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First E-Business Global Standards for Chemical Supply Chain in Singapore

Singapore-based chemical manufacturers and their supply chain partners can now tap into a set of global process standards that promise cost efficiency and ease of secured online communication through a common e-business ...

Singapore, 3 June 2005 | For Immediate Release

Chemical Manufacturers can Expect to Save 10% - 15% in Certain Costs Annually

Singapore-based chemical manufacturers and their supply chain partners can now tap into a set of global process standards that promise cost efficiency and ease of secured online communication through a common e-business XML-based language called Chem eStandards. Developed by a global trade association called CIDX (Chemical Industry Data Exchange), the Chem eStandards can be used by the chemical companies to transact business and exchange information electronically with their business partners. This was announced at the first CIDX seminar in Singapore co-organised by IDA and SAP. By adopting the Chem eStandards, chemical companies can expect savings of 10% - 15% annually in the costs of order transaction, inventory, accounts receivable and transport administration. A survey conducted by CIDX showed that majority of the Chem eStandards users and potential users were optimistic about its benefits, with 80% of them expecting substantial cost savings.

CIDX is a global trade association and standards body, headquartered in USA, focusing on realising transactional efficiency throughout the global chemical industry supply chain. Its members include 40 global chemical companies, including multinational corporations such as BASF, Dow Chemical, DuPont, Rohm and Haas, and Shell. (Please refer to Annex A (17.73KB) for a factsheet on CIDX).

The chemical manufacturing industry represents 28% of Singapore's S$180 billion manufacturing output, and is the second biggest manufacturing sector after electronics in 2004. However, the sector is under increased pressure to improve the bottom-line. This pressure has been heightened due to globalisation and competition from lower-cost manufacturing locations.

To address these challenges, companies have embarked on internal cost-cutting measures. In this regard, there is room to increase the transactional efficiency between the business partners. In the same CIDX study, only 5% - 15% of transactions between the business partners in the chemical industry are done electronically. To reduce costs along the supply chain, chemical companies can adopt CIDX's XML-based Chem eStandards for their business-to-business (B2B) integration. These standards address the need for a common language for B2B commerce applications where consistent protocols and data formats can be used in the exchange of information. The benefits of such integration would come from the reduction in errors, operating costs and working capital. In addition, integration will also serve to strengthen business relationships between the partners by improving customer response times.

JoAnne Norton, Executive Director of CIDX, said "CIDX is excited about the opportunity to collaborate with IDA to extend use of our Chem eStandards to the Singapore chemical industry, building on our successful partnership with the Japanese CEDI organisation (a part of the Japanese Petrochemical Association, JPCA). Over 84% of CIDX-member companies have indicated that they have operations in the region and they have encouraged CIDX to engage Singapore as a proven regional leader in eBusiness capability."

One of the companies that have locally implemented Chem eStandards is CWT Distribution Limited, a logistics player for the chemical industry. Mr Raja Saha, Head, E-Solutions & Information Services, said "With the adoption of CIDX, we are now able to seamlessly integrate our business processes with our customers in a more coherent manner. This has resulted in reducing shipment turnaround time for our customers, lowered operational and IT costs besides adding value to all in the complete supply-chain process."

Mr Khoong Hock Yun, Assistant Chief Executive, Industry Group, IDA said "Business networks need to use technology to sense and respond in a coordinated fashion to changes in their environment. Hence B2B integration driven by common standards such as CIDX's Chem eStandards would become increasingly important. Singapore, as a host to many world-class players in chemical manufacturing, logistics and finance, is well-placed to be a test-bedding hub for leading edge CIDX processes. Singapore can also serve as a spring-board for CIDX into the Asia-Pacific region."

As part of the efforts to promote CIDX in Singapore, a CIDX User Group has been formed - the first in Asia. Led by the industry, the User Group will work with CIDX to represent and address Singapore's needs. Leading chemical supply chain companies in Singapore including CWT Distribution, Rohm & Haas, Shell, Vopak and supporting IT solutions providers including Elemica, IBM and SAP are some of the companies that will participate in this User Group. CIDX and IDA will work with the User Group to drive the adoption of CIDX implementation in Singapore, and to identify suitable pilot projects. (Please refer to Annex B (26.27KB) on a factsheet on the Singapore CIDX User Group Charter.)

Mr Eric MacDonald, Managing Director, Singapore, SAP Asia Pte Ltd, said "CIDX provides the open standards for companies to collaborate and conduct business electronically in an efficient and secure manner in the global chemical supply chain. SAP,being one of the leading business solution providers and a key member of CIDX, is poised to help Singapore firms gain from such a global business network."


About Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is committed to growing Singapore into a dynamic global infocomm hub. IDA uses an integrated approach to developing infocommunications in Singapore. This involves nurturing a competitive telecoms market as well as a conducive business environment with programmes and schemes for both local and international companies. For more information, visit

For media clarification, please contact:

Jenny Ng
Manager,Corporate & Marketing Communication
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
DID: +65 6211-1341
Fax:  +65 6211 2227