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Mitsui _ Co


									Mitsui & Co.                                                                                 CASE STUDY 2003

 cuts the cost of trade transactions                                                         Challenges

      50% by using TradeCard
                                                                                             • Offline payments systems were
                                                                                               an obstacle to Mitsui’s plan
                                                                                               for Integrated Logistics

                                                                                             • Excessive paper involved in
                                                                                               purchase orders and payments
"TradeCard is the most advanced and most tested service
available." Shinya Imai, general manager of trade function                                   • Letters of Credit often slowed
                                                                                               the payments cycle
business department, Mitsui & Co.
                                                                                             • Trade finance difficult to
                                                                                               manage because of uncertainty
                                                                                               over Letters of Credit
The leading Japanese trading group,
Mitsui & Co. Ltd, adopted TradeCard’s
                                             Focus on                                          compliance dates

transaction management platform for           streamlining logistics                         • Direct and indirect payment
                                                                                               costs too high
some of its business in 2002 and has since
been rewarded with significant cost          In particular, the logistics unit within the
                                                                                             • Too much staff time spent
savings and improved efficiency in all                                                         processing purchase orders
                                             parent company accumulates information,           and payments
processes involved in the trade,             know-how and personnel to meet client
encouraging the company to extend            needs. Its mission is to assist the operating   • Lack of visibility into
TradeCard to other parts of their trading    groups in developing the most                     trade transactions
operations.                                  sophisticated procedures for supply chain
                                             management and other value-added
Mitsui owns a total of over 850              logistics solutions and to use the
companies and subsidiaries in five           company’s know-how as a basis for
operating groups: Metal Products &           developing new business opportunities.
Minerals; Machinery, Electronics &           Mitsui & Co.’s technological expertise in
Information; Chemical; Energy; and           trading and business management is
Consumer Products & Services.                available not only to its own group
                                             companies, but also to its customers.
Mitsui also has equity investments in such
diverse activities as oil and gas            "We have credit, finance and logistics, all
exploration, broadcasting satellites and     sorts of know-how and skills in this
TV programmes. The company is active         company and we intend to make all these
in mergers, acquisitions and joint           functions into one integrated service
ventures, and provides expertise in          platform, a shared service centre,
investment, finance and business             available to both internal users and our
development to its customers.                clients," says Shinya Imai, general
                                             manager of the trade function business
Currently, Mitsui is introducing a           department.                                     TradeCard Optimizes
management concept called the Value                                                          Financial Processes in
Creation Hub, in order to enhance the        In the first half of 2004 Mitsui is planning    Your Global Supply Chain
group’s leading edge capabilities in         to introduce an ERP (Enterprise
information technology, financial            Resources Planning) system and, in
technology, and logistics technology, and    preparation for the new system, the
make them available to the entire            company is rationalizing the business
company.                                     processes within the company and also
                                             looking for suitable tools and services to
                                             support this goal.                       
"Using TradeCard..,the overall cost saving
compared with our Letter of Credit operation is about 50%."                                 CASE STUDY 2003

Why Mitsui & Co.                                                                            Solutions
                                              On the import side, there are frequent        • Adopt TradeCard after
 chose TradeCard                              amendments of L/Cs, a serious issue,            evaluating alternative systems
                                              which slows the payments cycle. Our             in the market as the most
                                                                                              advanced and most proven
In early 2002, Mitsui began looking for a     systems have been in urgent need of             service available
way of taking its purchase orders and         rationalization. We also decided to trial
payments transactions online. Says Imai,      TradeCard for the export of synthetic         • Use TradeCard for both
"We needed a web-based solution that          resin to Korea."                                transactions with payment
would allow us to electronically exchange                                                     assurance and in open
                                                                                              account trading
documents both within our company and
with our trade partners, thus reducing the
amount of paper involved in the process."
                                              Implementation of                             • Employ TradeCard in the
                                                                                              textiles and synthetic resin
                                               TradeCard is simple                            export group first and roll out
Mr Imai evaluated the alternative systems                                                     to other divisions in the
available on the market, and made his                                                         near future
                                              Implementation of TradeCard was very
selection: "TradeCard is the most             simple. In the synthetic resin trade, it      • Rapidly implement TradeCard
advanced and most tested service              took two months from planning to                within a timeframe of six
available," he said.                          implementation, up to May 2002, whereas         weeks to two months
                                              for the textile import trade, it took six
                                                                                            • Plan to integrate TradeCard
                                              weeks and by September 2002 the system          with Mitsui’s future ERP system
                                              was up and running.
                                                                                            • TradeCard’s online platform
                                              Cost savings were immediate, reports            contributes to Mitsui’s
                                              Imai, "On the import side, we had two           Integrated Logistics program
                                              US$50,000 shipments a week from Hong
                                              Kong to Japan and the direct cost of the
                                              TradeCard payment assured transaction
                                              per consignment was $150 on average.
                                              Using TradeCard, with its automatic
                                              online compliance engine as an alternative
                                              to L/Cs, reduced the direct costs by 50%,
                                              and the indirect costs, mainly labor, by
                                              51%. The overall cost saving compared
                                              with L/C operation was about 50%.
Shinya Imai, general manager, trade
function business department,                 For our export business, the direct cost
Mitsui & Co.                                  reductions are about 30% and the labor
                                              costs are reduced by 68%, so the overall
Mitsui decided that the first trial of        cost reduction is also about 50%. We also
TradeCard would be in the textiles group.     use TradeCard for open account trading        TradeCard Optimizes
Said Imai: "In the textiles and apparel       and it is successful in this application as   Financial Processes in
trading business, we handle frequent          well," said Imai.                             Your Global Supply Chain
shipments, which are paid for with letters
of credit (L/Cs), and these generate floods
of paper documents that have to be
distributed manually within our offices
and those of our suppliers and customers.

"Using TradeCard's transaction management
platform has allowed us to... achieve an unprecedented level                                CASE STUDY 2003
of speed, accuracy and full transparency for our trade processes."
                                                                                            • Cost of purchase transactions
Benefits of the                              Credit management has improved too,              down 50%

 system are impressive                       says Imai: "TradeCard’s electronic
                                             documents, financial system and the
                                                                                            • Increased customer satisfaction,
                                                                                              due to greater process efficiencies
                                             guaranteed payments make credit more
"TradeCard is very good at handling
                                             manageable."                                   • TradeCard’s purchase
trade payments for very frequent small-                                                       order-to-payment cycle
or medium-sized consignments," says                                                           eliminates most paper
                                             Capital cost was not a problem, notes
Imai, adding: "We wish to expand the                                                          documents moving Mitsui
                                             Imai: "Not only did we achieve all of this
use of TradeCard as much as possible,                                                         closer to Just-in-Time processing
                                             with a very small upfront investment, but
but this depends on the type of business.
                                             the implementation time and the interval       • Through TradeCard, Mitsui
For instance, for us TradeCard is most
                                             after which we saw the first results were        has achieved an unprecedented
successful at supporting frequent                                                             level of speed, accuracy and
                                             much shorter than expected."
shipments in the value of about                                                               full transparency for their
US$100,000."                                                                                  trade processes
                                             Mitsui intends to expand the use of
                                             TradeCard, says Imai: "We have                 • Online payments are much
 "Using TradeCard’s transaction
                                             thoroughly tested TradeCard and obtained         more predictable than L/Cs
management platform has allowed us to
                                             good results so far. In future, we will
significantly cut down the amount of                                                        • Predictable payment dates
                                             encourage our trade partners to join the
paper that is shuffled, and to achieve an                                                     make trade finance easier
                                             TradeCard system and bring
unprecedented level of speed, accuracy                                                        to manage
                                             rationalization to both buyers and sellers."
and full transparency for our trade
                                                                                            • TradeCard brings the same
processes," says Imai.
                                                                                              process efficiencies to open
                                             Expanding the                                    account trading as to
Imai continues: "Just as JIT (Just-In-                                                        L/C-type transactions
Time) systems reduce stock in the             use of TradeCard
manufacturing business, the online                                                          • Time spent processing purchase
electronic transactions reduce the paper-                                                     orders and payments has been
                                             Imai is already talking to the managers of
                                                                                              reduced significantly
based documents on our hands, moving us      other divisions, to persuade them of the
closer to Just-In-Time processing, and we    benefits of using TradeCard for the            • All trade partners can have
expend less time and labor on                purchase-to-payment cycle. Each division         instant visibility into the
administering trade transactions. This       has different commodities and trades             progress of online transactions
system will result in improvements for our   differently, so Imai plans to talk to the
                                                                                            • Low upfront costs of online
clients in Japan and overseas."              managers of each division in order to get        purchase-to-payments system
                                             the best benefit out of the system. Another
                                             promising application for the online trade
Increased                                    platform is in the footwear trade.
                                                                                            • Improved credit management,
                                                                                              due to guaranteed payments
  customer satisfaction
                                             Back-end integration of TradeCard can
Customer satisfaction also benefits, says    improve efficiency further, says Imai: "At     TradeCard Optimizes
Imai: "The process efficiency contributed    the moment, TradeCard is not connected         Financial Processes in
                                             to Mitsui’s own computer systems, but we       Your Global Supply Chain
by TradeCard has also resulted in greater
customer satisfaction, and we are            are planning to integrate TradeCard with
committed to extending this to other         our divisional systems. In the longer term,
industries in which Mitsui is active."       we plan to link TradeCard to the new ERP
                                             system that we are planning."

About TradeCard
TradeCard is the only end-to-end financial supply chain service provider that enables
transparent commerce among global trade partners over an open, secure and neutral
network. For the first time, buyers and sellers can manage transaction workflow with               CASE STUDY 2003
complete visibility into purchasing and financial transactions, from order to settlement,
resulting in optimized cash flow and credit lines.

With TradeCard, global trading partners can realize unprecedented value from the
financial supply chain including immediate cost savings, improved partner relationships
and shortened trade cycles. TradeCard offers the most expansive network of extended
trade services including export and vendor financing, payment assurance, money
movement and inspection. This range of offerings makes TradeCard a proven
alternative to traditional paper-based, expensive and labor-intensive trade settlement
methods. Headquartered in New York City, TradeCard, Inc. has offices in the San
Francisco Bay Area, Hong Kong, Taipei, Seoul and Tokyo. TradeCard is a registered
trademark in the United States and elsewhere throughout the world. TradeCard is located
online at

For further information please contact one of                                                      TradeCard Optimizes
our offices below:                                                                                 Financial Processes in
                                                                                                   Your Global Supply Chain

TradeCard, Inc.                                                   TradeCard Asia/Pacific Limited
Corporate Headquarters                                            Unit 1106, Tower 2
75 Maiden Lane, 12th Floor                                        Lippo Centre, 89 Queensway,
New York, NY 10038                                                Admiralty, Hong Kong
Tel: (1) 212-405-1800                                             Tel: 852-2973-0578
Fax: (1) 212-405-1801                                             Fax: 852-2973-0199

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