25 September 2000 00:00 [Source: ICB Americas]Envera, an Internet network transaction and services company, plans to go live on October 1 with phase one of its open network. The launch will include enterprise resource planning (ERP) integrated connectivity for its members.
Envera was formed in March as a global electronic marketplace for B2B transactions and services. Its function is to enable cross-industry transactions and efficiencies over the Internet. It characterizes its network of systems and services as e-business-for-business (B4B). The company has a patent pending for the Envera network.
As a B4B portal, Envera is focused on linking suppliers, customers, logistics service providers and financial institutions into a single network, enabling a range of business transactions among trading members. The company has developed a systems infrastructure that will provide total automation from the time an order is entered until it is delivered.
Envera maintains itself as a neutral site. It has gained and is seeking equity participation from chemical and petroleum companies. Its equity partners include Albemarle Corporation, Borden Chemical Inc., Ethyl Corporation, Lubrizol Corporation, Lyondell Chemical Company, Mays Chemicals Company, Occidental Chemical Corporation and Solutia Inc.
Member implementation involves three key steps. "Envera's member implementation approach entails three elements: get ready, get connected and get value," notes J. Robert Mooney, CEO of Envera. As the name implies, the get-ready stage involves bringing a members' business processes and data infrastructure up to a level where it can participate online.
The get-connected stage involves preparing a member site through testing and by installing a translation server, as well as developing and implementing transactions and providing user training and documentation. The get-value stage is the final stage under which transactions actually occur.
Phase one, which Envera will launch next week, involves "getting the data flowing," Mr. Mooney says. The launch will enable eight basic types of documents to be processed online: purchase orders, shipping notifications, invoices, inventories, order acknowledgements, receipts, certificates of analysis, and material safety data sheets. Over the next two quarters, Envera will roll out other service offerings. Phase two is scheduled to be launched in the first quarter of next year. It will provide further online capabilities in the order fulfillment process. They include bill of lading, supplier managed inventory, company internal moves and further connectivity in transportation, distribution, freight forwarding, procurement and financial transactions.
Phase three, which is scheduled to be launched in the second quarter of next year, involves business practice collaboration in areas such as inventory management, forecasting and production planning.
Envera's other future offerings include freight optimization, rail fleet management, international logistics, direct and indirect procurement, tax and tariff data, credit verification, industry balanced scorecards, and services directed by Envera's membership.
Part of Envera's strategy involves developing relationships with other Internet networks in the supply chain inside and outside the chemical industry. Potential targets include Elemica (contract chemical sales), Transora (consumer packaged goods), Elastomer Solutions (elastomers), Trade Ranger (energy and petrochemicals), Omnexus (plastics injection and blow molders), Covisint (automobiles), Rubber Network (rubber chemicals) and exchanges for fibers and forest products.
The business model for Envera grew from a customer relationship management (CRM) program at Ethyl Corporation in 1997. Ethyl developed a CRM model with an Internet platform for the 10 largest customers of its lubricant additives business.
Envera's founding management includes several key executives from Ethyl Corporation. Prior to joining Envera, Richard Chvala, vice-president and chief marketing officer, was Ethyl's global business manager. Michael Giesler, executive vice-president and chief technology officer at Envera, was chief information officer and leader of Ethyl's e-business initiatives. Envera CEO Robert Mooney served as senior vice-president and CFO at Ethyl.
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