Founded in 2000, by 22 leading corporations in the chemical industry Elemica is a global e-commerce company providing Web based order management and supply chain applications and services. The Report is an e-business strategy which involves assessment of feasibility and implementation model for expansion of the Elemica enterprise system (ES) to its B2B industry trading hub. Aimed at revolutionizing the entire supply chain of chemical and gas industries interests worldwide, Elemica B2B was designed to foster growth through collaboration. Value proposition to Elemica is equity in connectivity and participation of the member ERP systems and users amongst the diverse community firms now conjoined in the Company's super platform. Delivering state-of-the-art sourcing and supply chain integration services in the areas of customer and supplier management, strategic sourcing and logistics, the value proposition to client user firms is to promote new levels of efficiency toward profitability through leaner and more fully optimized supply chain (Elemica 2011). Uniting global trade partners through integrated business solutions, Elemica's planned expansion will advance improved productivity through reduced costs, decreased errors, and increased customer and business partner satisfaction across the entire supply chain. Processing over $60 billion annually, the strategic expansion of the Elemica supply chain integration and optimization services network to the tire and rubber, chemical, energy and selected manufacturing industries will reach clients in emergent economies of scale seeking same value solutions for Bottom Line Results, Enhanced Supply Chain Reliability, Quick and Easy Implementation, and Deep Industry Expertise (Elemica 2011).
The company's current business model
The representative of the type of knowledge sharing and capitalization strategies emergent in the current international energy markets, the company enables one-stop shopping" in trade of chemicals through a single hub; connecting the entire network of ERP systems, or via web alternative. The sheer size and capacity of one of the most sophisticated technology platforms in the B2B sphere allows participating firms to communicate with one another electronically; conducting transactions, setting up logistics, and tracking of accounts. The rise of ERP-to-ERP connectivity in IT systems integration that has promoted multi-national enterprises (MNE) and business processing network (BPN) more pervasively is sourced in the innovations of the chemical industry, and its early use of large-scale ES control networks in the automation of manufacturing and SCADA distribution process elements to channel operations. The value chain operations (VPO) model that set the pace for "total" systems control through IT based ES information sharing (IS) platforms within chemical industries, is also highly relative to the outgrowth of the knowledge sharing model now employed by Elemica's B2B transaction network. By extension, the increased interest in business process outsourcing (BPO) or offshore servicing of the member ERP systems in the network is also discussed in the Report, as a more recent development on the chemical trading sector. Lean and agile operations is the goal to the upgrade of the BPN, so that volume of usage may be met through more efficient EDI solutions to inter-company transactions. This is part of the mission of Elemica, and its four modules of customer service: 1) procurement, 2) logistics, 3) automated inventory and ordering (i.e. customer replenishment), and 4) and order management.
The four components of the B2B platform automate ordering, invoicing, tracking of shipments and business operations services
Of strategic importance in the next phase of advancement in the Elemica ES is deeper integration of cultural intelligence (CI) into the expansion of the network and its services. A core competency in the B2B network concept, CI serves as the nexus of what Hampden-Turner and Trompenaars (2006) define as the logical side of IS or the "Synergy Hypothesis" where "every culture more or less reconciles its own contrasting values", for mutual optimization. Objectively speaking, distance from the nexus of transaction decision making defines priorities as "value", and those priorities may or may not be relative solely to the process at hand. Where values intensify and impact decision making in the shared space of Elemica"s platform, Triandis offers methodological imposition of the CI concept through the study of those firms as "dyads". In cross-cultural assessment of the Elemica knowledge sharing capacity, the site is an excellent cases study of a CI convenience sample. The planned expansion of the IT based ES exchange to offshore outsourcing relationship amongst firms not defined as purely vested in the chemical industry reinterprets the value of conversion as vital to trade within the sector (Triandis 2006). It is in the day-to-day application of Elemica's CI to business intelligence that the micro inferences built into macro strategies observed in transactions made by the MNEs on the site expiate where "cultures consequences" ends and begins. As Hofstede (2001) suggests, CI will continue to be implicated in the future of transactional trade applications, and those work relationship which use them, as interfaces that both standardize and eliminate inconsistencies in the methods that companies and their industries conduct business. The climate of openness within economies of scale has left little competitive edge within the day-to-day exchange environment, some would argue, yet as Elemica shows, the impact on values and expectations in the chemical industry is indisputable as companies seek tighter integration with suppliers, vendors, and even competitors as options innate to flexible capitalization increase.
Market analysis and trends
Situation analysis of feasibility to the advancement of ES at Elemica as described it the Report was based on assessment of aggregate CI data drawn from member MNEs and BPOs. Research design to the feasibility study included cross cultural analysis of dyads or conjoint analysis of maturation and stage in individual company growth as members to the site, and the explanation of that data in the Report's Six Sigma environmental analysis tools: SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). Case analysis of the Elemica prospectus to future applications in IT ES to the ERP extends to chemical company members and the growing number of outsourcing BPO service providers. The environmental scan of Elemica's online B2B industry trading hub and related resources is part of the scope of the appointed Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Elemica, and provides a depth analysis of the current situation regarding Elemica's core activities and current business model in design and implementation of new components in the existing e-business ICT infrastructure. Sector by sector research on B2B trading hubs offers some insight into the current market study of the chemical industry transaction system employed by Elemica. Comparison of individual member trade offered the most vital market strategy for addressing projected trends within the sector. In Contractor et al. (2010), Reconceptualizing the Firm in a World of Outsourcing and Offshoring: The Organizational and Geographical Relocation of High-Value Company Functions, incremental application is discussed toward: 1) optimal disaggregation of the MNE value chain into constituent segments; so that 2) performance is cost-efficient (Contractor et al. 2010). Bridge outsourcing firms exploit technological "value" in equitable integration of clients and workforce. The calculation of CI as "value" in execution of projects, then, is especially important. Other external factors such as legal changes within the global e-commerce transaction provision to ICT agreements between merchants is a substantial area of growth in research that the Company will pursue in the interest of fair and responsible trade.
For instance, trade on the EU market is the most obvious advantage for UK firms, yet there is significant advantage in partner B2B relationships with firms in Australia, Canada and New Zealand and other commonwealth nations as well. While not intended as a "third party" in terms of liability to extended agreement for those services, Elemica's service platform is nevertheless a space of purported equity in exchange, and with that vision, the company seeks ways to extend "same caliber" instruments to profit offered to all members. For this reason, Elemica's B2B value chain (VC) conforms to the SWOT analysis of the Company's global situation in ES (Table 1). Vertical integration of Elemica's operations involves relatively high control over the value chain of its products amongst members. Participating firms are given guarantee in service within a commitment to maturation of the existing resources as new chemical products enter the market. Assurance of quality in procurement of products is critical to long-term retention members, and trade performance on the market. Subsidiary and other shareholder relationships incumbent to contract agreements between members designates value in transactions also outside those conducted on the site, and those occupying the same strata of the market are of keen interest to Elemica in the capture, retention and profitability of those segments listed on the site. Hurdling high entry barriers such as subsidiary and shareholder interests in an aggressive market means that as Elemica ramps up its presence in emergent segments and national economies that more options in ERP interface will be required. From addition of languages to laws, distinctions in CI must be mapped into the business intelligence of the strategic ES model laid forth in the proposal.
B2B Model Assessment
Strategic changes to Elemica's enterprise will be exceptionally reliant upon innovation in services that meet diversification in member product line offerings to a wider segment of the sector's global customer base. Reinforcement of manufacturer" proficiencies in a B2B setting must converge each step in channel operations activities toward mutual benefit in brand proliferation and sales. Acceleration of a number of emergent economies of scale are contributing to the reconfiguration of national and regional investment opportunities, and trade results reflect the type of transformation that the industry is undergoing by sub-segment in those target markets. Objectives to launch of the new ICT ES once live will meet criteria outlined in Porter's Five Forces approach to strategic ES transformation.