5. Unitec Web Tools Advantages for Customers

Unitec-projected and designed web tools:

The system expands by using it, although if at the start-up moment has already a remarkable basic information content.

Customer-sized E-Catalog, which is situated in Net Sourcing, contains products used by the specific customer: the site is so built for himself, featuring most used articles, which are up-to-dated day by day, when he uses this internet tool.
Many firms, besides having an article code and its description, have also a third code, the internal one, which is usually the warehouse code, used in internal communications, and lies also in their inquiries.
Net Sourcing is designed in order to handle the interface between this internal code and the one used by producers to identify their articles.

The most innovative Unitec idea, which won a Marino's contribution on the "Digital Economy Dictionary" ( Dizionario dell'economia digitale di Vito di Bari. Il Sole 24 Ore - Techno - I dizionari - 2002.), is the Virtual Warehouse (Magazzino Virtuale), which has a special internet site dedicated, www.magazzinovirtuale.it.
It's based on the possibility, for many companies, to share a only virtual warehouse, which contains however real provisions, accessible by everyone in the system.

The Virtual Warehouse permit new advantages for adherents: the principal is the stock reduction, obtainable thanks to the warehouses sharing among joining companies, in which everyone is allowed to get hold of the articles he needs.
At the extreme point, the complete stockroom elimination can be supposed, applying only to the Virtual Warehouse.
All its fix expenses would so be removed, and they will be replaced by the unsteady costs due to the system manager intermediation.
The substitutes' stocks joining the Virtual Store are turned from liabilities into assets, as if the member company is in a position to sell its articles in stock, they can get profits by this operation.
In connection with the system's benefits, the single operator can move between two extreme points:

  1. Cancelling the warehouse, because all what the company needs is available inside the Virtual Store. Only articles of wide consumption, such as screws and gaskets, will be kept, whereas specific substitutes will not be put away anymore, because if necessary Virtual Store can be asked. In this way, the thousands square meter area which stores all the spare parts becomes now as big as a cabinet.
  2. The other way is managing carefully inquiries which comes to one's warehouse from the V. W., concentrating on strengthening the offer in order to achieve these components immediate stock availability objective, so to be able to resell to third parts through the system. Such benefits contributes however to the structure keeping, reducing stock's costs.
Another possibility is definitely the management of obsolete spare parts for plants: using the Virtual Warehouse customer are enabled to access replacements which lie unused by system's companies' depots, granting advantages not only for the parts purchaser, to whom long and expensive researches all over the world are spared, but also for the corporation who hold these articles, because they can sell and get money from a piece which had instead involved the related stock or dump costs.

Special thanks to Unitec's CEO, Vincenzo Marino, for his primary contribution to this paper's draft.


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