UPM-Kymmene has entered into a joint venture agreement to establish a new pan-European electronic trading hub for the paper industry. Tentatively named Expresso, this independent industry-led initiative offers paper producers, paper merchants and paper customers a technology platform for electronic, Internet-based business-to-business trading. Ultimately, the new hub will improve the speed, transparency and efficiency of transactions throughout the paper supply chain creating value for all participants.
"Expresso is not an e-marketplace where the customer can deal with the products of different producers, but rather a platform for conveying the messages related to the business transaction – orders, order confirmations, invoices etc. – between supplier and customer", comments Pehr-Eric Pått, Vice President, Business Development for UPM-Kymmene Fine Papers.
In the initial phase – in early 2002 – the hub will be centred on transaction automation and the provision of basic services, relying on the international papiNet standard and a joint product catalogue. In the next phase, the system will be expanded with a function to monitor the progress of orders in the supply chain.
According to Mr. Pått, Expresso will give UPM-Kymmene the opportunity to capitalise on the benefits of electronic trading with the aid of a moderate investment in a joint venture company. At present, about 10 per cent of business transactions between UPM-Kymmene and its customer base is handled through electronic data interchange (EDI).
"The expanding volume of electronic trading will allow UPM-Kymmene to improve its customer services and streamline its supply chain", says Ken Ehrnrooth, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Fine Papers. At the same time, the company will be able to present a consistent and uniform image in dealing with all its customers. The improved transparency of data and information is also expected to make the paper business more predictable, helping to dampen cyclical effects.
"With the aid of Expresso, we will be able to offer our customers a new alternative for interchange of transaction data", comments Hans Sohlström, Vice President, Marketing, Publication Papers. According to Mr. Sohlström, the objective is to link major customers' planning and purchasing systems direct to UPM-Kymmene's in-house systems by making use of Internet technologies.
Founding participants in the Expresso joint venture include, in addition to UPM-Kymmene, the paper producers International Paper Europe, M-real, Sappi Europe, Soporcel and Stora Enso, and the paper merchant companies Antalis, Buhrmann and New Merchanting Force (NMF). Other interested parties are being encouraged to investigate the added value of this new electronic platform.
For more information, please contact
UPM-Kymmene Fine Papers
Tel +358 204 15 0524
Fax +358 204 15 0503