Published on the 03/07/2009 | Written by Newsdesk
The Employers and Manufacturers Association has come up with a novel way to boost membership – an e-marketplace, called E-MArket...
The online B2B trading post, launched on 1 July, acts as a portal where buyers and sellers can meet and trade goods. It costs a modest $30 per month for sellers, who have to be EMA members, although anyone can buy from the site.
The EMA says the initiative already boasts 50 sellers and climbing. According to EMA spokesman Gilbert Peterson, the EMA had the recession, and what they might do to help members, very much in mind in developing the initiative.
“The EMA was looking around at what it could do to assist business productivity and retain membership loyalty, and this was one of the activities that came up.”
Launching the E-MArket website, EMA chief executive Alasdair Thompson said that it would provide a portal for sellers where they could put up their own microsite, allowing them to list their services and products, and where buyers could buy online with ease.
Benefits for buyers include an audit trail – many firms don’t have a good procurement system and this could fill that gap, says Thompson.
While sellers have to be EMA members, E-MArket is almost free, apart from the $30 fee, he says. “There are no set-up costs – to set up a website on which you can trade and place orders costs an awful lot of money,” says Thompson. He adds that the site is not a money-generator for the EMA, but is purely a member service to aid business productivity and efficiency – “a 24/7 shop-front window”.
E-Market uses the Unimarket e-procurement system. This is the same site that is already used by the University of Waikato, Hamilton City Council and other corporate and public sector organisations to manage their spend, increase procure-to-pay process efficiency and ensure compliance with preferred suppliers. For E-Market, this is integrated with Tranzsoft’s online trading system. Fees for sellers remain modest – at the $30 mark – until $2,500 worth of business has been transacted, after which a transaction fee of 1.25% is charged. EMA membership starts at $370 a year for a small company, and is based on payroll.