13 May 2004
Masterlink, a London-based e-document exchange and integration company, has launched a managed e-business platform called Express that enables small firms to send documents to their partners' clients irrespective of technology.
Express offers a hosted system to integrate a small or medium-sized enterprise's front- and back-office systems with those of their customers and suppliers.
When an SME automates its data exchange, the company saves time and administration, enabling it to trade at the same level of sophistication as retail giants, according to Julian Brooks, commercial director at Masterlink.
Express allows the SME to set up to five different document types, including orders, invoices, acknowledgements and credit notes.
But because Express sits within the Masterlink software, the SME does not incur any major outlay for hardware and software. Brooks said e-trading enables SMEs to trade more cheaply and efficiently with clients.
"Until now, implementing a comprehensive e-trading solution has been too complicated and too expensive for SMEs."
Around 30 SMEs already use Express and they range across all sectors, from the retail market and the book trade to automotive.
"It works best when the SME wants to trade with up to five clients," said Brooks.
The main cost for the SME is the initial expense to first set up the document types. After that, the cost of adding clients is minimal.
Masterlink also produces an on-site solution called Expert for larger companies, as well as Enterprise, a top-level e-trading package for the largest organisations with strong technology skills and experience.