Anonymous Online Christina Chen Vincent Conocono Hildebrando Hercules Hong Tang Modesto Tojin http://student.ucr.edu/~mtoji001/bsad172/ Case 5: Tradelink Introduction Our consultants here at Anonymous Online have reviewed Tradelink’s current status as a premier electronic trade network and have developed recommendations to further improve its services. This analysis covers the importance of network value, balancing of buyers and sellers, creating alliances with other networks, and creating standards for transaction processes. Adhering to our recommendations will not only improve services, but in turn will help make Tradelink compete more effectively with other similar trade networks. Network Value Tradelink’s network as it stands today is large and well established. It has been able to maintain a niche in the electronic trade market with unique e-commerce services that has allowed it to grow. Its expansion in the Asian Pacific region has only added value to the network; with each new service and partner that is added, the value of the network will increase. Tradelink is a leading e-commerce provider for Hong Kong and the Asian Pacific region; however, it must now focus on reaching traders in the global market. Tradelink is familiar with using third-party services and partnerships to increase its network value, TradeCard is such an example. In addition to TradeCard’s services, we recommend Tradelink to offer a tracking service for international customers, along with extensive online and real-time services. By investing more resources into TradeCard and increasing the services it provides, Tradelink and its entire network will benefit from improved efficiency in regards to global trade and will become more competitive in the global market. Balance of Buyers and Sellers Having already developed the seller side of the trade market, Tradelink now needs to focus on attracting more buyers so that it can find a balance between buyers and sellers. Increasing the amount of sellers can prove to be a negative effect on the network. That is, having too many sellers to buyers creates more competition between sellers—which is good for the buyers. Sellers could decide to leave the network due to the high competition. Currently the pan-Asian Portal is a tool proposed to attract more buyers. We recommend expanding the portal to provide more promotional and advertising services as well as moving ahead with the plan to provide a link to U.S. and European portals. This will aid in attracting buyers and will continue to make Tradelink more competitive by offering some of the services that potential rivals, such as Transact Link, currently offer. Alliances with Networks Tradelink has been forming partnerships and alliances very effectively, increasing services, increasing network value, and achieving cross-border trading. While increasing the network can cause a negative effect due to high costs in managing a large network, we believe that Tradelink can still benefit from positive feedback by continuing to increase its network. Tradelink needs to identify networks that will provide a benefit to current partners without a high cost and without causing competition. In particular, Tradelink needs to identify networks from abroad to further expand their global trade ambitions. For example, creating an alliance with a North American trade network can extend the reach of Tradelink users into the U.S. and Canadian markets. Standards for Transaction Processes Creating alliances can lead to the creation of standards which benefits all parties. Industry standards, secure networks, and trusted service lead to more potential for buyers and sellers to use the system and it also creates a more efficient network. This gives Tradelink a competitive edge as its network continues to increase in value, at the expense of competitors, causing a positive feedback. In the global market, it is important that Tradelink find a medium between compatibility and performance. Creating a mutual recognition of digital certificates in the Pan-Asian Alliance was successful due to necessary compromises to address compatibility issues; these compromises resulted in standards. Tradelink needs to apply the same methods when dealing with U.S. or European partners and/or networks. By ensuring interoperability, compatibility, a competitive level of performance and developing standards Tradelink will maintain its status as a premier electronic trade network. Conclusion/ Recommendation Tradelink is currently positioned well in the electronic trade market. The network continues to gain value as more users and partners enter the network. However, optimizing the network is key to maintaining a competitive edge. The following list provides a summary of our recommendations: (1) Focus in the global trade market - Shifting from a regional to a global scale market and enhancing TradeCard services will provide a competitive edge. (2) Promotional Service and Portal Expansion - Expansion of the Pan-Asian portal to provide promotional services as well as having it be compatible with U.S. and European portals will aid in attracting new users, especially buyers. (3) New Network Alliances – Tradelink needs to identify networks from abroad that will benefit current partners which will in turn increase network value. (4) Striving for industry standards -In order to increase efficiency and network value, Tradelink should strive to form standards amongst its partners. We here at Anonymous Online believe that Tradelink has potential to do much more and wish Tradelink the best in its future endeavors.