• October 24, 2001

Phillippine Construction Enterprises Launch 'Vortal' to Boost Industry

To perk up the sluggish domestic construction industry, six of the country's construction giants, have jointly launched a vertical portal, or "vortal," dedicated to the industry.

The site, called myCVP.com (www.mycvp.com

), seeks to improve the traditional business practices among construction firms in the country. It allows members to buy and sell construction materials, share supervise construction projects, and exchange information.

The consortium's Web site was developed in cooperation with portal developer BayanTrade (http://www.bayantrade.com ), itself a consortium composed of the country's largest enterprises. Companies involved include Ayala Land Inc., DM Consunji, EEI Corp., Fort Bonifacio Development Corp., Greenfield Development Corp., and SM eVentures, Inc.,

The construction industry is expected to save more than 2 billion Philippine pesos ($38.4 million) within three years through MyCVP.com, according to the consortium's rough estimates.

George Yang, CEO of SM eVentures and also the project director of MyCVP.com, said the vortal would help reduce administrative costs by 20 percent to 30 percent. He added that the use of the vortal could result in total project savings by 2 percent to 3 percent.

"Don't be fooled by the low project savings. Depending on the size of one project, the savings would still be considerable," he said.

Yang added: "The idea is to develop a community for the construction industry in the Philippines and break barriers between large and small companies. There is a large market base just beyond the shores of the Philippines and that is where the smaller construction players could tap."

He also said myCVP.com would restructure the supply chain management, which is one of the more tedious processes borne by a construction firm bidding for a particular project.

Carol Carreon, BayanTrade CEO said myCVP.com is expected to generate a 2.3 billion pesos ($44.2 million) value within two to three years. She added that prior to the formal launch of the vortal, close to 30 bidding transactions were already made through it, five of which were major projects and another 23 subsidiary bids.

"The biddings were conducted to test if an online version of a construction bidding system would work. It did and it was even more efficient since there was no need for runners to send or receive bidding documents," Carreon explained.

Carreon added that they are inviting smaller construction firms to join MyCVP.com, which she said could greatly benefit from using the portal's facilities. "Joining the consortium would not be free for anyone, but we're asking them to look at the savings they could generate when they join, in terms of money, time and efforts," she said.

As early as August, a joint venture agreement was signed by the country's six construction firms to establish the online construction portal. To date, two other construction enterprises, Aboitiz Land and Lopez-owned First Philippines are still being persuaded to join the consortium.

Yang said they are considering partnerships with foreign-based construction vortals such as North American-based Buzzsaw.com and Asian-based ICFox.com. He said a partnership could be in place by mid-next year.

He said the partnership would facilitate the entry of the country's construction industry into foreign projects. "It should be fair that construction companies here could offer their services to foreign projects at much lower costs. The partnership would widen our e-procurement system and project collaboration," he said.

--Reported By Alex F Villafania, Newsbytes.com, http://www.newsbytes.com .

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