Trade-Ranger takes off

TRADE-Ranger’s founding members include 14 of the world’s biggest energy and petrochemical companies who spend about A$212 billion on goods each year.

It is easily the biggest Internet procurement portal in the energy and petrochemical industries and among the top five in the world. All are vying for an estimated value of sales using the Internet of more than $1 trillion by 2003.

It can supply buyers with goods ranging from paper clips to a drill bit for a rig in the middle of the North West Shelf.

Substantial savings have been guaranteed for buyers and sellers using the service.

Trade-Ranger was launched by corporate giants such as Royal Dutch-Shell, BP, Mitsubishi Corporation and Repsol YPF.

The concept was announced during the third quarter of the year and will be online by September – at a cost of more than US$100 million.

It is based in Houston and has about 100 staff consisting of 16 nationalities.

Trade-Ranger joint chief executive officer Peter Lamell provided an example of how quickly the project has evolved.

“We arrived in Houston on the Wednesday night, negotiated for office space on Thursday, did the deal on Friday and moved in on the Saturday,’’ Mr Lamell said.

He was in Perth this week to make a keynote address to the E-Procurement in Petroleum, Mining and Chemicals Conference.

He said the concept was not difficult to promote because “it made so much sense”.

However, the biggest challenge would be educating users.

“It is such a big opportunity to save cost and have greater efficiency up and down the supply chain,” he said.

“Buyers have an opportunity to deal with a number of sellers and sellers with buyers and its gives them global reach.

“Transaction costs are much lower – there are no invoices and paperwork, reducing the margin for error. And, because it is over the Internet, it is immediate.”

He said Trade-Ranger would help companies better manage their procurement of goods and services.

Mr Lamell said Trade-Ranger was still establishing its independency.

An IPO would be issued “when market conditions were right” and an independent board would be appointed.

It is planned that the company would employ permanent staff by the end of the year.

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