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MMK launches e-trading floor

Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works (MMK) took part in the 3d conference on corporate web portals and blogs for metallurgical businesses. The event was coordinated by Metallosnabzheniye I Sbyt (the magazine), the Russian Union of Metal Goods Suppliers, and Metal-Expo.

The conference was part of the international industrial fairs devoted to metallurgical machinery, technologies, and produce (Metallurgy. Litmash 2008), Russian pipes (Pipes. Russia 2008), and non-ferrous metals (Aluminum/Tsvetmet 2008) held in Moscow on May 27-30, 2008. The 3d conference on corporate web portals and blogs for metallurgical businesses was attended by top executives and employees of metallurgical enterprises and metal traders.

The agenda of the event covered issues like today’s corporate portals’ basic potential, news services, intra-corporate public relations, database management, safety and protection of web portals, review of the most widely used systems, experience-sharing, and corporate blogs.

In addition to this, some time was provided to sum up the results of the Best Internet Project of the Year contest held among metallurgical enterprises and metal goods traders based in Russia and the CIS. An awarding ceremony followed.

Then, a report was made by Svetlana Bobrova, Senior Manager from MMK’s Corporate Products Development department, who spoke about their new project targeted at setting up an e-trading floor on the company’s premises. MMK’s e-trading floor (http://www.mmk.ru/e-trade.wbp) was created in 2007 as part of the company’s corporate information system development. The program uses Oracle iStore, which makes it totally compatible with the entire Oracle E-Business Suite. The set is meant for MMK’s electronic trading purposes and meets all the Russian legal requirements.

When setting up this e-floor, MMK was trying to offer its customers a new kind of large-scale service, available online 24/7 and virtually anywhere. The company’s distribution area can thus be extended though setting up a new sales channel and implementation of effective sales policies based on online technologies. All this is expected to greatly enhance the customer satisfaction.

The e-trading floor makes it possible to spend less time buying, reduce purchasing expenses, and ensure a transparent and reasonable choice of suppliers.

The project was started in January 2007, with the test launch of the floor occuring six months later, when the first order was placed through the floor and the first trading procedures took place. It took MMK, Cognitive Technologies, ANK, Lissi, and Borlas eight months to complete the project, while the commercial operation began in January 2008. Sixty-seven trading procedures (with forty-nine suppliers taking part) have been carried out and thirty regular customers have been registered at the floor so far. MMK gives top priority to online orders and hopes to sell about 3% of its produce meant for the domestic market over the Internet in the future, the spokesperson for Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works says.
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