NRMA Insurance has begun trading electronically with five of its major suppliers after implementing the B2B Commerce Platform from Ariba. The new system enables the company to aggregate purchasing from employee's desktops and to direct purchase orders to preferred suppliers and B2B marketplaces.
Catherine Rusby, group B2B e-commerce manager for NRMA, explained that the company's initial goal in installing the online trading system is to improve the management of goods and services procurement, with the longer-term aim of achieving greater savings through bringing claims expenditure online.
"Ariba Buyer will enable us to work closely with our suppliers in this new environment without imposing cumbersome processes and standards on them," Rusby said. "We also wanted an open e-commerce platform to allow us to use our internal e-procurement system to link up with online marketplaces and exchanges when it's beneficial to do so."
The company went live after a four month pilot trial of the Ariba Buyer product during which, in order to implement the commerce platform across NRMA's operations, Hewlett-Packard integrated Ariba Buyer with the insurer's back-end SAP systems prior to rolling it out through NRMA's head office, two claims centres and one retail branch. The remainder of the company's operations will have access to the systems within a year.
The suppliers working online with the NRMA in the early stages of its e-commerce implementation include Corporate Express (stationery), ADA (uniforms) and Cable & Wireless Optus (mobile phones).