A consortium of mining suppliers has launched MiningXchange, an Internet-based vertical trading hub which will service the mining, oil and mineral processing industry on a global basis.
Launched in Sydney, the exchange has gone live to members in the Asia-Pacific region and plans are in motion to market it globally in the near future. The exchange was established by Asian e-business ventures Unifize and Yapster e-conglomerate, as well as Australian-based mining supplier Tennant. The technology is based on the Oracle Exchange platform, while PricewaterhouseCoopers has been contracted to provide business planning and strategy services.
Stephen Wolfe, director of MiningXchange, expects buyers and suppliers to save substantially in procurement costs and transaction processing, as well as being able to share industry intelligence for mutual benefit.
Wolfe said the mining industry in Australia is very technologically advanced and is also quite competent at procurement. But a problem the industry faces on a day-to-day basis is buyer uncertainty of receiving stock on schedule, as mines can go down at any time and leave buyers without inventory. Subsequently, there is a large amount of "safety stock" floating around in the supply chain to ensure buyers and sellers can avoid being cut short.
"There is an excess amount of inventory in the supply chain that doesn't need to be there," he said. "With increased information flow, inventory management will become more efficient."
The Minister for Industry, Science and Resources, Senator Nick Minchin, expressed praise for the MiningXchange initiative, challenging claims that Australian industry is lagging behind the "new economy".
"Initiatives such as MiningXchange clearly show that the perception of Australia's traditional industries as somehow being behind the times is false. Indeed, these industries are well and truly part of the new economy," he said. "Australia's mining and minerals sectors are entrepreneurial, innovative, internationally competitive, and well positioned to take their place in global supply chains."