewco, an airline-led B2B initiative, and MyAircraft, a manufacturer-led exchange. AirNewco and MyAircraft said last October that they would explore the opportunity to create a jointly owned, independently managed exchange for streamlining the $500 billion industry's supply chain.

It will be interesting to see if the new brainchild will survive, given the doomed history of many exchanges. But, working in its favor is the fact that the conglomeration is not exactly comprised of amateurs. Based in Washington, D.C., Cordiem's founding aviation members include Air France, American Airlines, BFGoodrich Co., British Airways, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Honeywell International Inc., Iberia Airlines, SAirGroup, United Airlines, United Parcel Service and United Technologies Corp.

But while Cordiem members have an impressive amount of business experience under their belts, you wouldn't know it from the exchange's name. Its press release inconspicuously interjects that the company's name is pronounced cor-DEE-em and that the new company's name reflects its mission. Derived from "core," the central or most important part, and "diem," Latin for day. If you ask me, if the name needs that much explanation, it's probably not a winner.    

But the interesting twist with Cordiem is that it's not just an exchange. With a phased roll-out beginning in the second quarter, Cordiem will also offer a suite of supply chain management and e-procurement tools designed to help the industry achieve time and cost savings in five operational areas: maintenance and engineering, fuel and fuel services, catering and cabin services, airport services, and general procurement.

The company has partnered with i2 Technologies and Ariba to deploy its core e-business platform and related solutions. In addition, Cordiem has chosen IBM as its hosting provider.   

The company also announced the formation of an Airline Advisory Council and Supplier Advisory Council. Cordiem's Airline Advisory Council currently has 11 members, including Aer Lingus, Airborne Express, Asiana, Aeromexico, Britannia, Finnair, LanChile, and South African Airways. Airline Advisory Council members meet quarterly to provide input on various aspects of Cordiem's products and services. Most plan to participate as launch customers during the second quarter.