Appliance industry’s eCommerce association aims high in 2007

By Sarah Falson

SYDNEY: Applie-com, an appliance industry eCommerce Group, has announced in 2007 it aims to review returned goods processes between suppliers and retailers, and develop a streamlined system that will likely result in cost savings for both parties.

The group functions in the absence of an association in the appliance retailing industry, and has both supplier and retail members including Coles/Myer, Electrolux, Fisher & Paykel, Harvey Norman, LG, Narta, Panasonic, Retravision and The Good Guys, among others.

The group has been functioning since 2000 to “supply an eCommerce platform which provides all users with the same language process to trade electronically with obvious efficiency and cost saving benefits,” according to Applie-com chairperson, Graham Day.

In November 2005, the team decided that it could focus on broader industry issues by transforming itself into the Executive Steering Group (ESG) and the Technical Working Group (TWG). During the past year, each group has been monitoring issues likely to have a high impact on the industry.

Earlier this month the ESG held a meeting and approved the finances and resources to put in place the six different processes that are a result of the ESG and TWG’s monitoring processes, which it calls its ‘2007 objectives’. The first of the implementation meetings was held today.

The ESG’s concerns include: the ‘Return Goods Process’, which reviews processes in place for management of goods returned between suppliers and retailers; ‘End of Life’, which aims to design an interim standard process, procedures and documentation which can be implemented by all suppliers and retailers; and ‘Packaging Covenant’ to develop a streamlined process for the management of returned goods and quantify the likely savings from implementation of the streamlined process.

These processes are being developed with the help of various government bodies and will be implemented from July onwards.

The TWG’s objectives include the ‘GSI net’, which is piloting with selected retailers and suppliers a trading catalogue to allow all key product date to be managed in one location; ‘Stock Availability’, which is an electronic file and messaging document to better inform retail stores of the availability of stocks from their supporting suppliers; and ‘MIG Maintenance’, which is a message implementation guidelines document that informs retailers and suppliers of processes and rules for efficiency in B2B trading, written specifically for the appliance industry.

“Applie-com is pleased to be working towards sharing of best practices and proactively driving change in critical areas for our industry,” said Day.

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